How To Stretch Pizza Dough Without Breaking?

If your pizza dough is quickly snapping back or difficult to stretch, your dough is too tight. Cover your dough with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After a bit of rest, the gluten in the dough will relax, making the process of stretching much easier.

How do you make pizza dough stretch easier?

An Even Easier Way to Stretch Pizza Dough. Refrigerating balls of pizza dough for 4 to 24 hours makes stretching much easier. One of the most challenging aspects of making pizza is getting the dough to stretch into an even, thin crust without it tearing or springing back—a problem that results from the dough’s strong gluten network.

Why is pizza dough so hard to make?

One of the most challenging aspects of making pizza is getting the dough to stretch into an even, thin crust without it tearing or springing back—a problem that results from the dough’s strong gluten network.

How do you fix tear in pizza dough?

Don’t stretch the middle. Focus on stretching the outer parts of the dough, as the middle will get a small stretch from everywhere and end up being too thin. This is the most common place for a tear. Keep an eye on any thin areas. You can lift the dough onto your fists and hold to the light to see the thinner and thicker areas.

How to make the best pizza without holes?

Practising your stretching technique will ensure you can stretch it thinly and evening to avoid getting any holes. To make the best pizza you need to cook your dough on something very hot. A pizza stone is more well known, but a pizza steel is a newer method which will produce even better results.

What is the trick to stretching pizza dough?

5 Tips for Stretching Out Pizza Dough Like a Pro

  1. Bring your dough to room temperature.
  2. Prep your workspace with olive oil to avoid sticking.
  3. Press your pizza dough before you stretch it.
  4. Stretch the dough with both hands and use gravity.
  5. Stretch the dough out on the pizza peel and top.

Why does my pizza dough break when I stretch it?

Upon forming, gluten is very tight and strong, which causes the dough to tear when stretched. Giving your dough time to proof will prevent tearing and make it easier to spread. While a few hours will do the trick, longer is always better.

Should you roll or stretch pizza dough?

So should you use a rolling pin for pizza dough? Stretching or rolling will create a different style of pizza so it’s down to personal preference. A rolled dough makes styles such as “thin crust” or cracker thin. Stretched dough is more suited to Neapolitan and New York style pizza.

How do you fix dough that won’t stretch?

If pizza dough doesn’t stretch it probably needs more time to ferment. If it’s too firm, leave it on a floured table for 15 minutes, then try again. If it’s tearing it needs more development, leave it to rise for a few hours or in the fridge overnight. The gluten will strengthen and allow you to stretch the dough.

Why is my pizza dough falling apart?

If your dough doesn’t have any gluten, it will simply fall apart. Gluten will give the dough structure and make it elastic and stretchy. The reason is that gluten forms a strong network of gluten strands. The magic happens when you first hydrate the gluten, followed by kneading the dough.

Can you stretch pizza dough with a rolling pin?

When stretching pizza dough, you should never use a rolling pin, as it will push out all the gas, negatively effecting oven spring and resulting in a condensed, tough texture.

Do you punch down pizza dough?

Punch down the dough when you’re making bread with a tight crumb. This includes sandwich bread, white bread, pie crust, and pizza dough.

How do you stretch pizza dough without flour?

Flatten the disk with your hands and press the center so that the gas moves to the edges of the pizza for a great crust. Continue pressing the gas until you feel that the dough is stretched enough and place your right hand down on the dough to hold it while using the left hand to stretch out the nine o’clock position.

How do you relax pizza dough?

Get the dough as flat as you can, and then put an upturned mixing bowl on top of it to become air tight. Leave the dough for 10 minutes to allow it to rest – move it to somewhere warm if your kitchen is cold. The warmth and time will allow the gluten to relax, and the bowl will stop it drying out.

Pizza Dough Tears When Stretching: How To Fix It

  • Stretching out a pizza skin is a skill that might take years of effort to master, so be patient. The dough ball is the most important component of the recipe. And it has to be just correct in order to work with it effortlessly. So you’ve got a pizza dough that’s splitting at the seams? How to prevent pizza dough from ripping when stretching it out: Knead your dough for a longer period of time to increase the gluten flexibility.
  • Allowing the dough to rest for a longer period of time will allow the tight gluten to relax gradually.
  • Stretching the dough uniformly can help to eliminate thinner sections.
  • Increase the amount of gluten in your flour by using a higher protein flour.

Everything may be resolved with the help of an excellent dough recipe. Here’s where you can get my favorite dough recipe.

Quick Fix For Now

If you are now stretching your dough and need a solution to your tears, follow these steps: Firmly squeeze the dough together at the edge of the tear from one side and draw it over the tear, giving it a solid push to seal the dough together.Rather than stretching this region, concentrate on expanding the outer rim of the pizza, which will stretch the pizza uniformly and help to prevent further tears around the center of the pizza.To identify thin parts, wrap the pizza around your knuckles and hold it up to the light — you will be able to see the thinner sections shining through with ease when you do this.Read the following advice with your dough if you want to learn more about how to prevent this problem in the future.

Build Up More Gluten

Unless you’ve kneaded it for an extended period of time to form a strong gluten network, it has a greater probability of breaking when you stretch it apart.It is not necessary to knead for an extended period of time: 3 – 5 minutes should enough.Follow my pizza dough recipe, which includes step-by-step directions for producing flawless dough every time you make it.When you make your dough, the flour and water combine in a chemical process that produces the dough.Gluten is formed as a result of this process, and it takes the shape of a stretched, elastic network of strands.

As you knead the dough and distribute the water throughout the flour, you can feel the tension growing.Due to the presence of gluten, the dough may be stretched without breaking.Because yeast produces carbon dioxide while proofing, it allows the dough to rise and become filled with bubbles, which allows the dough to rise.So, without gluten, you’re left with a shaggy ball of flour that will shred easily.

  • Due to the ease with which gluten might form, you do not need to go overboard with the kneading.
  • You just need to make sure you’re using a flour that has adequate protein (see below), and then you may knead or mix your dough for around 5 minutes.
  • Because pizza dough does not require such a compact crumb texture as bread dough, you do not need to knead it as much as bread dough.
  • When determining whether or not your dough has sufficient elasticity to resist tearing when stretched, you can perform the ″windowpane″ test on it.

