You can't make an authentic Italian pizza without olive oil. Thus, how does this ingredient make a difference?
This olive oil pizza recipe will show you. Because people pay too much attention to the toppings, they tend to take no notice of the crust.
However, don't you know that Italian people revere the crust more than any part of the pizza? Original Neapolitan pizza is only topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, nothing more.
By using minimal and simple toppings, authentic Italian cuisine aims to emphasize the overall quality of the crust above anything else.
Despite the trend towards overloaded toppings, Italians prefer to stick to the tradition of making an excellent crust with minimal toppings.
Making the pizza dough is quite easy, and it only needs three ingredients (flour, yeast, and salt) to make it. Moreover, if you want to enhance the taste of the basic dough, try adding olive oil, and you'll see a big difference.
Olive oil is an essential ingredient used in making Neapolitan pizza. However, it is slightly drizzled over the toppings and is not an integral ingredient of the dough.
Thus, should olive oil be added to the dough mixture in making the crust? Adding olive oil in the production of pizza dough can significantly affect the flavor and the texture of the crust.
Furthermore, it gives the dough a more pliant texture which makes it easier to handle during shaping.
Olive oil pizza dough enhances the flavor of the baked crust as it gives an additional touch of Neapolitan taste.
This healthy liquid fat has been a staple condiment in Italy, and it has been used to enhance any Italian foods.
To put it just, Italians love the distinctive flavor of olive oil. Using it on pizza dough will give the crust a more characterizing flavor for a more authentic Neapolitan taste.
However, due to its higher cost, some chefs have tried substituting it with cheaper alternatives such as canola and soybean oils.
While the result is still acceptable, these alternatives can't give the same flavor as the olive oil does.
One smart way to cut down the cost is to blend the olive oil with other cheaper neutral-tasting alternatives.
This way, the unique flavor of the olive oil is retained while you significantly reduce the cost.
You may also blend it with butter to have a more vibrant, buttery flavor to the dough.
Many bakers are accustomed to using condiment in the dough production because it serves as a lubricant too. It greatly helps in the forming process because it makes it easier to stretch or shape out.
Bakers usually add at least 3% of olive oil (relative to the flour weight) to allow the mixture to flow without tearing apart.
Technically, oil cannot be mixed with water. So, when it is used in the dough, it prevents the absorption of moisture coming from the sauce and the toppings before the baking process.
By reducing the moisture content, the crust becomes potentially crispier when baked.
Commercial brands are usually labeled as ‘virgin,' and then there's the ‘extra virgin' variant.
Extra-virgin variants are using the highest grade of olive oil. Moreover, to be able to use this label, a particular brand has to meet specific industry standards.
The first requirement being, extra-virgin olive oil should be made from pure, cold-pressed olives. The cold-pressed method indicates that the finished product is extracted from olives without using any heat.
This detail is essential because this liquid fat loses its healthy fatty acids when exposed to a temperature above its smoking point.
In case that the finished product did not meet the official protocols, it is merely labeled as ‘virgin.' Virgin variants do not have the same aroma and flavor as the extra-virgin options do.
With that being said, we highly recommend using the extra-virgin variant to achieve an optimum result.
Everyone has preferences when it comes to their crust. Some like it thin and crispy while others like it thick and chewy.
You can make your crust the way you like it when you're making your dough.
To make a thin, crispy crust, add less olive oil to the ingredients and stretch the dough flat.
Moreover, for a thick, chewy crust, add more olive oil and substitute half of the water with milk. Remember not to roll it so thin so that you get a thicker outcome.
Making pizza dough is easy, and you only need these simple ingredients: flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil.
Here is a simple step-by-step instructional guide on how to make olive oil pizza dough.
To determine the right amount of oil to add, measure the flour weight using a kitchen weighing scale.
Calculate 3% of the flour weight that should be the amount of oil to add to your dough later.
If you decide to add more, also make sure to reduce water by the same amount of oil adjustment.
