Bread Flour vs All-Purpose Flour for Pizza (Simple Comparison Table)

Pizza, the universally loved dish that has managed to conquer the hearts and palates of people from all over the world, is the most popular food in America. And what’s the secret behind the perfect pizza crust? The answer lies in the type of flour you use!

In this article, I’ll take a deep dive into these two popular flours and help you make an informed decision next time you’re whipping up a pizza at home.

So, grab your aprons, and let’s get started!

Can I Use Bread Flour For Pizza Dough?

making pizza dough with bread flour

Yes, you heard it right. The choice between bread flour vs all-purpose flour for pizza can significantly affect the texture and taste of your pizza.

Bread flour is typically used for, you guessed it, bread dough, but it can also be a great choice for pizza dough and can result in a delicious, satisfying pizza crust.

Bread flour is unbleached and contains the most protein out of all the flours. The protein in this flour creates a stronger dough, allowing for more gluten production.

Gluten is the substance that gives your dough that stretchy, resilient texture and allows you to flip, toss, and knead your dough. However, like everything in this world, there are some things you should know about using bread flour as a substitute for your pizza crust.

I love a thick crust, but not everyone does. Since bread dough contains a lot of yeast, it causes the dough to rise quite a bit more than other doughs. It causes CO2 to get trapped inside the dough, and since this dough is strong and flexible enough to provide the perfect foundation, it gives it that fluff and density.

If you prefer a thinner crust, you must stretch it out quite a bit without tearing, giving it plenty of room to rise while maintaining that thin crust. If you’re like me, then this deep-dishes pizza crust sounds ideal. [1], [2], [3]

Can I Use All-Purpose Flour For Pizza Dough?

making pizza dough with all purpose flour

All-purpose flour is a staple in virtually every home. It’s a medium gluten, white flour with the versatility to make all kinds of baked goods, from cookies to bread, to pizza dough.

It contains less gluten and less protein than bread flour, making it ideal for those delicious pastries and goodies that don’t require a strong structure and pizza crust that don’t need to hold a lot of toppings.

It’s important to remember that there are two different kinds of all-purpose flour: bleached and unbleached.

Bleached flour has even less protein than unbleached. This is important to keep in mind since protein has such an impact on the dough’s texture and the end result. For the sake of the article and to avoid confusion, I will refer to the unbleached flour as all-purpose flour.

The great thing about using all-purpose flour is that you probably already have it on hand in your kitchen, and since it doesn’t provide the same structure for pizza or bread dough, it still makes a great pizza dough substitute for thin-crust lovers.

In addition, pizza dough made with all-purpose flour is not as stretchy as dough made with bread flour, making it difficult to stretch and spread in a pan without tearing. [5]

Read Also: 6 Chicken Pizza Topping Combinations You Haven’t Tried Yet!

Bread Flour vs All Purpose Flour For Pizza?

bread flour pizza compared to all purpose flour pizza
Bread FlourAll-Purpose Flour
– Higher gluten and protein content result in a denser, chewier crust that is ideal for heartier toppings and thicker, more substantial deep-dish pizzas.– Moderate gluten content results in a tender, soft crust that is suitable for many types of pizza, especially those with delicate toppings.
– Can hold up well to high heat, making it ideal for Neapolitan-style pizzas baked at high temperatures in a wood-fired oven.– Lower gluten content makes it a good choice for thin-crust, York-style pizzas cooked in a gas oven, as it will not hold up as well to the high heat and long baking time required for a thicker, chewier crust.
– Results in a unique flavor and texture that is sought after by many pizza makers and professional bakers.– Widely available and more affordable than bread flour.
Bread FlourAll-Purpose Flour
– More expensive than all-purpose flour.– May require a longer rising time than dough made with bread flour, as the gluten content is not as high.
– May not be as widely available as all-purpose flour.– The lower gluten content may result in a dough that is difficult to stretch without tearing.

The differences in the pizza crusts’ end results boil down to two key factors: protein and gluten.

The main difference between pizza crusts made with all-purpose flour and bread flour lies in the gluten content and protein level of each type of flour.

All-purpose flour has a moderate amount of gluten and protein, making it a versatile flour that can be used for a variety of baking tasks. It produces a tender, soft crust suitable for many types of pizza, especially those with delicate toppings.

On the other hand, bread flour has a higher gluten and protein content than all-purpose flour. This results in a denser, chewier crust that is ideal for heartier toppings and thicker, more substantial pizzas like Chicago-style pizza.

But that said, bread flour can also hold up well to high heat, making it a good choice for Neapolitan-style pizzas that are baked at high temperatures in a wood-fired oven.

So, Which Flour Should I Use?

bread flour vs all purpose flour for pizza

At the end of the day, these both can produce a delicious crust and can be used as substitutions. But the answer you seek depends upon your personal taste and the type of pizza you are making, as both flours can produce delicious pizza crusts.

Personally, I would prefer to use bread flour to make my pizza crust because I love that hearty, fluffy, bread-like texture and taste. If you also enjoy deep-dish pizza or thicker crusts, consider opting for bread flour to make your pizza crust.

If you’re a fan of thin crust or pizza crust with a bit of a crunch, then all-purpose flour will serve its purpose just fine. In fact, you may prefer it!

Read Also: Is It Safe To Eat Pizza Left Out Overnight In The Box!?


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About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.