Test Your Gluten Development With The Windowpane Test

It might be tough to tell when your dough is ready to be worked with when you are a newbie pizza maker.Most recipes instruct you to knead your dough until it is smooth and elastic – but nobody knows what that actually means?!I’m not sure if I’m under- or over-kneading the dough.As you continue to practice, you will get a better understanding of your dough.But, in the meanwhile, there is a foolproof test that anybody can perform to determine whether or not they are prepared, which we refer to as the ″windowpane test.″ Taking your kneaded dough ball and poking it with a fork is the very first step.

If the dough has a small bounce back to it, this indicates that you have developed some gluten.Next, put your skills to the test with the windowpane.Break off a little piece of dough that is small enough to fit in your hands.Use your fingertips to peel apart the dough until it is just a thin layer remaining.

  • To finish, roll out the dough until it is paper thin and you can see light through it translucently – think of it as the windowpane.
  • If the dough rips, this indicates that it is not quite ready.
  • A well-developed dough should be able to stretch extremely thinly.
  • Consider watching the video below for a nice visual illustration of the process.

Rest Your Dough For Long Enough

If you stretch dough that has very recently been kneaded, it will be very tight and may rip since it hasn’t had time to relax before being stretched.Once gluten has developed, it will have a tight and firm feel to it.As you allow it to sit and proof, the gluten will gradually loosen up and become less rigid.This is due to the fact that gluten degrades with time.Surely you’ve observed that after a dough ball has been kneaded and allowed to rest for a while, it’s much simpler to stretch it apart than after it has been kneaded immediately.

As a result, allow your dough plenty of time to prove.If you are only able to handle a few hours, this should be sufficient to prevent tears from forming.However, allowing it to sit in the refrigerator overnight will result in a superior texture.Giving it additional time will help you to stretch the dough more readily since high gluten might snap back if the dough is not allowed to rest properly.

Learn To Stretch The Dough Evenly

Stretch using your hands to ensure that you have complete control and the optimum outcomes.Make sure your dough is at room temperature before working with it, as gluten is more rigid when it is cold.To build the crust, use your finger tips to make a circular indentation about an inch from the outside.To flatten the interior dough, use your finger tips to press it down.Then, using flat hands, peel the dough apart from the ball, rotating it as you do so.

Don’t overextend yourself in the middle.It’s important to concentrate your efforts on extending the dough’s outside edges, as the centre will receive minor amounts of stretch from everywhere and will wind up being too thin.The most typical location for a tear is the groin.Keep an eye out for any weak spots.

  • You can observe the thinner and thicker sections of the dough by lifting it onto your hands and holding it up to the light.
  • Concentrate on the thicker parts of the crust to get a good, consistent crust.
  • Be delicate with the material; the more you work it, the more difficult the final product will be.

Try A Higher Protein Flour

The gluten in flour is formed by the protein in the flour.The use of high-protein flour will produce a stronger gluten network, as previously stated.All-purpose flours and Italian ″00″ bread flours are examples of flours that are more prone to tearing than others.The all-purpose flour has less protein, but the ″00″ flour is made from soft wheat, which makes it more delicate.Try using a bread flour with a protein concentration of 12-14 percent to make your bread.

You may need to rest the dough for a longer period of time if you are using a high protein flour since the dough will snap back due to its high elasticity.To determine the protein content, look for the quantity of protein in one hundred grams of flour, if it is available; for example, 14 grams of protein will equal 14 percent protein.

In Summary

Following a recipe more closely, paying close attention to the ingredients, kneading periods, and proofing times, will assist you in creating a more elastic dough that is less likely to break apart.By practicing your stretching technique, you will be able to stretch it thinly and evenly, preventing any holes from forming.To make the tastiest pizza, you must cook the dough on a very hot surface before topping it with toppings.Pizza stones are more often used, however pizza steels are a modern approach that will offer even better results than the traditional stone.Steel conducts heat more efficiently than other materials, allowing the foundation to be cooked thoroughly in a shorter amount of time.

In addition, they do not fracture like a stone does.This pizza steel is something I own and can highly suggest (click to see on Amazon).In the event that you prefer something a little more affordable, consider purchasing a pizza stone made of cordierite such as this one.It is less prone to crack than other types of pizza stones.

  • See my pizza equipment list guide for a complete list of the essential instruments I propose.

Related Questions

What happens when you knead dough for an excessive amount of time?You will wind up with a crust that is more difficult to work with.If you follow the windowpane test, I would think it is difficult to over-knead your dough – therefore be sure to check it while you knead the dough.When making pizza dough, how do you avoid it shrinking?This is more about gluten that is quite powerful.

Before stretching the dough, try let it to rest and warm up a little.See my post Does Your Pizza Dough Keep Shrinking?for more information.Try It Right Now.

How do you stretch out pizza dough without breaking it?

It is possible that your pizza dough is too tight if it snaps back quickly when stretched or is difficult to stretch. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and let it aside for 10-15 minutes. Once the dough has had some time to rest, the gluten in the dough will relax, making the process of stretching far easier.

How do you fix tight pizza dough?

Because of the lower temperature, the gluten in cold dough becomes tighter, causing it to shrink when stretched out or snap back into place when pressed back into place. The most effective technique to resolve this problem is to ensure that your pizza dough has been allowed to warm up to room temperature before stretching it out.

Why is my pizza dough not stretchy enough?

The most common reason for pizza dough not being stretchy is improper gluten development; the gluten strands are too tight because the dough hasn’t had enough time to relax; you’re using the wrong type of flour; the dough is too dry; or the dough is too cold; these are all causes of improper gluten development.

How long should pizza dough rest before being stretched?

Warm up the dough until it is at room temperature before you begin to stretch it. At least an hour is recommended, but up to two hours is OK – obviously, the temperature of your room plays a role in this.

See also:  How Long To Cook Red Baron Pizza?

How do you make cheese pizza stretchy?

The following is a pro tip for making stretchy cheese: Purchase a loaf of low moisture mozzarella and slice rather than grate it. Place the slices in a pan and cover them with a salt water solution for an hour to brine them. Drain, blot dry with a paper towel, and then arrange them on the pizza crust as desired. Bake the pizza according to package directions.