So, if you plan to add 1 pound of oil, you would need to decrease the amount of water by 1 pound.
Take note that adding more fats without reducing the water level will result in a runny, over-diluted dough.
In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, yeast, salt, and water. Stir to combine thoroughly and let the mixture sit for 2 minutes before you add the olive oil.
This is to allow the flour to absorb sufficient moisture to achieve the consistency necessary for dough.
Adding the fat will then prohibit the absorption of any moisture. So it is crucial to give it time to absorb needed moisture.
After 2 minutes, you can now add the olive oil depending on the calculated amount per flour weight.
To create dough with a distinctly Italian flavor, choose the cold-pressed extra-virgin brand and not the refined ones.
Mix well to combine the oil to the dough thoroughly. Stretch thin to achieve thinner crust or roll it to make thicker crust.
Shape the crust the way you want it. Before putting it into the oven, brush or drizzle some olive oil around the edges of the dough. Doing so will make the edge crispy and turn golden brown after baking.
You can also sprinkle some of it over the toppings before the baking process for a more enhanced flavor.
The best way to determine when the pizza is fully-baked is when the cheese bubbles and the crust turns golden brown.
Carefully take out the pie from the oven, then drizzle some olive oil over the toppings to further enhance the flavor.
Be careful not to add too much of it after baking. Just a drizzle is enough to give the pie a distinct flavor. Adding too much might overpower the flavors of the toppings.
Allow the pie to cool down a bit for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
There’s another way to add this ingredient to the dough without mixing it to the mixture. You can also add olive oil on pizza crust to enhance its flavor.
After kneading and shaping the dough, brush the surface of the dough with olive oil.
Brushing oil on top of the dough doesn't only add distinct flavor, but it also serves as a surface coating.
The crust may become messed-up when the sauce and moisture from the toppings soak down the crust.
Coating the surface with oil inhibits the absorption of water from the toppings. Hence, it will retain the consistency and uniformity of the crust.
Furthermore, applying olive oil on pizza crust will lightly fry the surface resulting in a golden sheen and crunchier crust.
Lightly brush the top of the dough with the oil before putting the sauce and the toppings. You have the option to add more flavor by sprinkling some of it over the toppings before baking.
Once the pie is fully baked, you can also brush the edges of the crust with the oil. This adds more flavor to the crust as well as it provides an appetizing sheen to the sides.
The wetness of the edges can also help other spices and grated cheese to stick easily to the crust.
To create a crust that is barely charred with bubbly spots, you'll need to bake the pie in a brick oven.
However, there's a way to create this type of crust even with the use of an electric pizza oven.
All you need to add to the usual dough is the extra-virgin olive oil. With this, you can make a flavorful crust that you can only get from authentic pizzerias.
Follow this simple olive oil pizza recipe to experience authentic Italian at the comfort of your home.
Try to concoct your own homemade olive oil pizza sauce with this quick and easy recipe. This scrumptious olive oil pizza sauce will undoubtedly change the way you make pizza at home.
Are you tired with the traditional red sauce pizza? Why not try this olive oil pizza recipe without the red sauce?
This olive oil pizza may not use as many tomatoes as traditional pizzas, but it still has that light tomato flavor.
Olive oil is an essential ingredient for authentic Italian pizza. In other words, you can't make an authentic pizza without it.
However, to make the best pizza, choose a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil that is typically cold-pressed.
Although you can still use the refined variants, we highly recommend using the highest grade which is the extra-virgin variant.
You can try and compare the result of these variants, and you'll find a vast difference when it comes to flavor.
Refined variants don’t have that hint of fruitiness that you usually get from extra-virgin olive brands.
Because olive oil is a bit on a pricey side, some people resort to vegetable oil instead.
We see no problem with that. However, vegetable oils won't give your pie that coveted authentic Italian flavor.
Besides, you’ll realize that the price is all worth it when you finally taste its pleasingly pungent flavor.