In its purest essence, pizza dough is a mixture of water, salt, yeast, and flour.
These ingredients are enough to make the base of the pizza dough which has been used by many generations for centuries. But, just as our food and ingredients have evolved, so has the humble pizza dough recipe.
Does pizza dough have eggs? Most pizza dough recipes do not include eggs. However, some artisanal pizzerias may use eggs to change the texture of their pies. Egg wash may also be used on the crust of the pizza to make it glossy, but generally speaking, there is no inclusion of egg in making most pizza dough.
Read on below to learn more about the various version of dough for pizzas and how eggs may be used to give the pizza a better look, flavor, and texture in some cases!
Classic Pizza Dough Recipe
The classic pizza dough recipe does not call for any egg. In fact, as stated above, the classic recipe only uses 3 main ingredients: water, yeast, and flour.
When you think about Neapolitan or other classic pizzas, you might be surprised by just how straightforward they are to make.
However, the source of the ingredients and the technique used to make the pizza ultimately has a huge role in how the pizza looks and tastes too.
So much so that most people will not be able to replicate the same flavor or texture even if they used the same ingredients.
This is because of small details that only master pizza chefs are usually aware of.
Things like the gluten content in the dough, how long it has rested, how much it has risen and the best temperature and wood to use to make the pizza, all go into making a better tasting pizza.
Virtually every recipe that you come across will not have eggs because eggs can drastically change the texture and flavor of the dough.
For example, egg yolks in pizza dough will make a very rich and thick pizza dough that may be chewier but perhaps less airy after cooling down.
The egg whites, similarly, can help crispen the edges of the dough when cooked and will give it a fluffy texture. Most of the time, the most that pizza makers will do is use an egg wash to brush the boundaries of the pizza.
If we talk about the pizza industry in general, almost every commercial brand will not use eggs in their recipe but some artisanal or small-scale pizza shops may use eggs or at least egg wash to make their pizza look and taste better.
Modern pizza recipes make use of bread improvers, instant yeasts, sugars, and stabilizers to create a superior pizza dough and will usually not use eggs.
This is because of its shelf-life and the fact that most of the additives added to the dough can easily replicate the characteristics of an egg without imparting any flavor.
Pizza Dough Recipe
Here is a great recipe to make pizza dough at home (without eggs).
You will need:
- 2-2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour (250-295g)
- 1 packet instant yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 1 ½ teaspoons table sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon garlic powder and/or dried basil leaves (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more
- ¾ cup warm water (175ml)
- Add half the flour (125-150g) and the dry ingredients (yeast, sugar, salt, garlic powder) in a large bowl.
- Slowly pour in the vegetable oil and warm water and start to mix everything together. You will also have to gradually add the rest of the flour in while you mix to thicken the mixture.
- You may add more flour as needed but don’t add more than 50g of flour or your dough may become very chewy and dense. Keep mixing until the additional flour is fully incorporated.
- At this point, the dough should start to form. The dough will be slightly sticky and will start to pull away from the sides of the bowl as you mix it.
- Get a separate large bowl and grease it well using oil. Rub a bit of flour in your hands and gently lift the dough and place it in the greased bowl. Make sure that the dough sits equally inside the bowl with an even surface. Cover the top with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for about 30-45 minutes.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, gently deflate it using your hands, take it out of the bowl and place it over a lightly flour-dusted work surface. Knead it for about 2-3 minutes until smooth and then let it rest for 10 minutes.
That’s it! This basic dough can be used as a canvas to make any 10-12-inch pizza.
To bake, roll the dough out using a rolling pin, fold the edges to make the crust (boundary), and bake at 425°F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
This recipe can be adjusted as per your requirements too. For example, you can go with sourdough yeast or active dry yeast instead of instant yeast for more flavor and texture in the dough.
You could also use additives like bread improvers or even experiment with the flavorings or flour types as well. All in all, you will not need any eggs to make this pizza dough, and the same applies to many other recipes too.
The Use Of Eggs In Pizzas
As mentioned above, most pizza dough recipes don’t call for eggs but if you do want to add eggs to your pizza dough then we recommend starting with a basic egg wash before the pizza is placed in the oven.
But if you want to go further then you may add eggs to your pizza dough as required.
Plus, adding eggs to the dough may help it rise better!
Eggs are a natural leavening agent that can help the dough rise higher and become more tender thanks to the fats in the egg yolk but in practice, it may also cause the dough to become chewier.
Eggs also contain lecithin which is a natural emulsifier that may help the dough become texturally smooth as well.
Some pizza chefs may not even use a full egg but just a teaspoon or tablespoon of an egg to make their pizza dough a bit crispier and fluffier.
Using full eggs may impart a different flavor and texture to the dough which is why many people avoid it as they deem its use to be simply unnecessary.
However, for people with diet restrictions, eggs may be an integral part of making something like gluten-free dough or a keto pizza that aims for a low-carb dough.
In some regions, particularly in Italy, eggs are used as a topping on the dough as well. For example, a raw or sunny-side-up egg can be added at the center of a pizza to give it an appealing appearance and flavor as well.
Most pizza dough may be free of eggs but that doesn’t mean that manufacturers and chefs will not use this ingredient to make different types of dough or to change the texture of their products.
Here are a few related questions regarding eggs and pizza dough!
Do frozen pizzas contain eggs?
Typically, frozen pizzas will not contain any egg but some manufacturers may use it to help the dough rise while it cooks in the oven.
When in doubt, always check the back of the packaging for more information on allergens and additional ingredients.
Can you add eggs after making the dough?
No, you can not add egg after the dough has been incorporated, kneaded, and risen.
You may, however, use a basic egg wash to coat the edges of your pie to give it a glossy and golden-brown color while baking.
Can only egg white be added to pizza dough to make it crispier?
Yes, egg whites can be added to pizza dough to make it crispier. However, you may have to check different recipes to see how much egg needs to be added to the wet ingredients to make this possible.
Please be careful when using eggs in pizza dough as using too much may result in an undesirable taste and texture.
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