Should you roll or stretch pizza dough?

If you want your pizza dough to seem less like a dome, Stella Culinary recommends gently flattening your rounded and proofed pizza dough with your hand. The key is to remember that you just want to flatten your dough so that it doesn’t look like a dome any more.

Should pizza dough be room temperature before stretching?

Use a greased mixing bowl to allow the frozen or refrigerated pizza dough to come to room temperature before continuing with the recipe. Allowing the dough to come to room temperature before shaping makes it simpler to stretch and less prone to rip during the shaping process.

Why is pizza dough so hard?

The first reason why your pizza dough becomes difficult is that it includes an excessive amount of flour in it.Alternatively, in baking words, the dough has a low moisture level.If the dough has an excessive amount of flour in comparison to the amount of water, the outcome will be a dry, tough pizza dough that is difficult to handle.The straightforward approach is to reduce the amount of flour used.

What does Overworked dough look like?

When a dough is properly kneaded, it will be supple, elastic, and will bounce back when poked. When using a stand mixer, it is possible to overwork the dough. Because the gluten molecules have been destroyed, the dough will feel ″tight″ and difficult when you pull or roll it. As a result, the dough will not stretch but will instead shatter when you pull or roll it.

What is the cause of her shrinking dough?

When baked, pastry shrinks as the liquid content (eggs, butter, and water) evaporates, causing the pastry to shrink. Here’s how to keep your pastry from shrinking in the oven and destroying your tart casing. When flour and moisture meet, the proteins in the flour unite to produce elastic strands of gluten. Handle the dough lightly if you want a light, crumbly crust.

Can you overwork pizza dough?

When you add too much flour to a dough, it might become hard and stiff, which is not ideal. Overworking the dough will cause all of the little bubbles that make the pizza crust so light and fluffy to pop when it is baked in the oven. The type of flour you choose might also have an impact on the hardness of the crust.

Why is my dough not forming a ball?

If the dough is excessively dry, it will consist primarily of dry and crumbly particles, and it will not have formed a ball when it is baked. Start the mixer on low speed and add water a teaspoon at a time, repeating the process. This is absolutely right! The 10th of September, 2019.

Can you let pizza dough rise too long?

However, do not allow it to increase for an extended period of time. A few days’ rise is good and will increase the flavor of the crust, but much more than three days and the yeast will begin to consume all of the sugar in the dough and convert it to alcohol, which will negatively impact the flavor of the crust, Schwartz explained.

Should you punch down pizza dough?

Punch the Dough to the Ground As soon as the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down (literally) to release the gasses trapped inside the dough. Two to three gentle punches are usually sufficient to de-gas the dough.

How thick should pizza dough be?

Stretch the pizza as soon as possible until it is approximately 11 inches in diameter and approximately 1/3 inch thick. If there are any thin places or holes right now, don’t be concerned; we will remedy them in the following stage.

Pizza Dough Not Stretchy. How to Make Elastic, stretchy Pizza Dough

  • Is this something you’ve experienced before? Tight, dry, and hard pizza dough that won’t expand, does this sound familiar? That’s something we’ve all experienced, and it’s really annoying. As a result, I spent some time investigating what it is that makes pizza dough elastic. And here’s what I discovered: the key to flawlessly elastic pizza dough can be found here. The most common reason for pizza dough not being stretchy is improper gluten development
  • the gluten strands are too tight because the dough hasn’t had enough time to relax
  • you’re using the wrong type of flour
  • the dough is too dry
  • or the dough is too cold
  • these are all causes of improper gluten development. You’re using the wrong kind of flour.
  • Excessive or insufficient kneading (resulting in both excess and under production of gluten)
  • The dough is not sufficiently loosened
  • Odugh, you’re too dry
  • Dough that is too cold

Gluten, the cause of all your trouble

The most prevalent explanation for dough that isn’t elastic has to do with the gluten in the recipe.A collection of proteins included in wheat flour that serves to hold the dough together is referred to as gluten.When you add water to the flour and knead the dough, the gluten in the wheat begins to build a network.The more you knead the dough, the more this network becomes stronger and stronger.Hydration also aids in the formation of gluten over time.

As a result, the gluten will grow even if the dough is not kneaded for a lengthy period of time.If this gluten network becomes too developed, the dough will become exceedingly elastic and difficult to stretch as a result.A lack of development on the other hand will result in the dough just ripping when you attempt to stretch it.Because of this, it is critical to have the proper quantity of gluten development.

  • There are three main reasons why you want the gluten network to grow:
  1. Create a framework for the dough.
  2. Capture the gas produced by fermentation
  3. Make the dough with your partner

During fermentation, if the gluten in the dough hasn’t grown sufficiently, the dough will puncture and won’t be able to hold onto the CO2 created by the yeast.Additionally, stretching and launching the dough into the oven without creating holes in the pizza will be difficult.The amount of gluten in the wheat, how much you knead the dough, and how long the dough is allowed to rise are the three key elements that influence how strong or weak the gluten network becomes.As a result, you must begin with the proper sort of flour and the appropriate quantity of kneading.The strength of the gluten network, on the other hand, is not the only factor that influences the stretchiness of the dough.

When you knead the dough, the gluten strands become tight, making the dough more elastic.When the gluten is tight, the dough becomes elastic and difficult to stretch out of the bowl.However, if you let the dough to rest, the gluten will get more relaxed and the dough will become easier to stretch.Consequently, you want a robust gluten network to avoid ripping, but you also want the gluten to be able to relax a little bit.

  • This will result in a dough that is soft and malleable, and it will be simple to stretch.
  • If you want to learn all there is to know about gluten, read this article.

What makes pizza dough stretchy?

Gluten development is important because if it isn’t sufficient, the dough will puncture and not be able to hold onto the CO2 created by the yeast during the fermentation process.It will also be difficult to stretch the dough and send it into the oven without creating holes in the finished product.It is the amount of gluten in the wheat, the amount of time the dough is kneaded, and the length of time the dough is allowed to rise that determines how strong or weak the gluten network becomes.As a result, you must begin with the appropriate sort of flour and the appropriate quantity of kneading..Stretchiness is affected by a variety of factors, not all of which are related to the strength of the gluten network.

