You can put every effort into making the perfect pizza dough recipe and still end up with dough that is dense and tough to knead. This is one of the many frustrations of pizza lovers from all over the world, but it doesn’t mean that you have to throw in the towel just yet.
In many cases, pizza dough that is too tough might be a result of having used too much flour.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the reasons why you are struggling to knead your pizza dough and what you can to rectify this issue.
Why Is My Pizza Dough Tough?
One of the first things that you should check if you have followed the pizza dough recipe but see that the bread dough is too tough is whether you have added too much flour. This is the most common problem, and when you need to knead the dough, you will find that it is a little bit too hard.
Pizza dough should easily stretch and be quite moist, but if the flour to water ratio is out, this may mean that you end up with a dough that is far too dry to use.
Another common reason that your pizza dough might be too tough is that when you knead your dough, you are overworking it. Some people believe that you must knead the dough for a long time and they then find that the pizza dough becomes hard and they are not able to stretch it out into a pizza base.
As you knead your dough, strains of gluten will develop but if this process goes on for too long, But how long should the kneading process last? This will depend on the type of flour you use; a 00 flour will require a different amount of kneading than a bread flour. 00 flour typically needs kneading for around 20 minutes although you can reduce this time if you use a stand mixer.
The type of flour you use may impact the state of the dough. As a rule, 00 flour is best making pizza. This type of flour has a higher gluten content which is essential when it comes to letting the dough rise. This is because when you leave the dough to rise after kneading, the yeast will eat the gluten and create air bubbles that give you that world-famous pizza crust.
You might also wish to check the condition of the yeast since if it is dead, it will not work causing problems such as tough dough or pizza dough that won’t rise.
How Do You Soften Hard Pizza Dough?
Fortunately, all is not lost if you have kneaded the dough for too long or have put in more flour than you need to. Make sure not to throw that dough out because as you will see, there is a solution.
You will need some olive oil or water, depending on the recipe you have used. Many people like to add oil into their pizza bread dough to make it moister. If your dough is too dry, then you will end up with a crumbly crust, so you need to make sure that the dough is hydrated.
Take your dry dough and spread it out onto the work surface, now start to add one drop of water or oil at a time and knead the dough. You will need to see if the moisture level is good enough before getting it ready to bake and if it isn’t, you can always add a little more water or oil and knead it again until it is no longer dry. Bear in mind that you will only need to knead the dough for around 5 minutes this time around.
How Do You Fix Overworked Pizza Dough?
The best way to avoid kneading your dough too much is to check it using the poke test; this is done by poking your finger around 1/2 inch into the pizza dough and seeing if it springs back. If it does, then it is ready for making pizza. However, you should also be mindful to make sure that the dough is kneaded enough.
You can also check the dough by stretching it, dough that is kneaded enough will go very thin but will not tear.
Kneading pizza dough sounds more like a fine art than a kitchen recipe, and there is a knack to kneading if you want to get it right. A serious problem arises when the dough is too hard to knead, and there may be several reasons why.
Most commonly the ingredients are the issue, and people may put in more flour than they need making the pizza dough dry, you can fix this by adding a little olive oil or water. However, even after you need the dough, it may become tough, and this can be as a result of overworking, in which case you should pay attention to the time you knead the dough and perform tests to ensure you don’t work the dough too much before baking.