How Much Gluten Is in Pizza? – You Should Know the Fact

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Over the years, most people have started following gluten-free diets. Some do it because of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, whereas others are convinced it is the better option for their health.

Pizza dough is known to contain gluten-making protein. So, following a controlled diet, you should look into how much gluten is in pizza before indulging.  

About 12% of the flour you use to make your pizza dough is filled with a gluten-making protein. Once you hydrate the dough, mix it, and store it, the gluten formation process starts. A big gluten network is then created in your dough, assisting it in maintaining a proper shape.

Check out our article to learn how to increase or nullify the gluten in your pizza!

How Much Gluten is in Pizza: The Suitable Amount For Pizza?

How Much Gluten is in Pizza

When we think gluten, we turn to flour. However, gluten is not a part of the flour. Instead, the protein content ( glutenin and gliadin) in flour forms gluten when mixed with water.

Therefore, instead of counting gluten in the flour, you need to measure how much gluten-forming protein your flour contains. Well, it may vary depending on the flour you use.

Now, the significance of gluten is much as it helps in the crispiness, stretchiness, springiness, and chewiness of pizzas. In short, gluten ensures your pizza dough’s quality and structure.

A low gluten-forming flour will lead to a less-stretchy dough structure, whereas a high gluten-forming flour makes a stretchy and chewy dough that doesn’t break off easily.

But whatever flour you use, the suitable gluten content in pizza should be 10-12%.

Gluten Content of Pizza Dough

The gluten content of your pizza varies depending on the flour you use to make the dough. There are four common flours that you can use for kneading out your pizza dough.

Flour TypesGluten-Forming Protein Content
All-Purpose Flour9 to 10%
Pizza Flour9 to 15%
White Bread Flour12 to 14%
Tipo 0 and Tipo 00 Flour.10 to 12.5%.

1. All-Purpose Flour

Gluten Content of Pizza Dough

Plain flour or all-purpose flour contains about 9 to 10% protein which can initiate the gluten-networking process. However, the protein works rather slowly, preventing sufficient nutrients from forming in your pizza within a short period.

The pizza dough made with plain flour will, thus, have a poor gluten network, preventing the crust from being chewy. So most pizzerias try to avoid using all-purpose flour to make pizza.

2. Pizza Flour

A pizza flour’s gluten content will fall somewhere between 9 to 15%, causing it to be relatively high in protein. Those with higher gluten content can produce a tighter dough that can retain its shape easily and form a chewy pizza crust.

In contrast, the ones with 9% gluten content have lower strength, causing the dough to be soft and fluffy. An airy pizza base is created when this low-protein flour is used.

3. Strong White Bread Flour

Strong white bread flour is used for baking sourdough and other similar goodies. It has a 12 to 14% protein content that gives the pizza a firm base and high gluten levels.

It also indicates that after baking, the crust of your pizza will have a slightly rubbery texture – a feature that many people do not appreciate.

4. Tipo 0 and Tipo 00 Flour

The famous Italian Neapolitan pizza is often prepared using Tipo 0 or Tipo 00 flours since they create the perfect texture. 12.5% of the mass contains gluten-making protein, which gets activated upon the addition of water and some good hand tossing.

Upon baking, the dough creates a thin and crispy crust that holds your pizza toppings perfectly.

Ways to Develop Gluten in Pizza

Ways to Develop Gluten in Pizza

The formation of gluten in pizza requires the correct handling of protein content. It means there should be a proper mixing of flour with water, kneading, and duration for autolyze.

1. Hydration

gluten structure formation must be initiated by adding water or milk to your dough. Remember to create a perfect ratio to get the perfect dough.

Usually, it’s 60% hydration. However, add more water to the dough if you want a more crispy and thinner crust.

2. Autolyse

After hydrating, let the dough sit on your countertop for 15 to 20 minutes. By this time, your gluten can get completely hydrated. It will also break down the starches into sugar fermented with yeast later.

After autolyzing, add other ingredients and go for kneading.

3. Kneading

Who doesn’t like a light, fluffy consistency of pizza? However, to get it, the pizza dough needs enough kneading.

Well, the more you knead, the stronger the gluten network is formed, trapping CO2 in them. Thus you have a perfectly shaped and structured pizza.

4. Final Proofing

This is the longest step to preparing your pizza dough.

Let your kneaded dough rest at room temperature for at least 1 to 24 hours. It allows the gluten to form walls properly and hold the dough’s shape.

How To Check the Gluten Development In Pizza Dough?

How To Check the Gluten Development In Pizza Dough

Did enough gluten form in the pizza dough? How to tell it?

Well, two ways can help you determine the development of gluten formation in your pizza dough.