During the kneading process, the gluten strands become more stiff and rigid.As soon as the gluten is tight, the dough becomes elastic and difficult to work with.Allowing time for resting allows the gluten to become more relaxed and the dough to become more easily stretchable.Consequently, you want a robust gluten network to avoid ripping, but you also want the gluten to be able to rest a little while.

  • As a result, you will get a soft, malleable dough that is simple to stretch.
  • You may learn more about gluten in this article, which goes into great detail.

It’s all about the flour

To prepare a delicious pizza, you must start with high-quality ingredients.The key to optimal gluten formation is to start with wheat that has the appropriate amount of gluten.The ideal quantity of gluten to consume is between 10 and 13 percent.You’ll wind up with a weak dough that won’t retain its shape throughout the proving process if you use cake flour, which has a low gluten content.Furthermore, if you use bread flour, which contains a high concentration of gluten, you will end up with a dough that is excessively elastic.

As a result, you should strive for something in the middle, such as Tipo pizza flour.Italian Tipo 0 or Tipo 00 flour are the greatest types of pizza flour.This is also what the True Neapolitan Pizza Association, which established standards for Neapolitan pizza, recommends as a good practice.Pizza flours are available in a variety of grades and gluten contents.

  • However, the majority of Italian Tipo 0 or Tipo 00 will be in the 11-13 percent range and will produce excellent results.
  • Caputo Pizzeria makes a fantastic all-purpose pizza flour.
  • Caputo Pizzeria uses Tipo 00 wheat manufactured in Naples, Italy, for their pizza dough.
  • A particularly high-quality flour that is used by many pizzerias in Naples and contains exactly the perfect amount of gluten, this is a great choice.
  • The Caputo Pizzeria’s Tipo 00 Pizza Flour is a specialty flour.
  • If you purchase something after clicking on this link, we will receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you.

Relaxed dough is easier to stretch

One of the most typical reasons why pizza dough becomes overly stretched is because the gluten has become too stiff.Because the gluten network is becoming stronger as you knead the dough, it is also becoming more compact.A relaxed dough is considerably simpler to stretch than a stiff dough.One of the most typical mistakes people do is to bulk ferment their dough, divide it into dough balls, and then attempt to stretch out the dough right soon after splitting the dough.When you divide the dough and roll it into dough balls, the gluten will tighten up even more.

As a result, you must let the dough balls to rest once more in order to make the dough soft and elastic.After that, you’ll discover that it’s lot easier to form your pizza.The length of time the dough takes to rest depends on the sort of pizza you’re making and the stretching technique you’re using.However, you must allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before attempting to spread out the pizza.

  • Allowing the dough balls to rest for 8-10 hours is recommended for Neapolitan pizza.
  • Making soft, beautiful dough that is easy to stretch into thin, even discs is the result of this method.
  • The longer you let the dough balls out, the softer and more stretchy the dough will be when it is finished.
  • Furthermore, it might be difficult to work with the dough without stretching the pizza foundation too thin.

Underkneading – lack of gluten development

Unless you knead the dough for an adequate amount of time, the gluten will not develop sufficiently to provide a good structure.The dough will not be able to maintain its form as a result.Furthermore, it will deflate when allowed to rise, and it will shred and tear when forced to be stretched.As a result, the dough must be sufficiently kneaded in order to become elastic and flexible.When you knead the dough by hand, it will take around 15 to 20 minutes for the gluten to fully form in the dough.

Autolyse will make the dough more stretchy

Gluten, like other proteins, requires complete hydration in order to grow correctly.In order to be certain that it is, you might utilize a tool known as ″autolyse.″ ´ Simply combine the ingredients and set aside for 15-30 minutes to allow the dough to soak before kneading.This brief resting period allows the flour to hydrate, gluten to begin to form, and the amylase enzymes to begin converting starch into sugars, giving the yeast an advantage in the fermentation process.This will result in a dough that is beautiful, extensible, and flexible.Additionally, it will shorten the kneading time a little.

This is not required for Neapolitan and other long-rise doughs (such as cold fermented pizza), since the gluten will be sufficiently hydrated during the extended leave.

How to tell if gluten has developed enough

The Poke Test and the Windowpane Test are the two most frequent methods for determining whether or not the dough gluten has grown sufficiently.

The PoketTest

The Poke Test is as simple as poking the dough with your index finger and watching to see if it bounces back into shape. If it does, it indicates that the gluten has grown sufficiently and has become strong enough to maintain the form of the dough.

The Windowpane test

The Windowpane Test is another method of determining whether or not the gluten has grown sufficiently.To stretch out a little piece of dough, start by stretching it out as thin as you can without leaving a hole in it (see photo).If the gluten has formed sufficiently, you will be able to stretch the dough so thin that you will be able to see light passing through it.This is an indicator that the gluten is sufficiently potent.

Overkneading – the gluten is too strong to stretch

Overdevelopment is another issue that can arise as a result of gluten use.This indicates that you’ve overworked the gluten to a dangerous degree.And built a network that is so powerful that it is difficult to extend your money.It’s difficult to do by hand.So don’t be too concerned if you’re kneading the dough by hand.

In order to get the best results from a stand mixer, I recommend running it in 5-minute intervals.Then, using the poke or windowpane test, determine whether or not the gluten has formed sufficiently.It’s also a good idea to take a break from the dough because a stand mixer will raise the temperature of the dough if you use it for an extended period of time.


Another cause for your dough’s lack of stretchiness is that it contains too little water.

What is Hydration?

The amount of water in the dough in relation to the amount of flour is known as dough hydration. The higher the hydration (i.e., the greater the amount of water in your dough), the softer and more elastic your dough will be.

What Is the Best Hydration for Stretchy Pizza Dough?

The ideal hydration for elastic pizza dough is 60-65 percent water by volume. You may increase the temperature any more, but doing so will make the dough sticky and difficult to handle. As a result, 60-65 percent is an appropriate starting point.

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It is also difficult to stretch cold dough.When gluten is exposed to cold temperatures, it tightens up.And when it’s heated, it becomes pliable.When the dough is at room temperature, between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 and 24 degrees Celsius), it is often the simplest to handle.Consequently, if you are working with cold fermented pizza dough that has been stored in the refrigerator, you must allow it time to warm up before stretching or shaping it.

