Olive oil comes from olives and has healthy fats, similar to avocados. Olive oil is a key player in the Mediterranean diet due to its immense health benefits. Every kitchen should have a bottle of olive oil. It is one of the healthiest oils for cooking and has a great flavor.
We use it to make salad dressing and dipping sauces. One of our favorite quick appetizers is to dip chunks of sourdough bread in a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with some pepper and spice. And, of course, we use the best olive oil for homemade pizza. Trust us, we’ve tried them all.
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There are different types of olive oil available, and some are better than others. So let’s take a deep dive and look at the best olive oil for homemade pizza.
What is Olive Oil?
Olive oil has been around for a long time. Like a very long time. People have been using it since ancient times. It has been a culinary staple across cultures and cuisines and even has some medical properties.
It is considered the healthiest oil for cooking and is full of polyphenol compounds, which have antioxidant properties and are connected to reduced inflammation, a healthy cardiovascular system, and a healthy gut.
The Four Types of Olive Oil
There are four types of olive oils, but only three are regularly found in your local supermarkets. If you want all original types, you’ll probably have to travel outside the USA.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or EVOO
This is the best olive oil available. It is unrefined and cold-extracted and can be greenish or golden in color. It smells like fresh grass with earthy, fruity undertones. If you find yourself somewhere where they make olive oil, you may notice that early in the harvest, it has a strong peppery fresh flavor. EVOO is the healthiest of olive oils.
And saying all that, EVOO is the best of the olive oils for homemade pizza. It is perfect as a dipping or finishing oil and is best used fresh. All good salad dressings start with EVOO.
Virgin Olive Oil
This olive oil is actually really difficult to find. It is similar to EVOO but has some minor flavor defects. But it has all of the same health benefits as EVOO. We only mention it because it does exist, but you won’t find it in many stores in the U.S. It is more common in other parts of the world.
Pure Olive Oil
Pure olive oil, sometimes labeled as regular olive oil, is a mix of refined olive oil and 15%-25% virgin olive oil. The refined oil component is treated with some heat and chemicals to remove flavor defects. The heat and the processes affect the health benefits, and this oil is not as healthy as the first two.
But it is affordable and has a smoke point of 470º F, so it has more uses, including light frying, sauté-ing, and baking. Regular olive oil is also good for the skin. Rub it on your skin like lotion, or do a deep conditioning treatment on your hair.
Light Olive Oil
Light olive oil, which is often labeled as extra light olive oil, is a mix of refined olive oil and 5%-10% virgin olive oil. This oil doesn’t have as many health benefits as the others and has a neutral flavor with a smoke point of 470º F.
How to Use Olive Oil on Homemade Pizza
We use olive oil in three ways when making homemade pizza. The first is in the dough. After we have mixed the dough, we coat the dough in olive oil and then cover it to let it rise. This is the bulk rise where it should double in size. Basically, the olive oil keeps it moist so it can expand. If you don’t add any, the dough becomes dry, and the rising process will crack the skin.
The second way we use olive oil in homemade pizza is to par-bake the crust. We spread the dough out. If we make a thin crust, we use a rolling pin, but if we are making a medium or thicker crust, we just use our hands.
Then when the dough is on the pizza stone, we brush on a layer of olive oil and par-bake the pizza for about three to five minutes. Then, remove it and add the sauce and toppings and bake for another five minutes.
The third way we use olive oil in homemade pizza is as a dipping sauce or drizzle on top of a cooked pizza before serving.
Best Olive Oils for Homemade Pizza
Olive oil ranges in price and quality. Here are a few of the best olive oils for homemade pizza at various prices to fit everyone’s budget:
$33.00-ish for 16.9 oz.
This EVOO comes from the Italian region of Puglia. It is a little more expensive than some, but the taste is worth it.
$32.99-ish for 16.9 oz.
Recognized worldwide, this Italian olive oil has won several awards, and it’s easy to see why; it is simply perfect.
$26.95-ish for 16.9 oz.
This Greek olive oil is considered one of the best in the world.
$21.99-ish for 16.9 oz.
This Sicilian olive oil has a lovely earthy flavor that shines when drizzled on pizza.
$19.99-ish for 16.9 oz.
This is a quality olive oil from Spain at a reasonable price.
$14.99-ish for 16.9 oz.
Olive oil should be for everyone, and this olive oil has great flavor at an even better price.
$14.90-ish for 16.9 oz.
This Spanish olive oil has a unique presentation and a bold peppery taste.
What Are Flavored Olive Oils?
If you are looking for something extra, then flavored olive oil is for you. Flavored olive oil is oil that has been infused with herbs and spices. Some pizzerias will have regular olive oil on the table and spiced olive oil with red pepper flakes or chilies inside.
The combinations of flavors for olive oil are only limited by the imagination because there are so many different combos. We use a rosemary-infused olive oil that is perfect for potatoes and steak. And our basil-infused olive oil is a great base for homemade salad dressings.
And for pizza, we love garlic-infused olive oil. If you are new to flavored olive oils, try this sampler pack with four flavors and a great introduction to flavored olive oil.
What is your favorite way to use olive oil on Homemade pizza?