1. Poke The Dough

Have you ever poked the pizza dough? If you haven’t, it’s time to poke it.

To determine if the gluten formation is enough, poke the pizza dough with your index finger. If it springs back, your dough has good gluten.

2. Stretch The Dough

This method is called The Windowpane Test, where you stretch a small portion of dough thin as paper.

The gluten is perfect if the dough stretches without tearing. However, if it breaks off, your dough needs more gluten development.

Does Gluten Increase Calories In Pizza?

Many people believe that gluten intake equals weight gain. However, gluten does not relate to your pizza’s calorie count, so it cannot increase your body’s fat.

Given below are the calorie content of some pizzas:

Type of PizzaCalorie Count
Neapolitan Pizza Calories400 – 800 calories
Pepperoni Pizza494 calories
New York Style Pizza270 calories
Margherita Pizza1200 calories
Thin Crust Pizza252 calories
New Havens Style Pizza.230 calories.

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

Gluten is not beneficial for the body as it contains no helpful nutrients. So, ingesting it is not necessarily doing our body any favor. Moreover, it can be harmful and uncomfortable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

However, a crucial ingredient in pizza makes the dough chewy and tasteful. So, should people with gluten intolerance ditch pizzas completely?

Nope! Let me introduce you to the miracle that is gluten-free pizza.

You can use gluten-free substitutes like rice flour, corn flour, brown rice flour, and almond flour. Many chefs also use potato and tapioca starch to create their desired results.

Nevertheless, such a pizza does not taste similar to your regular pizzas. The lack of a gluten network in the dough forms a crust that is not chewy in the slightest. Making these pizzas can also be challenging because of the inelasticity of the dough.

Ways To Weaken Gluten In Pizza Dough?

If you are someone who cannot eat gluten, it may become hard for you to enjoy pizza if it’s not gluten-free. So what do you do if you want to make it at home but don’t have gluten-free dough?

There is a way to weaken gluten in pizza dough. The process uses fats such as butter and oil to slow the gluten-forming process. It is done by coating the protein shards using the fat.

But it will not make the pizza gluten-free, but it surely weakens the gluten.

What Are Some Gluten-Free Frozen Pizzas?

What Are Some Gluten-Free Frozen Pizzas

You will find several gluten-free pizza options when it comes to frozen pizza. Several brands specialize in providing gluten-free pizza and other products.

Here are 3 pizzas we suggest and recommend.

1) Against the Grain Gourmet Gluten-Free Pizza

This brand makes 10 and 12-inch pizzas filled with cheese, jalapeno, bacon, onion, pepperoni, etc. They are filled with delight while being gluten-free. One of the best options available.

2) Banza Gluten-Free Frozen Pizza

The brand Banza sells FDA-approved gluten-free frozen pizza. They are known for their signature crust made with chickpeas and have 4 flavors, including 3 kinds of cheese – plant-based cheese, supreme cheese, Margherita, and roasted veggie.

3) California Pizza Kitchen Gluten-Free Frozen Pizza

The last frozen pizza brand we suggest is California Pizza Kitchen. They are one of the few brands that provide fresh and frozen gluten-free pizza. That comes in 5 delicious and meaty variations, such as BBQ chicken, uncured pepperoni, uncured pepperoni with mushroom and sausage, Margherita, and artisanal cheese.


  • Is there a lot of gluten in pizza?

Pizzas tend to have a high gluten content and can be dangerous for people with celiac disease. The gluten is primarily found in the pizza crust, whose dough is made out of wheat flour.

  • Does the pizza have more gluten than bread?

Pizza has a comparatively higher gluten content in comparison to bread. The pizza dough must be kneaded, tossed, and stretched to create a nice chewy crust. So, it needs more gluten to hold its shape. However, it’s not essential for bread which should be light and airy.

  • Can you tell the difference between gluten-free pizza?

Gluten-free pizzas taste different since they are not as chewy as wheat-based pizza dough. However, many gluten substitutes like beans and eggs are available that can be added to the dough. They can create a crust similar to that of a regular pizza.

  • How many calories are in a 12-inch Neapolitan pizza?

A Neapolitan pizza can have around 1200 calories per 522-gram serving. About 37% of these calories are owing to the high-fat content of your pizza. The rest is due to carbohydrates (123 g) and protein.

Final Words

How much gluten is in pizza?

To be honest, quite a lot. The pizza’s crust requires a chewy texture which can only be achieved by using highly glutinous wheat flour.

If you are on a gluten-free diet, you need not shy away! However, these days, many places make gluten-free pizza that tastes almost identical to the regular one. All you will have to do is pay a slightly larger amount for it since gluten-free substitutes are relatively expensive.