When the dough is cold, it will feel much firmer to the touch, making it more difficult to form the finished pizza.As a result, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it to sit out for 2-3 hours to allow it to come to room temperature before stretching out the pizza.If you leave the dough to ferment in a warm environment, you may discover that the gluten becomes overly soft and relaxed.After that, place the dough in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to let it to chill down and become easier to handle throughout the stretching process.

Stretching pizza dough

  • The primary method of forming a pizza is to stretch the dough into a thin, circular shape by hand, which is called ″shaping.″ There are a variety of methods for stretching pizza dough, but in this post, I’ll teach you a simple method that everyone can accomplish at home. Not only is this method of stretching pizza dough extremely simple, but it also results in an authentic Neapolitan-style pie. Probably the most challenging step in the pizza-making process, shaping the dough makes a significant impact in the overall quality of the finished product. In case you missed any of the previous installments of this series, you can find them all listed below: Part 1 teaches you how to mix the dough by hand
  • Part 2 teaches you how to knead the dough by hand
  • Part 3 teaches you how to test the dough using the windowpane method
  • Part 4 teaches you how to shape the dough balls
  • and Part 5 teaches you how to prepare the toppings.

Once we’ve prepared our dough, we’ll be ready to go on to the next step before cooking: stretching the dough!

How to shape pizza dough by hand video

In the video below, I demonstrate a simple and authentic method of hand-shaping pizza dough.There are a few crucial components to this process, and the quality of the pizza is primarily dependent on the level of care paid to the details.It may appear tough at first, but once you’ve done it a few times, it becomes second nature.Hand-shaping the dough for pizza You should be able to form a pizza in 30 seconds or less after you get the hang of this approach.

Is it better to roll or stretch pizza dough?

In general, it is preferable to stretch pizza rather than roll it.Pizza dough, in contrast to pasta dough, contains yeast (a leavened dough), which allows air pockets to form in the dough as it rises.The presence of these air pockets is what gives the pizza its delightfully light feel.As the pizza cooks, especially at high temperatures, the air pockets in the crust grow in size and become visible.Rolling the pizza dough eliminates a significant amount of the air that has generated throughout the proving process.

Although some pizza styles necessitate the use of a rolling pin, the vast majority of pizzas are stretched by hand rather than using a rolling pin.

Shaping Neapolitan pizza

  • Neapolitan pizza is the most traditional type of pizza, and it is made entirely by hand.
  • The typical shape is spherical, quite thin in the centre, and with rather thick crusts on the outside and inside.
  • The light and airy texture of the crusts is owing to the extended prove and precise shaping.
  • Getting the typical Neapolitan pizza shape is all about moving as much air as possible from the center of the dough to the outside of the pan (the crust).
  • The crust is formed as a result of this.
  • Using a gentle stretching motion, the crust may be slowly stretched until the pizza is thin in the centre.

Using your finger tips to produce the crust is the quickest and most effective method.To produce the shape illustrated below, overlap the index fingers to form a V.The rest of the time, you won’t have to move your fingers or wrists at all.All you have to do is use your arms to press the air into the exterior of your pizza dough.

  • Turning the dough on a frequent basis and repeating the procedure is recommended.
  • This should result in the proper form for a Neapolitan pizza.

How to stretch pizza dough evenly

  • After the pizza dough has been formed into a nice round shape and the crust has been formed, we can proceed to stretching the dough.
  • The ″slap″ approach is the most real and, in my opinion, the most straightforward one.
  • Holding the pizza down to the counter with one hand is ideal.
  • With your other hand, softly extend your fingers outwards.
  • Flip the dough over onto the other hand, still using the same hand.
  • Rotate the dough 90 degrees while simultaneously flipping the dough back over in a single motion.

Continue this procedure until you have reached the required thickness (quite thin).Stretching the dough very gently and flipping it frequently ensures that the dough is stretched evenly.During the shaping process, try not to remove any air from the crusts, but don’t be concerned if they shrink a bit.As they bake in the oven, they will continue to grow in size.

How to stretch pizza dough without breaking

  • When stretching pizza dough, it is possible that it may break easily, which indicates that the dough is undeveloped.
  • A lack of gluten formation will occur in your dough if it has not been kneaded well.
  • The gluten in pizza dough is responsible for the majority of its strength, which prevents it from breaking.
  • If, on the other hand, your pizza dough passed the windowpane test, it is doubtful that this is the issue at hand.
  • In addition, it is conceivable that your dough has been overproofed.
  • Ideally, the dough should have doubled in size and be full of tiny bubbles if it has been properly proofed.

This material should be soft and easy to stretch, while also being extremely sturdy.As it proves, dough, on the other hand, loses part of its strength.It will be difficult to stretch a dough that has been overproved since it will have contracted.If it does stretch, it will have a higher likelihood of breaking.

  • When working with dough, it’s crucial to get a feel for it, which will come with practice.
  • Stretching your dough should be done with caution to avoid your dough breaking.
  • Make an effort to work fast yet with kind hands.

How to fix pizza dough that won’t stretch

  • Of course, the easiest approach to prevent problems with shape is to start with a great dough to begin with.
  • However, the majority of the time, we may only become aware of a problem when it is too late.
  • But don’t be discouraged; good outcomes may still be obtained with less than stellar financial resources.
  • At this point, it is usually too late to make any changes to the situation.
  • So, rather than attempting to correct the pizza dough, I propose the following procedures to be followed while shaping the pizza dough:

Take more time to stretch the dough carefully

If you find that the dough is tough to work with, give it a little additional time during the stretching process. You might be possible to repair a little tear, but in general, once a pizza is broken, it is no longer edible. Stretching the dough carefully and turning it frequently are important. This should assist in achieving a decent form while minimizing the chance of tearing.

Settle for a slightly thicker pizza

  • When working with a weak dough, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make a thin pizza.
  • However, even if your pizza is a little thicker than ideal, you may still make a tasty dish out of it.
  • Remove as much of the crust from the pizza as you think you can before it tips, but don’t go too thin.
  • If you are doubtful, then you should cease strecthing immediately.
  • A pizza that is little too thick is preferable to a pizza that has been ripped.

