If you compared the ingredient list for refrigerated pizza dough and many breads, such as French bread, you'd find they contain almost exactly the same items. Hence, you absolutely can use refrigerated pizza dough to make bread. When you first remove it from the refrigerator, it might feel dry and tough to work with. Let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes or rise for up to 1 hour. Soon, it should be soft and pliable. Mold it into whatever shape you like and bake.
The Ingredient List
Most store-bought refrigerated pizza dough is a yeast dough that's similar to French bread dough. These doughs are known as lean doughs, because they typically contain yeast, water, flour, seasonings and oil, but don't contain eggs or butter. Use refrigerated pizza dough to make French bread or a rustic artisan bread. Some refrigerated pizza doughs contain baking powder rather than yeast. These doughs can make bread, but the bread will be similar to biscuits rather than a yeast bread.
Depending on the dough, you may not need to let the dough rise before you bake it. But if the dough contains yeast, letting it rise will create a lighter, more flavorful loaf. Spray a bowl with non-stick cooking spray or grease the bowl with a bit of oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with a clean towel. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it almost doubles. Stick a clean finger in the dough. The dough is done when an imprint remains. At this point, punch it down, shape it into loaves and let it rise again a bit. Shape the dough into rustic loaves or place it in greased bread pans.
Baking the Dough
When the dough finishing rising, bake it just as you would regular bread dough. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Much of a bread's rise occurs in the first few minutes after it's in the oven, so it's important to put it in a hot oven. Bake the bread until it's golden brown. If you tap it, you may hear a hollow sound. Or, for the most accurate results, stick a thermometer in the center of the loaf. It's done when it registers about 195 to 200 F. Allow the bread to cool for at least 20 to 30 minutes before you slice it.
Refrigerated pizza dough is an incredibly versatile product. In addition to regular French bread or loaf bread, try flattening it and topping it with melted butter, garlic, Parmesan cheese and herbs for a quick focaccia bread. Slice the dough into thin strips for bread sticks or roll the dough out and slather it with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Roll the dough up and slice it to make cinnamon rolls.
- Pillsbury: Artisan Pizza Crust
- Serious Eats: Taste Test -- Whole Foods DIY Pizza Ingredients
- Red Star Yeast: Postpone Baking
- The Art & Soul of Baking; Cindy Mushet
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