Understanding the Role of Salt in Pizza. (Here’s What You Need to Know)

What Does Salt Do in Pizza Dough?

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Salt in Pizza Dough

In this article, we will discuss the role of salt in pizza dough, and discover four (4) basic rules applicable to salt, that are easy to remember that will make you a better homemade pizza baker.  

Making homemade pizza is not complicated; see how you can do wonders with just a few ingredients like flour, water, yeast, and salt.

Let’s see what salt on pizza can do.

Why Do We Need to Put Salt in Pizza Dough?

The first reason we put salt in pizza dough is flavor, because who wants to eat a bland crust? The role of salt in pizza is to magnify the taste of everything, making them taste a lot better.

Salt adds a lot more to the pizza-making process than just flavor. It performs a variety of roles, including but not limited to the power of unity.  

This powerful ingredient has a direct and sometimes controversial relationship with yeast. It’s like a loving couple always fighting, but their love is so strong they can’t be apart.

Enough of love stories. Let’s get back to salt!

Pro Tip


When using salt, always consider the salt content in the pizza’s toppings, and balance the saltiness of the overall baked pizza.

Role of Salt in Pizza Dough:

  • When salt is combined with the flour, yeast, and water mixture, the role of salt in pizza is to help strengthen the gluten network, making the dough more robust and elastic.
  • The unification is so durable that it helps to maintain the growth of bacteria resulting in its beautiful end color.
  • Salt also acts as a preservative and keeps the dough from oxidizing and discoloring.
  • Controlling the salt can reduce the risk of having a “blown” or over-fermented dough.
  • Salt slows fermentation because it causes yeast cells to release some of their moisture, which makes them less active.
  • The most crucial role of salt in pizza dough is that it improves the overall texture of the dough because it gives a drier feel or less stickiness with dramatic elasticity.

Do You Have to Put Salt in Pizza Dough?

Not at all! It’s entirely up to you. Salt isn’t necessarily essential, although it can help in gluten formation. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but the pizza dough will not taste or perform the same without salt.

Does Salt Kill Yeast in Pizza Dough?

Salt slows down the yeast and can kill the yeast altogether. You don’t want the yeast to work too fast because it won’t get as much flavor.  

Pizza Pun


How Do You Fix A Broken Pizza?

With Tomato Paste

What Kind of Salt Should You Use for Pizza Dough?

You should always use fine sea salt on your pizza dough. Its fine grind is essential for making doughs because it dissolves and disperses more quickly and evenly in water and the mixture than coarse sea salt or kosher salt.  

Fine sea salt has the advantage that it disperses better, and it’s easy to measure in small amounts.  

Fine Sea salt contains more minerals than kosher or table salt.

The flour’s sodium interacts with gluten proteins, causing the gluten to contract.

Additional minerals like calcium and magnesium help tighten the gluten network even more with sea salt. More minerals = healthy dough.

Which Salt Should You NOT Use for Homemade Pizza?

It is recommended that you do not use iodized salt. Iodized table salt has a bitter iodine chemical taste.

Using Salt as a Finishing Ingredient

People always say that you eat with your eyes first. We think that’s true. Using salt as a finishing touch on your pizza makes it more presentable and appealing, primarily if you use colored salt.

There is a variety of finishing salts that you can use with various textures and flavors. One of our favorites is the Black Salt from Hawaii and Maldon Sea Salt.

In this case, the role of salt is to enhance the beauty of your pizza with big flakes that are highly noticeable when used as a finishing touch.  

Another favorite is Jacobsen Salt, which specializes in hand-harvested salt from Netarts Bay, Oregon. This salt has a beautiful texture and appearance with a clean taste.

Best Salt for Pizza Dough

Here’s the salt we use and recommend. We love the Celtic Find Sea Salt because t’s all-natural, with no additives or processing beyond low-temperature drying and grinding.

Additionally, it’s a nutritious choice you can feel great about.

This salt is more nutritious than table salt because it retains the natural balance and spectrum of essential minerals. A sprinkle of this sea salt is a healthy addition to any dish or recipe!

This salt is also non-GMO Verified, certified Kosher, lower in sodium than table salt, and paleo-friendly. 

Fine Ground Celtic Sea Salt
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Do You Have to Weigh Salt for Pizza Dough?

It’s better to weigh salt than measure it because different crystal sizes can give you different results when measuring by volume.  