Quickly move the shaped pizza into the oven

  • It is important to add the toppings as fast as possible and transfer the pizza to a peel as soon as possible after it has been formed.
  • After a short period of time, a stretched pizza left on the bench will become stuck.
  • Once it has been transported, this pizza will stretch and maybe tear.
  • The importance of getting your pizza on the peel and into the oven as quickly as possible increases when working with a weaker pizza dough.
  • The faster we can get the pizza into the oven, the less danger there is of it becoming damaged.

Shape the pizza on the peel

  • If you are concerned that your pizza will rip while being transferred to the peel, you need not be concerned.
  • Alternatively, you might form the pizza directly on the peel.
  • Despite the fact that this procedure is not customary, it is significantly safer.
  • This will almost certainly result in a thicker pizza as a result of your actions.
  • However, as previously said, given the shaky state of the dough, it is probably for the best that this happens.

How To Stretch Pizza Dough: Everything You Need To Know

  • Daniel Naor’s photo is courtesy of Pixabay.
  • When it comes to preparing pizza at home, many individuals choose to use a pre-made pizza shell or a pre-baked dough instead.
  • While ready-made pizza crust is adequate, it may not be as flavorful as handmade pizza dough when compared to the latter.
  • In this post, we’ll go over correct dough stretching procedures as well as some helpful hints for constructing a delicious handmade pizza crust from scratch.
  • A plain ball of dough may be transformed into a gorgeous Italian masterpiece with the appropriate care and attention.

Stretching Pizza Dough

  • It is possible to stretch pizza dough in a variety of ways, but they all require the same amount of preparation.
  • Make a batch of your favorite pizza dough to use as a base before you begin.
  • When finished, your dough should be springy but not sticky to the touch.
  • Follow the recipe’s directions for rising time to achieve a soft, flexible dough.
  • Pre-made pizza dough balls may be found in the vegetable department of most supermarkets these days.
  • You may also purchase balls of dough from your local pizzeria if you like.

As previously said, warm dough is much simpler to work with, so let the pizza dough to warm up to at least room temperature before stretching it out.Flour your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking together while you are working.Make a little disk of dough by placing it on your work surface and gently pressing down to flatten it into a small disk.You are now ready to begin stretching!

  • Here are our four favorite ways for stretching pizza dough that you may try at home.
  • You may use any one of these ways, or a combination of them, to make the perfect pizza crust.

1. Fingertip Stretch

  • Push your fingers into the flattened disk and gently push them outward to expand the dough.
  • This is known as the ″fingertip method.″ Begin by pressing your fingers into the middle of the dough and working your way out to the outside perimeter of the crust, being cautious not to push through the dough or stretch it too thinly as you go.
  • As much as possible, massage your dough into a circular shape, leaving a half-inch of dough unworked around the outside of the dough.

2. The Record Player Stretch

Using this approach, press your dough with both hands flat on the counter. Pull your hands in different directions as you rotate the dough like a record while doing so. You may spin in any direction as long as your hands are working against each other at the same time that you are spinning. When it comes to creating a smooth, uniform base for pizza toppings, this approach is unsurpassed.

3. Steering Wheel Stretch

  • When you’re utilizing the ″steering-wheel stretch,″ gravity is your best buddy.
  • Get a firm grip on the edge of your flattened disk and let the remaining dough hang freely below you.
  • As you twist the dough in your hands, pinch the edge of the dough with your fingers.
  • Rotate the dough until it stretches into a large, thin circle as it stretches.
  • This approach is handy if you desire a large, thin pizza crust rather than a small, thick one.
  • If you prefer a thicker crust, rotate your dough disk so that it is closer to the center of the oven.

4. Knuckle Stretch

  • The ″knuckle stretch,″ as the name indicates, is a technique in which you stretch out the dough with your knuckles.
  • Make a fist bump with your hands, as if you were giving yourself a pat on the back.
  • Placing the flattened dough on your two hands and starting to move your fists away from each other is a good exercise.
  • To prevent ripping the dough, move slowly and softly during the process.
  • As you stretch the pizza dough over your knuckles, move the dough in a circle around your hands.
  • Because it allows you to see how the dough stretches, you can instantly identify portions that are too thin or too thick.

This approach has several advantages.

Tips for Making Great Pizza Crust at Home

Having learned the fundamentals of pizza-dough stretching, here are some useful hints for creating a tasty pizza crust in your own kitchen:

  1. Remove all jewelry from your hands: This includes rings, bracelets, and watches. Remove all jewelry from your hands. Remover will keep your valuable goods clean and will avoid dough from becoming entangled in your jewelry when you are stretching your dough.
  2. Use of heavily perfumed soaps or moisturizers on your hands is discouraged:
  3. As you work with the dough, whatever highly scented cleanser or moisturizer that you have on your hands will be transferred to the dough. Cleanse your hands with a light, unscented soap before you begin stretching.
  4. Make sure your dough is neither under- nor over-proofed:
  5. Follow the recipe directions for proving your homemade pizza dough if you are creating your own pizza dough. Pizza dough that has not been fully proofed is difficult to stretch and dense. A dough that has been over-proofed will stretch too thin and will not bounce back when it is placed in the oven.
  6. Prepare your dough by doing the following:
  7. Cold dough is difficult to stretch and is more prone to ripping than warm dough. If you want the best results, let the dough to warm up to at least room temperature before stretching
  8. Keep your dough from being thrown in the air: Yes, it looks amazing, and the awesome pizzeria down the street does it. But don’t. No, you shouldn’t do it. It is not the most successful technique of stretching your dough, and most new pizza makers wind up with dough on the floor as a result of this procedure. Maintain the proper placement of the pizza dough on the counter.
  9. Allow it to rest:
  10. When you stretch your dough, it is typical for it to shrink a bit. It is possible that your pizza dough is too tight if it snaps back quickly when stretched or is difficult to stretch. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and let it aside for 10-15 minutes. Once the dough has had some time to rest, the gluten in the dough will begin to relax, making the process of stretching much simpler.
  11. In order to avoid ripping and creating holes in your dough, it is important to knead your dough according to the recipe directions, keep it warm, and allow it to rest as needed after kneading. To improve the formation of gluten in your pizza dough recipe, you may also experiment with higher-protein flour.
  12. In the event that a hole appears in your dough, you may patch it up by squeezing it together or putting a dough patch over the hole.
  13. Rolling pins are not permitted:
  14. Stretching your pizza dough helps to keep the gas bubbles formed by the yeast in tact, resulting in a crust with an open structure. Rolling pins force the gas out of the oven, diminishing oven spring and resulting in a solid, difficult crust. When preparing authentic Neapolitan pizza, rolling pins are strictly prohibited.
  15. Practice makes perfect: Just like any other talent, the more you practice pizza stretching, the better you will get at it.
See also:  Why Does Pizza Hut Charge A Service Fee?

