What’s The Effect of Adding Salt to Pizza Dough?

Adding salt to pizza dough strengthens the gluten, which causes the dough to become stretchier. Therefore it’s less sticky and easier to work with. Using salt will also slow the fermentation process, which means that the dough will taste better in the long run. 

Let’s elaborate.

Gluten is found in wheat flour. It is essentially a bunch of proteins that help hold the dough together and create its elasticity. The more salt added to the dough, the stronger the gluten will be, and therefore the stronger and stretchier the dough will end up.

Salt also slows down the fermentation time because it makes the yeast in the dough less active. Meaning the dough takes longer to proof, which may seem like a bad thing, but it is good if you want a nice pillowy and flavorful dough. 

Generally, it’s good to let pizza dough rise for 8-24 hours, and you can control how long it takes with the amount of salt you add. 

Not only does salt slow down fermentation, but controlling your amount of salt can prevent the dough from over fermenting and becoming unusable. Salt is also a preservative that keeps the dough from discoloring or going bad. 

Do you have to use salt in pizza dough?

Pizza Dough

It’s not completely necessary to put salt in pizza dough. However, if you don’t use salt, it will probably not cook like a traditional pizza. The texture may be stickier, the flavor not as bold, and when you prepare the pizza, it might be hard to stretch the crust without it breaking. 

Though it is entirely your decision, adding salt to pizza dough is your best bet if you aim for a more traditional crust. If you don’t care about it being perfect and want something that will work for a pizza, adding salt is not essential, and you could go without it. 

If you don’t add salt, make sure you let the dough rise. Letting the dough ferment is critical in getting good flavors, and it is just as important whether you are using salt or not. Also, let the dough ferment in a cold place. As “salt” does, the cold will slow down the yeast and help the dough ferment properly.

We, of course, do not recommend leaving salt out!

How do you know what kind of salt to use in pizza dough?

The type of salt you use in your pizza dough isn’t a super big deal since all salt will do the same job. However, we recommend using finely ground sea salt because it’s easier to get an exact measurement with it. In addition, it will dissolve into the dough better.

Finely ground sea salt will also have more minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. With these minerals working alongside the sodium, the effect of the salt will be even stronger when reacting with the gluten, and the dough will turn out even better. 

Pizza Dough Stretching

How much salt should you put in your pizza dough?

When adding salt to pizza dough, the easiest route is just to follow a recipe. This way, you will use the exact amount recommended and not have to worry too much about if it’s right. 

However, recipes may use baker percentages such as 3% salt. If that’s the case, you measure out 3% of salt compared to the amount of flour in the recipe.

Keep in mind that when adding salt to your pizza dough, it’s best to use a micro-scale because it is the most accurate measurement form. If you try to use teaspoons or tablespoons, it will be harder to get an exact measurement and result in a bad batch of dough.

There are also things you should consider when adding salt to your dough. For example, if it will be fermenting in a colder area for a more extended time, you may need to add less salt.

Also, if your Fermenting place is in a hot or humid area, you may want to add more salt. 

The Key is that when you are making dough, we always advise being consistent with the proofing area. This way, you know how your dough will ferment over your chosen proofing time, the temperature of the place, and the amount of salt used.

Practice and adjust to suit!


Salt is an essential ingredient that can make pizza dough more flavorful and easier to work with. In addition, salt will slow down fermentation and keep the dough elastic. Using salt is a great way to achieve a traditional pizza dough with a nice golden crust. 

Overall, it takes some work to ensure you are using the right amount of salt in your pizza dough. Start with 3% and adjust to suit. It may take a couple of tries to get that perfect salt to the flour ratio, but in the end, it will be plenty worth it!