Theresa and I both like to make pizza, and we each have a go-to homemade dough that we like to use. Funnily enough, both of our recipes come from our dads. Theresa’s dad’s dough is a slow-rise dough that bakes up fairly thin. My dad’s dough is a quick-rise dough that bakes up a bit puffier.
I have always liked the ease of my dad’s fast-rise dough. I can mix up the dough, let it rest for 15 minutes while the oven preheats, quickly pat out the dough and assemble the pizza, and after 15 or so minutes in the oven, sit down to pizza dinner with my family – all in less than an hour. Delivery isn’t usually that fast!
Theresa likes her dough because it can be prepared ahead of time and does not need last-minute prep in the “witching hour” before dinnertime. She also prefers the flavor and chewiness from the bread flour based dough.
Over the holidays, we gathered our extended family together for that most cherished of holiday meals: the pizza crust showdown! Our panel of testers sampled both kinds of pizza and were kind enough to share some thoughts with us.
Some tasters preferred the slow-rise dough because of its softer, thinner crust. They referred to the fact that the crust wouldn’t fill you up too much. They also liked that you got more sauce, cheese, and toppings in each bite.
Some tasters preferred the slightly thicker fast-rise crust because of its crispier crust and airy crumb. One taster liked that the crust was thick, but not dense, so it didn’t fill you up as much as most thick-crust pizzas.
The verdict: These pizza crusts were surprisingly similar, given the difference in how they were made. In the end, the fast-rise crust edged out the slow-rise crust by a few votes. But, as we noted while we watched the votes roll in, there was a definite split along party lines: those who grew up eating a softer, thinner crust preferred the slow-rise crust, and those who grew up eating a thicker, crispier crust preferred the fast-rise crust. Don’t worry, readers: you can have both recipes. Try them at your house, next time you have pizza night – and let us know how you vote!