You’re making a homemade pizza and you run into a problem. The recipe says to use bread flour for the dough. But when you check your cupboards, all you have is all-purpose flour.
Now you’re wondering if you can use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour. The short answer is, yes, you can make pizza crust with all-purpose flour.
But, if you can make it with all-purpose flour, why does the recipe clearly say to use bread flour? What difference is the type of flour going to make? How much flour should you use if you are using all-purpose flour instead of bread flour? Does the baking time need to be adjusted? Do other ingredients need to be adjusted? These are all common questions you may have whether this is your first time making homemade pizza or it’s just the first time you have substituted ingredients.
So, can I use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour for pizza? All-purpose flour can be used for all baking projects. If you are using all-purpose flour in place of bread flour, you will want to use the same amount of all-purpose flour as you would bread flour. In this case, the only change you are making to the recipe is the type of flour being used.
You will still use the same amount of all other ingredients. You will still bake the pizza at the same temperature for the same amount of time.
So, why does the recipe say to use bread flour? Bread flour makes the crust fluffier. You will have a softer and slightly thicker crust when you use bread flour to make pizza dough.
If you use all purpose flour, your crust will be crispier and a little thinner. The pizza itself tastes the same, the main difference you will see is in the texture and appearance of the crust.
The most probable reason the recipe requests bread flour is to give you a thicker and more bread-like crust.
Are There Other Ingredients I Can Substitute?
If bread flour can easily be replaced by all-purpose flour when making pizza, surely there are other ingredients you can substitute if you need to, right? Absolutely.
As a former employee in a pizza restaurant, I can say that on nights that we were unexpectedly busy, we ran out of some ingredients from time to time. With a restaurant packed full of customers, we didn’t have time to run to the store to restock a few ingredients needed for making pizza dough.
Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil?
Depending on the recipe you use to make your crust, the recipe will probably either say to use olive oil or vegetable oil. In our case, the recipe said to use olive oil.
Olive oil is more expensive than vegetable oil, and you are much more likely to have vegetable oil on hand. You can substitute one of these types of oil for the other if you need to.
I have also found that if you run out of both types of oil, you can also use butter as a substitute. The only issue you may run into with butter is that it sometimes gives the crust a slightly saltier flavor.
Also, you may have to reduce the baking time by a few minutes as the crust will be crispier with butter, and you don’t want to burn it.
What about Sugar?
You were just at the grocery store and you didn’t realize you were out of sugar until you got home.
You are now wondering if you can just skip the sugar altogether, after all, you don’t want a sweet tasting pizza crust, right? Well, sugar is an important ingredient in your pizza crust for one main reason. Sugar is what is used to activate the yeast.
So, can you replace sugar with something else you may have on hand? You sure can. Honey is a great substitute for sugar when making pizza. It does slightly change the taste of the dough, but once the pizza is baked, you don’t notice a difference.
One thing to be aware of though, is that honey can make the dough a little bit stickier so you may need to flour your hands before you kneed the dough to prevent it from sticking to your hands.
I am Low on Mozzarella, Can I Still Make Pizza?
If you are running low on Mozzarella, which is usually the preferred cheese on pizza, there are a few different things you can do. The first option would be to put your meats and other toppings on top of the cheese.
This allows you to use about half of the amount of cheese because the toppings are covering areas that the cheese does not reach.
Another option would be to mix in another type of cheese with the Mozzarella. This will give your pizza a slightly different taste and color, but it doesn’t completely eliminate the Mozzarella flavor.
Keep a close eye on your pizza while it bakes though, some types of cheese burn more easily than others.
I Forgot to Buy Pizza Sauce, Now What do I do?
Every brand of pizza sauce has a slightly different flavor. So, if you have always used the same recipe for making pizza and you want the same flavor, your best option would be to go buy your usual brand of pizza sauce.
However, if you are open to change, there are other options for sauces that can be used on pizza. A combination of tomato paste and spaghetti sauce makes a great pizza sauce.
If you want the sauce to be more tart, use less spaghetti sauce and more tomato paste. For a sweeter sauce, use more spaghetti sauce and less tomato paste. Salsa also makes a great pizza sauce if you have it on hand.
Thicker salsas work better because with thinner salsas you run into the problem of a soggy crust.
When you are making pizza, there are many ingredients that can be substituted in your recipe. Whether you are out of an ingredient or just trying to perfect your recipe, don’t be afraid to experiment.