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May 29, 2008 05:15 PM

Homemade Pizza Dough - What does the oil do?

I finally made my first batch of homemade pizza dough and I loved it! I used this epi recipe:

it was so easy and I was pleased with the results. However, I want to use less oil or no oil (trying to cut out the fat in the 3 Tbsp. oil if I can get away with it) and I'm wondering what would change as a result...

Less crispy? More doughy? Too cakey?

I've seen other recipes that have no oil at all.

...need your expert thoughts!


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  1. My guess is it'd be a little tougher and less crispy. A bit harder to handle. Might not store as well if you do it like me and let it sit in the fridge all week. A little more generic tasting.

    I like the pronounced olive oil flavor in my homemade dough. Pizza isn't supposed to be health food! How about adding roasted veggies to the pizza and calling it good enough? :)

    1. I love the color olive oil gives the dough after it's cooked --a beautiful bronze as opposed to that unattractive pale white otherwise. Flavor is better, and the dough cooks up slightly more crispy too. Reasons enough for me.

      1. I left out the oil by mistake once. ONCE.... The crust tore apart when I tried to move it. Just ripped. My recipe is more by "feel", but it's essentially what you've got with that epicurious recipe.

        To clarify- I now move pizza crusts around on parchment, but it wasn't always so. The time I forgot the oil, I slid the pizza from a cutting board onto a hot stone (yes, plenty of corn meal), and it tore apart. It's the only time it's ever happened.

        1. The oil in the pizza dough helps to soften the crispness of the crust and increase the chew a bit. A classic French bread(baguette is a totally lean dough with no fat, so the more fat that you add, the closer you will get to a classic white loaf bread that is made with a lot of fat in the milk and butter.

          1. I don't understand your desire to exclude the oil. Use extra virgin olive oil, which is healthy oil. If you want to cut back on calories and/or unhealthy fats, then put less cheese on and/or use soy cheese.

            The oil likely adds to the coherence of the dough. It certainly adds some flavor.

            If you want really tasty dough, then add some rosemary, thyme, basil and/or oregano to the dough as well. This would make for excellent bread sticks too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dr Chow

              Some people don't have gall bladders. Gall bladders allow a person to process fat. Without the gall bladder it's very difficult and painful to process fat. So, a person has to eat as little fat as possible per meal and still maintain a good 500 calories per meal if their choice is to eat 3 meals per day. People without gall bladders like to eat pizza. So, fat free pizza dough allows this food to be available without a supplement or pill to process the fat.