How to Roll Pizza Dough: The Ultimate Guide

By Robert Parsons May 10, 2023

Tossing pizza in the air may look effortless when a professional does it, but it is not easy when attempting it yourself. 

We recommend that you start by learning how to roll the dough by hand before moving on to tossing it in the air. This will provide you with a good basis for the pizza stretching process, which you can then build upon as you explore different techniques.

This guide will help you learn how to roll pizza dough by hand, covering the entire process from start to finish. When you’re done stretching the dough, you can add your preferred toppings and bake your pizza.

Step 1: Prepare Your Dough

For the pizza dough, make sure it is made with yeast as it helps it to rise. If you have purchased it from a grocery store, that’s fine. However, we prefer making it from scratch.

It is highly recommended that you make your own dough using the right ingredients and techniques by referring to a dough-making recipe. However, whether you choose to make it or buy it from a store, make sure to warm it up to room temperature.

To make it easier to shape, let cold dough sit for 30 minutes before rolling it out. When using frozen homemade dough, take it out of the plastic, put it in an oiled mixing bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap or a towel. Then, let it sit in a warm place for approximately 30 minutes. 

Step 2: Prepare your Workspace 

Before moving ahead, make sure to prepare your work area while the dough sits. To prevent sticking to the work surface, you can apply a little bit of flour or olive oil. If you opt for flour, make sure you sprinkle a small amount only. Remember, excess use of flour can make the dough tough.

To prevent the dough from sticking and promote a crispy, golden crust, use no more than 3 tablespoons of olive oil. We recommend trying both methods to determine your preference. 

Step 3: Press your Pizza Dough 

To stretch out your pizza dough, start by pressing it with your fingers and palm. Keep flattening it until it forms a disc that is about 6 inches wide. Additionally, you can use the middle three fingers of each hand to press out the dough from the center, which will spread out the disc.

During the process, it is important to let it rest when necessary. If you observe that it quickly snaps back or fails to hold its shape, it means it needs more time to rest. Although some shrinking is normal, if it snaps back too quickly, you should wait for 15-20 minutes before trying again. 

Step 4: Stretch Dough with Hands 

To pick up the pizza dough, use both hands and hold it by the edges after pressing it with your fingers. The dough will hang down naturally. Rotate the dough gently in one direction, while keeping an eye on its thickness. Stretch it until it measures 10 inches in diameter and ⅓ of an inch thick. Don’t worry if you see any holes; you’ll learn how to fix them in the next step. 

Pro Tip: To prevent tears or holes from forming, it is important to stretch gently and take your time. Also, make sure to pay attention to the thickness of the disc.

Step 5: Place Dough on the Pizza Peel 

Be cautious while transferring your stretched pizza dough onto a sheet pan or a pizza peel. Check if your dough is round and 10 inches in diameter. If you have achieved this, well done! However, if there are any tears or holes, don’t be discouraged as it takes some practice. Fix any imperfections at this stage.

  • – Gently press down on any thick edges until they are about ⅓ inch thick. 
  • – Use your fingers to locate any holes or thin areas and press around them. 

You don’t have to worry if the center of your pizza appears thicker than the edges because the toppings will prevent it from rising too much while the crust will still rise perfectly in the oven.


Congratulations! You’ve now successfully learned how to roll pizza dough. Keep in mind that it takes time and practice to perfect the art of stretching pizza dough. Just stay persistent and don’t get discouraged – soon enough you’ll be able to toss pizza dough like a pro!