In my previous post, I mentioned making 6 dough balls and only cooking 4 of them for our party. The two dough balls that did not get used were from a batch of dough for which I accidentally omitted the olive oil! In the name of pizza education I decided to cook them and see if I could notice a significant difference.
I have read that olive oil relaxes the gluten and allows you to easier stretch fresh dough. In addition, I read that it can add some flavor depending on the amount. After the dough finished mixing, I noticed it was slightly more dry, but I did not stretch it right away. In fact, the dough was about 48 hours risen by the time I stretched it. This meant that the lack of oil was much less noticeable during the stretch since the dough had risen quite a bit.
I stretched the dough into a 16 inch pizza blank and topped it with cheese, ham, pepperoni and whatever else I could find in the fridge from earlier. After baking, there was no visible difference in the pizza, but the dough felt a bit more crisp. The bit was more crisp as well. I could see how eliminating the oil would be a good way to give a pizza a bit more crunch. I noticed somewhat of a difference in flavor, but the dough was quite far along making it difficult to narrow the difference down to the omission of oil.
Having eaten this pizza, I have decided that I will continue to use oil, but it is nice to know that forgetting the oil is not a deal breaker. I’ll have to experiment with this more later.