How To Stretch Pizza Dough? The most important piece of advice I can give for stretching out pizza dough is to make sure it’s warm enough. If you make your pizza dough the night before and refrigerate it, it will be cool when you take it out to cook pizza.
It will be as immobile as a bear in hibernation, so it must be warmed. It will not respond well to stretching attempts until it reaches room temperature.
Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until it is warm enough to be worked with.
How To Stretch Pizza Dough?
Stretching pizza dough may appear and even sound difficult. To be honest, it’s not the most difficult part of making homemade pizza. However, with a little patience and effort, you can stretch pizza dough and create delicious, perfectly-crusted dough in no time.
Step 1: Start By Bringing Your Dough to Room Temp
If your pizza dough is too cold, it will not stretch. This is due to the gluten network (which is responsible for raising and creating your dough) tightening up when exposed to cold air, such as that found in the refrigerator.
Take your dough out of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before stretching it. If your dough is frozen, it may take closer to an hour to thaw the pizza dough. You can also thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then take it out 30 minutes before stretching.
If your dough was not chilled or frozen, you can begin working on it once it has risen. Most pizza doughs require a few hours to rise.
Step 2: Oil Your Workspace
Following that, you should oil your workspace and hands. Oil will keep things from sticking. It will also give your pizza dough a more robust flavor, which we can all agree is a definite plus.
You can substitute flour if desired. Just remember that too much flour on your workspace can equal too much flour in your dough. A dense and tough dough can result from over-flouring. Use only a little flour.
Step 3: Push the Dough Down
I prefer not to begin with a large ball of pizza dough. Before I begin working with my pizza dough, I want it to have the desired circular shape of a pizza. So I press the dough down with the palm of my hand.
Then I’ll gently move the dough around in a circular motion with my three middle fingers until it resembles a small disc. A little snapback is acceptable at this point, but if it’s completely rigid, let it rest for ten minutes more.
Step 4: Use the “DJ” Method
When you’re happy with the look and feel of your dough, you can start the “DJ” method. The DJ method is so named because you’ll be spinning your dough around like you’re in a DJ booth.
Simply place your palms in the center of your dough to perform the DJ method. Then, as you spin your pizza dough, extend your hands outwards. Here’s a great video that demonstrates the pushdown and DJ method.
Step 5: Stretch it Out with Gravity
This is probably my favorite part of the pizza dough-making process! To give your pizza dough a good stretch, pick it up using only one side. Allow the remaining pizza dough to dangle in front of you (thanks, gravity!).
When you’re happy with the length, pinch the edges (to form the crust) and rotate it. As you spin the pizza dough, continue pinching the ends. Slow down and let gravity do its thing. This video will be useful if you are a visual learner.
Step 6: Polish it Up
At this point, your pizza dough should be as thin or as thick as you prefer. If you see any small cracks in the dough, fold it over gently to seal it. You can also customize the crust to your liking.
Some Pointers on Stretching Pizza Dough
See? Stretching pizza dough is not difficult. But here are a few more pointers to help you succeed.
- No rolling pins are permitted. Rolling pins will remove the necessary gasses for a light, airy, and beautiful crust, leaving you with a dense, tough, and unappealing nightmare. Never stretch pizza dough with a rolling pin!
- Use no scented moisturizers or soaps. You’ll be stretching your dough with your hands a lot. Any strong odors will transfer to the pizza dough, altering the flavor profile. Before diving in, use gentle soaps and moisturizers.
- Don’t throw it up in the air.
- I understand. It appears to be enjoyable. And you might be able to pull it off eventually. But it won’t happen without a lot of practice. Leave the pizza tossing to the pros or it will end up on the floor.
- Allow it to be properly proof.
- Working with overproofed or under proofed pizza dough is going to be a nightmare, if not impossible.
- Check that your dough has been proofed for the appropriate amount of time.
FAQs of How To Stretch Pizza Dough?
What does stretching pizza dough do?
Stretching pizza dough essentially creates a blank slate for adding and cooking cheese, pepperoni, vegetables, and any other toppings you desire. Stretching also ensures a delicious airy and lightweight crust with just the right amount of doughiness and crunch.
Why not roll out the dough instead of stretching it?
Gasses form while your dough proofs, ensuring a desirable crust. The gasses will be forced out of the dough if you use a rolling pin. At this point, you’re dealing with tough, dense dough.
Should you stretch and fold pizza dough?
The stretch and fold method is used to knead pizza dough rather than stretch it (although the name may be confusing). Stretching and folding are excellent methods for kneading. Simply grab one edge of the dough and fold it onto the opposite edge, spin, and repeat.
Is it necessary to stretch pizza dough at room temperature?
Yes! Cold pizza dough will not stretch and will almost completely snap back. Before attempting to stretch the dough, make sure it is at room temperature.
Conclusion about How To Stretch Pizza Dough?
Stretching dough may appear difficult, but with practice and the right techniques, it’s not too difficult. Begin with room-temperature dough and a greased work surface. Push the dough down, then stretch it out to the desired shape using the DJ method and gravity. Bake, then serve!
Do you ever make your own pizza? How do you roll out your pizza dough? Please share so that we can try your method!