Role of Salt in Pizza Dough

How Much Salt in Pizza Dough

How Much Salt Do You Put in Pizza Dough?

There is no exact amount of salt to use to make great pizza dough, it’s all going to depend on your taste.

However, the guides from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napolitana recommend that you should not use more than 3% of the total flour.

Too much salt slows the rate of fermentation, you run the risk of killing the yeast and creating a tight dough that will be extremely difficult to handle, and it will not rise. 

Pizza Dough Salt Percentage

Your salt content should not exceed 3% of your total flour content. You can add more or less if you want. However, more salt will affect the fermentation process as it will take longer, and excess salt can kill the yeast.

On the other hand, less salt may result in a bland crust. The pizza crust must be flavorful, so your salt content will directly impact flavor.

Here’s how much salt you should use for pizza dough in grams:

Amount of Salt per Grams of Flour

Flour(g)Salt(g)
200g6g
300g9g
400g12g
500g15g

If you don’t have a scale, you can use 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour. Here are the amounts of salt in your pizza dough:

Amount of Salt per Cup of Flour

Flour (Cups) Salt (Teaspoons)
1 Cup1/2 tsp
2 Cups1 tsp
3 Cups1 1/2 tsp
4 Cups2 tsp

When adding salt to your dough, you need to consider the salt content in the pizza’s toppings and balance their saltiness on the baked pizza.

Most of the salt on the pizza will be in the cheese and toppings, primarily if you use cured meats like salami or pepperoni.

What Happens If You Don’t Put Salt in Pizza Dough?

Without salt or too little salt, the finished dough will lack overall flavor, characterized by a somewhat starchy taste. 

How Do You Add Salt to Pizza Dough?​

Salt should always be the last ingredient in the flour, water, yeast, and salt you combine. Not following the correct order may result in a slower or non-existent fermentation process. 

Order of Ingredients

Here is where the four rules come into play.

Salt Rules: The Do’s and Don’ts of Salt in Pizza Dough

So, when handling salt, you should follow these rules:

  • Follow the correct order of ingredients
  • Don’t use more than 3% of the total flour
  • Don’t allow the salt to come in direct contact with the yeast
  • Don’t use Iodine Salt

By following these rules, you will enable the yeast to do its thing and have great results every time.

How Do You Remove Excess Salt from Pizza Dough?

You can’t remove the salt once you mix it with the rest of the ingredients. However, you can add more flour and water to your dough and mix for 2-3 minutes.

The extra mixture will absorb the excess salt. You will have more pizza dough for more pizzas!

Here are the Salts the PROs of Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

Jacobsen Salt Co. Specialty Sea Salt
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Black Lava Hawaiian Sea Salt
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Our Top Pick
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
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Is there a Salt Substitute for Pizza?

The role of salt in the pizza dough-making process is essential to the texture, taste, and overall performance of the pizza dough and the finished crust.

The finished crust will be flat without salt and have a bland flavor. Also, the fast fermentation process will cause the dough to rise quickly.

There are various ways to reduce the amount of salt in your dough. One method is to reduce the amount of salt added to the mixture.  

If you want to reduce the amount of sodium, there are various products you can use that contain a lower percentage of sodium than fine sea salt.

Some of these products include the following:

  • Morton’s reduced-sodium salt
  • Mrs. Dash
  • No Salt Original

Check Salt Substitutes

NoSalt Original
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NU-SALT Substitute
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Our Pick
Morton Salt Substitute
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How Do You Fix Salty Pizza Dough?

As you can see, the role of salt in pizza dough is super powerful. When making pizza, the same cooking principle applies. You can always add it, but you can’t take it out. So, if you use too much salt in your dough, the results might not be the expected.

The crust will probably be flat. Don’t discard this dough mixture; you can do so many other things with it. 

For example, you make an artisan flatbread, deviating the crust’s attention to the spectacular toppings. Dress it up, and you can still be the best pizza maker.  

The Last Slice

As you can see, making pizza at home is not complicated. Now that you know what the role of salt in pizza dough is, you must pay attention to the relationship between the main four ingredients – as in life – everything is related to everything else.

Just keep this one basic principle in mind: Slow is the secret! Long, slow rising gives everything more time to develop deeper, fuller, more complex flavors. With time comes flavor.

So, how do you handle your salt? How much salt and which kind of salt do you use?  Let us know; we would love to know.

Check Amazon’s Pizza Making Must-Haves

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Antimo Caputo "00" Chefs Flour (Red)
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