Are you wondering if you can eat raw pizza dough? Look, I get it. If you’ve just made a delicious-looking pizza and you’re desperate to try it, it can be tempting to just pull it out of the oven before it’s fully cooked.
Most people assume that eating raw dough isn’t a big deal, and I’ve even known people in the past who have tasted raw pizza dough before rolling it into a pizza base to make sure the flavor is balanced.
But believe me when I say – this is NOT a good idea! This post will breakdown why that is for you, so you remain that little more patient before tasting your next pizza creation!
Answer: No, it is not a good idea, between bacteria and germs, you could find yourself getting very sick if you eat raw pizza dough.
Pizza Dough Is A Raw Product
The clue is sort of in the post’s title, right? But so many people don’t connect those dots with pizza dough. Imagine if the title of my post was ‘Can you eat raw chicken?’ – everybody would know the answer to that without having to read on. But for some reason pizza dough just isn’t treated with the same caution.
I’m not here to scaremonger, but raw pizza dough can actually be dangerous to your health and make you sick pretty fast if you’re not careful. Flour, a key ingredient in pizza dough, is a raw ingredient.
This means that it hasn’t been heated at any point in its development to kill bacteria. E. Coli and other harmful bacteria can thrive in flour packets, and the only way to kill them is with heat. If you don’t cook your pizza dough, then the flour inside it can cause food poisoning, and that’s something you definitely want to avoid!
Another concern is raw eggs, which again, we use in pizza dough. Raw eggs can carry Salmonella, another good friend of food poisoning, and without cooking it thoroughly, you run the risk of this bacteria sticking around in your pizza dough and making you and your guests sick quickly.
CDC Warnings On Raw Dough
Now, if my warning wasn’t enough for you, then maybe the ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ warning will cut it. The CDC has posted online about this very topic under their ‘Basic Food Safety’ tips.
Basic, that means that everybody should know that eating raw dough is potentially very harmful and therefore avoid it altogether. Read more on the CDC’s guidance with eating raw dough here.
When I started writing this post, I said that most people assume raw pizza dough is fine to eat, but the CDC makes it very plain that this should be avoided at all costs.
Even a small taste can be enough to make you sick, so don’t be tempted by the pizza dough before it’s thoroughly cooked. You should also be careful with little ones whilst making homemade pizza, as food poisoning for them will not be pleasant at all.
Remind them that pizza dough shouldn’t be eaten before it is properly cooked, and keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t sneak a taste when you’re not looking.
How Do You Know When Your Pizza Dough Is Ready?
We all know what a cooked pizza looks like, but a pizza that looked cooked has caught me out a few times myself, and when I came to slice it up – the dough was raw but the toppings weren’t – so what exactly should you be looking for to make sure the pizza dough is fully cooked too?
The first thing to do is just eyeball it. I’m guilty of it myself, so I’m not preaching here, but most people will look in the oven, see melted cheese and bubbling sauce, and then think they’re good to go. Whilst you want to see all those things too, of course, you should also focus on the base of your pizza dough. If you can’t see it from inside the oven, then pull it out and look underneath it.
You should see a golden-brown, crispy base. If you’re unsure, then leave it in for 2 or 3 minutes more. Pizza dough typically cooks in the final stages of baking, so don’t worry about your toppings. They shouldn’t burn whilst you wait for your pizza dough to catch up!
The last point I want to make is that if you’re really cautious, you can pre-bake your pizza dough for a short while first to make sure that it’s thoroughly cooked when you come to eat it.
This isn’t strictly necessary, but I can understand why people would be tempted to do so, and it does make for a delicious crispy base. Pre-bake for around 5 minutes if you’re using a hot pizza stone before adding your sauce, cheese, and toppings. If you’re using a pizza oven though, this won’t be necessary as the high temperature will cook your pizza dough in a matter of minutes, and kill any bacteria to boot!