Great uses for pizza dough you never thought of

Listen up, bread lovers (Oprah, this means you, too.)! If you love pizza because carbs are your thing, you ought to know that pizza dough is an indispensable ingredient to have in the kitchen when you want to make any number of doughy treats. Whether you prepare your own from scratch or buy it from the grocery store, pizza dough can be a time-saver at breakfast, at lunch, and at supper—not to mention all those times when you have the munchies. As this type of yeast dough is plain in flavor and incredibly easy to work with regardless of your skill level, it lends itself to transformation as needed. Turn pizza dough into cinnamon rolls if you're hankering for a breakfast pastry or bake crispy crackers if you roll it out thin enough. The sky's the limit, so here are some brilliant ideas to get you going. Make Oprah proud.

Transform pizza dough into scallion pancakes

Pizza dough is remarkably similar to what you would use to make Chinese scallion pancakes. While the former is made with yeast and the latter with baking powder, both possess that certain je ne sais quoi so desirable to many—aka soft, malleable ease and appealing chewiness. If you're feeling inspired to transform your pizza dough into classic scallion pancakes, try out this recipe from Food & Wine. A mixture of scallions and sesame oil combined with the traditional rolling method of coil and roll takes a commonplace ingredient and turns it into something totally different.

Make crackers

As someone who is always searching for new ways to use regular ingredients in my fridge, I can't help but love the idea of turning a lump of prepared pizza dough into lots and lots of crackers. Why not, right? When the urge to snack hits, have this recipe from Circle B Kitchen at the ready. While the recipe cues a pasta roller to get the pizza dough super thin, you can totally get away with an old-fashioned rolling pin and some elbow grease. Get the dough as thin as you can get it, brush it with egg wash, and sprinkle grated cheese and cayenne pepper all over. Cut into triangles, transfer the tray to the oven, and be ready to snack your heart out in about 10 minutes.

Create dinner rolls

Do yourself a huge favor and turn your pizza dough into soft, fluffy dinner rolls ASAP. If you love carby bread products as much as I do, the best way to pay proper tribute to that love is by repurposing one type of dough in as many ways as possible, allowing you to eat bread in varied and numerous ways over a lifetime. Need inspo? Please make this recipe from Shutterbean, as it produces the most delectable garlic butter rolls. Loaded with garlic flavor and cheesy Parmesan goodness, these little guys get baked in a muffin tin for maximum ease. Your kitchen will smell like a bakery in the most fabulous ways imaginable.

Twist some pretzels for snacking

Can't quite make it out the door for your Auntie Anne's fix? No worries. Make your own soft pretzels with little effort when you use prepared pizza dough instead of starting from scratch. Pizza dough is a great substitute when you're short on time plus you still get to give your technically homemade pretzels that famous baking soda bath to achieve the classic chewiness associated with this popular snack. Use this guide from Craftsy to help you reach your pretzel goals. (We all have those, right?) From rolling and shaping to boiling and baking, this step-by-step recipe has you covered.

Breadsticks, anyone?

So you made a pizza and you have some leftover dough. Now what? Fret not, reader. One of the most ingenious ways to use up remaining pizza dough is to turn it into tasty breadsticks the whole family will love. Infinitely adaptable, pizza dough is the perfect base ingredient for this snacky project since you can season it any way your heart desires and produce crispy carb straws in about 15 minutes. Check out this recipe from ABC's The Chew for flavor ideas. From cheesy Italian seasonings and everything bagel flavored spices to sweet cinnamon-sugar, the possibilities are plentiful.

Whip up some pita bread

Pita bread and pizza use almost identical yeast-based dough. As such, you can easily turn your pizza dough into pita bread the next time you're looking to repurpose ingredients into flatbread that works as well for breakfast as it does for your next snack attack. This recipe from Cooking Stuff gives you the lowdown on how to turn one dough into another like magic, but you'll discover you hardly need instructions. Simply roll out circles of dough to about 1/4-inch thickness and bake on a pizza stone or baking sheet at a high temp for a short amount of time. Within minutes the dough will puff up and color to let you know it's ready to eat with hummus, falafel, or your favorite Mediterranean fillings and dips.

Make pull-apart monkey bread

When you feel like making dessert meant for sharing, definitely go for sweet and gooey monkey bread. Balls of sticky dough for pulling apart? Yes, please. Prepared pizza dough is a great substitute for starting sweet yeast dough from scratch, so it's a natural monkey bread ingredient when you want to achieve dessert bliss without breaking a sweat. This recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon makes three petite loaves loaded with cinnamon-sugar glazed generously with vanilla icing. You get to transform savory dough into a sweet treat like a culinary wizard and anyone around to help you pull these sugary pieces apart will be forever grateful for their perfect timing.

Try making doughnuts

In addition to making monkey bread more attainable for all, pizza dough is a great shortcut for preparing a variety of other bready desserts, too. If you've never woken up desperate for doughnuts, I'm not sure we can be friends. Just kidding. Sort of. Well, if you have ever craved doughnuts and need them in a pinch, try turning your pizza dough into delectable fried (or baked) goodness. This recipe from Real Simple is ideal for lovers of classic filled doughnuts. With only pre-made pizza dough, fruit jelly, frying oil, and powdered sugar, you can turn out pro-level doughnuts to impress all your friends and neighbors—or eat them all yourself.

Say yes to cinnamon rolls

Need more sugar in your life? Try turning pizza dough into delectable cinnamon rolls that only look, smell, and taste like they took forever to make. Yeasted cinnamon rolls are soft and chewy like pizza crust, making this leap a more obvious one. This recipe from Mario Batali is all about cutting to the chase, yet the presentation of the buns is just so damn beautiful. Temper your dough and roll it out. Brush the surface with lots of butter and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar all over. Try to get every corner! Roll up the dough tightly and cut into sections and bake. A simple glaze made with powdered sugar and water makes these guys picture-perfect.

Bread pudding is always a splendid idea

Got some leftover pizza dough laying around? Don't let it go to waste. Whip up some easy-peasy bread pudding for a quick breakfast or lunch. Simply cut the pizza dough into roll-sized pieces and bake them until golden. Once they're cool, you can tear them apart into bite-sized pieces and soak them in your favorite eggy custard. Bake and enjoy. Use this recipe from Sweet Fine Day for some inspiration on how to start, but do feel free to add your own bread pudding touches. While this recipe makes a sweet chocolatey one, you may opt for a savory flavor profile if serving as lunch or dinner.

I'll give you a minute to get composed now that you know about some of the dishes you can whip up with your pizza dough. Happy baking!