Pizza dough forms the chewy, crispy foundation that great pizza is built on. But for those with dietary restrictions, one key question is – does pizza dough have eggs in it?
The answer depends on the specific recipe. Let’s explore the role eggs play in dough and egg-free options.
The Purpose of Eggs in Pizza Dough
Traditionally, eggs are not a main pizza dough ingredient. But some recipes do use eggs for specific benefits:
Eggs give pizza dough a softer texture and richer flavor. The fat emulsifies the proteins in the dough, resulting in a less tough chew.
The proteins and fat in eggs promote more Maillard browning during baking for a browned, flavorful crust.
Eggs act as a binder that holds wet and dry ingredients together for a cohesive dough that’s easier to shape.
Eggs can provide extra lift to the dough since the whites incorporate air similar to leavening agents.
In addition to texture, eggs provide more protein, vitamins, and minerals to enrich the nutrition of the crust.
So while not mandatory, eggs offer advantages to the dough when included. But there are plenty of traditional recipes that don’t contain eggs.
Classic Pizza Dough Ingredients
At its core, basic pizza dough contains:
- Flour – Bread flour or 00 flour provide enough gluten for chewy structure.
- Water – Hydrates the flour proteins to develop the dough. Use warm water to aid yeast.
- Yeast – Leavens the dough for air pockets that prevent dense crust.
- Salt – Essential for flavor enhancement and slowing fermentation.
- Oil – Tablespoon or two of olive or vegetable oil to add pliability.
So in traditional recipes, eggs are noticeably absent from the list. But they can augment the standard ingredients in some recipes.
Egg-Free Pizza Dough Recipes
Many pizzerias and home cooks opt to make dough without eggs for simplicity or dietary needs. Here are some easy eggless recipes:
Basic 4 Ingredient Dough
The simplest formula uses just flour, yeast, salt and water. It makes chewy, lightly-textured Neapolitan-style crust.
Straight Dough with Oil
Replace the egg with a bit of olive oil for added moisture and richness without eggs. Increase yeast slightly.
Use milk instead of water for a tender, mellow flavor and pale crust. Scald the milk first to activate proteins.
This Asian water roux method gelatinizes some flour in hot water/milk for extra moisture without eggs.
Veggie or Fruit Puree
Swap the egg for an equal amount of pureed cooked veggies like pumpkin, sweet potato or butternut squash. Or use fruit like banana.
Incorporate a touch more oil or soft butter to replicate the moisture eggs provide.
So you have ample tasty egg-free options for pizza dough recipes, whether for preference or allergy needs.
Tips for Eggless Pizza Dough
When making dough without eggs, employ these techniques for great results:
- Use bread flour for more gluten structure since eggs won’t be binding the dough. Or try “00” pizza flour.
- Knead the dough well to develop the gluten fully in place of eggs.
- Allow for long, slow proofing time to ferment flavors without eggs.
- Add a bit more yeast to give a lift, since eggs provide leavening too.
- Use milk instead of water for extra fat and protein.
- Incorporate a small amount of oil, butter or purees to add moisture and richness.
- Try the tangzhong water roux method for ultra moist dough without eggs.
- Shape dough gently without overworking to prevent denseness.
With practice and observation, you can create bakery-quality egg-free pizza dough!
Preparing Eggless Dough for Baking
Once your eggless dough is made, properly preparing it before baking is key:
Allow the dough ball to slowly proof/rise until doubled in size. This develops the flavor.
Avoid kneading dough again. Simply divide into balls and press out gently to shape.
Add Toppings Lightly
Don’t overload eggless dough with toppings or it may get dense during baking.
Preheat Oven Fully
Give your oven plenty of time to reach the desired high temp, at least 500°F if possible.
Use a Pizza Stone
The hot stone prevents dough from sticking and crisps the bottom beautifully.
Turn the pizza every few minutes for even cooking. Eggless dough is prone to hot spots.
With care in shaping and baking, egg-free crust will turn out fantastic!
Store Bought Eggless Pizza Dough
If you don’t have time to prepare dough from scratch, you can purchase ready-to-use eggless dough:
- Trader Joe’s Organic Pizza Dough (just flour, yeast, water and salt)
- Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Dough Mix plus water (contains milk and soy)
- King Arthur Gluten Free Pizza Dough (made with tapioca and rice flours)
- Calise & Son Bakery Pizza Dough (classic dough with no eggs)
- Whole Foods 365 Organic Pizza Dough (vegan friendly ingredients)
- Tribe Hummus Pizza Crusts (vegan and gluten free)
Always check labels carefully for any egg white or yolk ingredients. Many brands offer egg-free options.
With some diligent label reading, you can find tasty ready-made store bought doughs with no eggs included!
FAQ on Pizza Dough and Eggs
Does traditional pizza dough contain eggs?
Traditionally, basic pizza dough does not contain eggs. The simplest recipes use just flour, yeast, salt and water. Eggs may be included in some enriched recipes.
What do eggs do in pizza dough?
Eggs enhance the texture, browning, binding, leavening and nutrition in dough. But they are not required to make great homemade pizza crust.
How do you make pizza dough without eggs?
Use bread flour for structure, increase yeast slightly, knead thoroughly, proof fully, add oil for richness and moisture, and handle the dough gently when shaping.
What can be used to replace eggs in pizza dough?
Dairy like milk or yogurt, oil, pureed fruits or vegetables, and small amounts of butter or cream cheese can replicate eggs’ effects in dough.
Do pizza places use egg in their dough?
Some pizzerias do include eggs in dough recipes. But many use simple eggless dough for cost and dietary reasons. Check with your local shops on ingredients if concerned.
What ready-made pizza doughs don’t contain eggs?
Brands like Trader Joe’s, Bob’s Red Mill, Tribe, Whole Foods 365 and King Arthur offer eggless prepared pizza dough options in stores. Always read labels carefully.