The ideal pizza dough is the first step in creating the perfect pizza. Even while it is not quite like the legendary caramelized crust from Pequod’s Pizza, there aren’t many pizzas that are. Follow our stretching methods and suggestions to make a delicious pizza at home any time of the day or night.

5 Tips for Stretching Out Pizza Dough Like a Pro

  • Some individuals, like yours truly, are always boasting that making pizza at home is a piece of cake.
  • In many respects, this is true.
  • Pizza dough is easy to create, and once it’s been spread out, all that’s left is to cover it with toppings and bake it in a hot oven.
  • Even I, on the other hand, find stretching the dough to be a nuisance.
  • Over the course of the winter, I set a goal for myself to create better pizza at home.
  • I discovered that just five minor adjustments can make stretching pizza dough a whole lot easier, and I’m passing along those suggestions to you.

1. Bring your dough to room temperature.

  • Allow for at least 30 minutes of room temperature warming of the chilled dough before beginning to stretch it out.
  • Gluten, the protein that gives chewy texture to pizza dough, is more tightly bound in cold environments such as the refrigerator, which explains why cold pizza dough will stretch out and snap back like a rubber band.
  • This step will help to loosen up the dough and make it simpler to work with while shaping the dough.
  • Make sure it’s not still in the plastic wrapper from the grocery store (or in the freezer, you champ!) and transfer it to an oiled mixing basin.
  • Spot the dish in a warm place for at least 30 minutes after covering it.
  • You will begin this step after the first 1 1/2- to 2-hour rise time, and after you have divided the dough into two portions, if you are working with homemade pizza dough that was made the same day.

If you are working with frozen pizza dough, you will begin this step after the first 1 1/2- to 2-hour rise time, after you have divided the dough into two portions.

2. Prep your workspace with olive oil to avoid sticking.

  • After all, you’ve got a chilled pizza dough resting in the bowl, and you’re ready to begin stretching it out.
  • The key to this recipe is to omit the flour.
  • When it comes to keeping some doughs from sticking, flour is beneficial, but too much flour can make pizza dough difficult to work with.
  • Instead, dab a little amount of olive oil onto your work surface and your hands (about 2 to 3 tablespoons).
  • A little layer of olive oil on your cutting board or sheet pan will prevent the dough from sticking and will also help to create a golden and crispy crust on top.
  • This is also a good time to line your pizza peel (or the back of an inverted sheet pan) with parchment paper or sprinkle it with cornmeal to prevent your pizza from sticking.

3. Press your pizza dough before you stretch it.

  • You now have a piece of pizza dough that has been brushed with olive oil in front of you.
  • Before you can stretch the dough, you must first flatten it into a disc and then roll it out.
  • Using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough into a large flat disc and set it aside.
  • Using the middle three fingers of each hand, press the dough out from the center, spreading the flat disc into a huge circle approximately 6 inches across and about 1/2 inch thick, as seen in the image below.
  • While the dough should be soft and malleable, it should not shrink back when you push it with your fingers.
  • It is absolutely OK for the flattened disc to not be precisely spherical at this point.

If your dough shrinks slowly over time, that is completely acceptable; however, if it snaps back rapidly, rest the dough for 15 to 20 minutes under a clean kitchen towel before starting over with step 3, continuing the procedure until the dough keeps its shape.

4. Stretch the dough with both hands and use gravity.

  • When learning how to stretch pizza dough, stretching the dough with your knuckles and throwing it in the air isn’t the ideal method to use, even if the results are rather stunning.
  • As an alternative, keep the dough close to your body and use hand pulling and gravity to achieve an even crust.
  • To stretch the dough, carefully take it up and hold it with both hands on one of the dough’s edges, allowing the remaining dough to dangle loosely below the surface.
  • I prefer to have the top of my pizza dough facing me so that I can keep an eye on the thickness of the dough.
  • The stretching job will be assisted by gravity to some extent when you gently spin the dough in one direction, similar to rotating a wheel.
  • Pulling the dough from one hand to the other while the dough is hanging down is a slow process.

Stretch the pizza as soon as possible until it is approximately 11 inches in diameter and approximately 1/3 inch thick.If there are any thin places or holes right now, don’t be concerned; we will remedy them in the following stage.

5. Stretch the dough out on the pizza peel and top.

  • Carefully transfer the stretched pizza dough to the pizza peel or sheet pan that has been prepped.
  • Observe the consistency of your dough: Is it totally even and around 10 inches across?
  • Then you’re a true expert in the field of pizza!
  • If, on the other hand, you’re like the rest of us and your money has some flaws, now is the moment to repair them.
  • Due to the fact that we overstretched the dough in the previous phase, the dough is possibly shrinking back.
  • Alternatively, ″pinch″ thin or torn sections closed by pushing around them to pull the dough together to fill the region, if the margins are quite thick (approximately 1/3 inch thick).

Ultimately, the goal before topping isn’t perfection, but rather a mostly even 10-inch-wide circle that’s about a third of an inch thick without overworking the dough (without overworking the dough is ideal).If the edge (or what will be the crust) is not thicker than the middle, don’t be concerned.The toppings will weigh down the center, resulting in a deliciously puffy crust when it is baked.Finally, before you put the toppings on your pizza, give the pizza peel a slight shake to ensure that the cornmeal has done its job of keeping the pizza from adhering to the pan.

  • If you made your pizza on parchment paper, you may just slide it right onto your pizza stone without any additional preparation.

Want More?

