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Yeast in thin crust pizza dough - is it really necessary?


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Yeast in thin crust pizza dough - is it really necessary?

mbCrispyBits | | May 14, 2013 01:14 PM

Today I was looking through cookbooks and on the web for recipes for thin crust pizza dough. I noticed that every recipe has yeast in it. If the purpose of thin crust pizza is to achieve a super-thin crust, then why add yeast if that makes the dough rise as it rests and when it hits the oven? Aside from creating pockets of air in the dough and giving it some additional yeast flavor, is there really any purpose for having yeast in a thin crust pizza?

I ask this is because at home I make thin-crust pizza/flatbread dough without any yeast at all. I mix white or whole wheat flour with olive oil, honey, salt, and warm water. That’s it. For whole wheat dough I use extra water, olive oil and honey and let the dough rest longer. I make my dough pretty wet so I don’t have to roll it– just stretch it out using my fists, then I dock it with a fork before putting on the toppings. Baked on a preheated pizza stone in a roaring hot oven, my pizzas come out with a perfectly blistered and crunchy crust every time. Am I in the minority for eschewing yeast in my pizza dough?

I’m also curious about the science behind using yeast – if there’s something going on at the molecular level that alters the flavor/texture to my advantage that can’t be achieved in a yeast-free dough, and still have it come out paper thin and crunchy?