I got out our bread maker the other day and was wondering how making bread differs from making pizza dough. It turns out that the recipe it called for was very similar to the one I’ve been using for pizza dough: 3/4 cup water, 4 tsp sugar, and 2 1/4 cups flour; 1 tsp salt vs. 1/2 tsp salt; 4 tsp oil vs. 1 tsp olive oil; 1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast vs. 1 tsp. Instead of kneading and rising one time, the process for the bread machine is:
1st Knead: 10 min; 1st Rise 20 min; 2nd knead 15 min; 2nd Rise 20 min; rest 30 sec; Final rise 55 min; bake time 60 min. I’m not sure what temperature it bakes at, but I can be pretty sure it’s not 475 degrees like pizza. Probably only 325 or 350.
Water Percentage and Ratio
A quick search for pizza dough vs bread dough resulted in a couple articles:
Dough Ingredients – talks about the ratio of water to flour weight as a percentage. Bread has 58 to 60 percent water (moist), while pizza dough is ‘lean’ and has 40 to 60 percent water. 40 percent would result in a stiff dough. A TalkFood forum I found mentions that you can add milk, eggs, or butter to bread to tenderize it, which aren’t used for pizza dough.
Well, I tried the basic white bread recipe on the basic setting, not dough setting. But I think it mixed the dough better than my Kitchenaid mixer! The kneading blade is on the bottom, so it didn’t miss any on the bottom; and the dough pulled away from the sides better – I didn’t have to open it up and scrape down the sides! Maybe being enclosed helped, and the lack of humidity in my kitchen is affecting the pizza dough kneading process. I’ve noticed that kneading by hand removes a lot of moisture, and in the mixing bowl it seems to keep a lot of the moisture and require much more flour. Perhaps using the bread maker will be a happy medium.
The first article talks about the effect of water hardness or softness. The minerals calcium and magnesium found in water help to strengthen gluten strands. Soft water doesn’t have enough minerals and results in soft, sticky dough. Hard water has too many minerals and results in too tough gluten, and also can hinder the rise of the dough. You can counteract it by adding more yeast and more yeast food (sugar). I’m not sure what my water hardness is, it may be beneficial to test it.
Ingredients Affect Yeast
My bread maker instructions explain about the effect of sugar and salt, and other ingredients on yeast too. Salt regulates yeast by making it work more slowly; without it the dough could rise too fast and unevenly.