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  • Meghan Splawn is a food editor with a variety of skills.
  • Meghan worked as the Food Editor for the Kitchn’s Skills content for a number of years.
  • She specializes in everyday baking, family cuisine, and capturing natural light in her photographs.
  • Meghan approaches eating with an eye on saving money and time while still having a good time.
  • Meghan holds a bachelor’s degree in baking and pastry arts and spent the first ten years of her professional life as a member of Alton Brown’s culinary team.

Didn’t I Just Feed You?is a weekly podcast on food and family that she co-hosts with her husband.Meghan should be followed.

Most Common Pizza-Making Problems (and How to Avoid Them)

  • The fact that pizza is one of the most popular (and cooked) foods in the world shouldn’t be surprising given the amount of trial and error that has gone into its creation!
  • Pizza recipes can range from basic and straightforward to time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • When it comes to making the ideal pizza, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind no matter which method you choose.
  • First and foremost, you’ll need a fantastic handmade pizza dough recipe.
  • The dough will need to be prepared ahead of time, then stretched, placed on a baking stone or pan, topped, and then baked in the oven!
  • While this procedure appears to be basic, there are a number of ways in which you may improve the quality of your pizza even more.

Making the perfect pie may be difficult, but with these helpful suggestions for pizza dough, you can prevent some of the most typical issues that arise.

The Dough

The following are some solutions to common pizza dough problems that may be the root cause of your rippling pizza dough.

Knead Your Dough Properly

  • Kneading your pizza dough helps to increase the amount of gluten in the dough.
  • If your pizza dough has not been kneaded for an adequate amount of time, it may not have had the opportunity to develop a robust gluten network, resulting in a tough crust.
  • Gluten is formed when you mix the wheat and water in your pizza dough, which is caused by a chemical interaction between the flour and water.
  • Gluten is responsible for the dough’s flexible nature, which allows the dough to be stretched without breaking.
  • Although it is crucial to completely knead your dough, it is not required to knead your dough for an extended period of time.
  • 4 to 6 minutes is the suggested time for kneading your dough!

A fine, crumb-like texture will be created by over-kneading your dough.This texture will give your dough a bready texture rather than a light and airy pizza crust.

Rest Your Dough

  • The tearing of the crust is a typical problem with pizza dough.
  • Insufficient development of the gluten in your pizza dough might result in your dough tearing easily.
  • The developed gluten in your dough is responsible for the crusty aspect of your pizza dough.
  • When stretched, your dough will want to return to its original ball shape if it has not been sufficiently treated.
  • If your dough is resistant to stretching when stretched, it will need to be proofed for a longer period of time before baking.
  • Allowing your dough to remain at room temperature for an extended period of time will help the gluten to form more fully.

We recommend at least a couple of hours of your time.In order for the gluten to relax over time, it is necessary to allow for a period of relaxation throughout the pizza-making process to occur.When gluten is formed, it is extremely tight and powerful, and when the dough is stretched, it tears and breaks.Allowing your dough to proof will help to prevent it from tearing and make it simpler to work with.

  • While a few hours may suffice, it is always preferable to spend more time.
  • If you have the luxury of time, letting your gluten proof in the fridge overnight is perfect for avoiding the most typical pizza dough issues.

Stretch the Dough Evenly

  • Stretch the dough evenly with your hands, and always stretch from the outside in to ensure uniform stretching.
  • Extending from the centre will result in a stretch that is too tiny, and your dough will be too thin as a result of this.
  • In addition, we recommend bypassing the rolling pin altogether.
  • Rolling pins, while useful for baking cookies, are notorious for causing a slew of pizza-related issues.
  • A thin, cracker-like crust will develop from rolling your freshly proofed dough with a rolling pin after it has been risen.
  • A crust that is too thin will be incredibly difficult to manage and will not be able to hold your toppings in place.

Instead, concentrate on the outside portions of the dough and strive to get a consistent stretch that is approximately 13 inches thick.

Search for a High Protein Flour

  • After attempting a pizza dough recipe for a few times and using all of the suggestions above, you may still be facing problems with your crust due to an issue with your flour.
  • The gluten in flour is formed by the protein in the flour, and the gluten is responsible for the texture of your pizza crust.
  • A high-protein bread flour, such as our Artisan Bread Flour, is the best flour for producing the ultimate pizza crust since it contains no gluten.
  • It’s vital to remember that the higher the protein content of a flour, the longer the dough will need to rest before it can be used.
  • Because of its great elasticity, the dough will snap back into shape if it is not let to rest for an adequate amount of time.
  • Cooking a tasty pizza crust with the appropriate texture is still achievable even if you have gluten intolerance or are cooking for someone who does not tolerate gluten.

The addition of just a couple of key components will allow you to develop a gluten free pizza dough that will perform in a manner similar to standard pizza doughs.This delicious gluten-free pizza dough recipe makes use of millet flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, dry yeast, and xanthan gum to recreate the texture and flavor of a classic wheat flour pizza crust without the use of gluten-containing grains.You can make a vegan version of this dish that is not only gluten free, but also exceedingly simple to prepare.

The Toppings

Choose Your Toppings Wisely

  • Pizza dough that has become mushy is one of our least favorite frequent pizza dough problems.
  • Now that you’ve mastered the art of creating the ideal pizza dough, you should proceed with caution when it comes to toppings.
  • There’s (almost) nothing worse than spending hours perfecting a tasty crust only to have it turn into a mushy pizza.
  • Make sure to pay special attention to the moisture content of your pizza toppings and sauce when you are selecting them.
  • Wet toppings, such as marinated veggies and olives, can weigh down your pizza and cause it to become mushy because they seep into the dough.
  • When selecting your pizza toppings, take the ″less is more″ approach and choose toppings that compliment one another; for example, if you’re adding wet toppings like fresh tomatoes, make sure to balance it out with a dryer sauce or fresh herbs to keep things balanced.

A mushy pizza may be created by piling on too much sauce and cheese.In order to avoid overpowering your pizza with a variety of flavors, it is preferable to choose a few toppings that compliment one another.If just a few toppings aren’t enough, consider pre-cooking your toppings to remove some of the moisture before adding them.

Skip the Store-Bought Sau

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