How to Stretch Pizza Dough in 6 Easy Steps

By Robert Parsons January 6, 2021

Stretching pizza dough may seem like a difficult task for those new to this craft. However, with these 6 simple steps, it doesn’t have to be. These tips are the go-to techniques that we use when we roll out and stretch our pizza dough. They’ve proven to be successful time after time, so our team wants to share them with you. 

Keep reading to learn how to roll out pizza dough the right way, resulting in a crispy and delicious crust!

Step 1: Make Your Dough 

Pizza made from scratch is the best kind. If you want to recreate restaurant-grade Italian pizza, you need to master the art of making pizza dough! After all, without it, there is no pizza! Feel free to check out our other article on 00 flour  to ensure the best result possible. 

Step 2: Bring Dough to Room Temperature 

You always want to make sure your dough is at room temperature before stretching. To do so, warm it for 30 minutes at room temperature. If you just made your dough, there is no reason to do this since it’s likely already at room temperature as long as you’ve let it rise (this takes about two hours). 

Why is it important for your dough to be at room temperature? This is because gluten, the protein that makes dough chewy, is tight in cold conditions. This is why cold dough will stretch out and snap back like a rubber band. When it’s at room temperature, you’ll be able to shape it properly since it will be loosened up. 

Note: If you haven’t yet mastered the art of pizza dough making and you bought it from the grocery store frozen section, remove it from the plastic and move it over to an oiled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm place for 30 minutes. This will loosen it up. 

Step 3: Prepare Your Workspace 

Now that your dough is ready to stretch, you want to prep your workspace. If you wish, you can sprinkle a little bit of flour to avoid the dough from sticking. However, we love rubbing the surface as well as our hands with a little olive oil. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the cutting board or the sheet pan. It also encourages a crispy and golden crust. 

Step 4: Press Your Pizza Dough 

Before you stretch it, flatten it out into a disc. Rolling pizza dough is made easy by using the “Finger Press” technique. Press down on it until it’s flat. Gently continue to press and move your hands away from each other to stretch the base outwards. Keep the shape of it as circular as possible because this will determine your pizza’s overall base shape once it’s completely stretched out. 

Pro Tip: If you notice that your dough snaps back as you try to stretch it, let it rest for 15-20. A little shrinking is normal; however, if it shrinks a lot, you need to let it rest so it can hold its shape.

Step 5: Stretch the Dough 

You might think we’re going to tell you that stretching pizza dough requires your knuckles and tossing the pie up into the air. However, this is not the best way to do so, especially if you’re a beginner. Instead, use your hands to stretch the dough evenly. 

Carefully pick it up and hold it with both hands (one hand on each edge). Let it hang down. For this step, gravity will do some of the stretching. Gently rotate it in one direction. Slowly pull it from hand to hand as the dough continues to hang down. 

You want to stretch it until it’s about 11 inches in diameter and ⅓ inch thick. If you notice thin spots or holes, don’t worry! This will be fixed in the next step. 

Step 6: Stretch Dough on the Pizza Peel 

When you’re done with the stretching process, carefully move the dough onto your prepared pizza peel or sheet pan. If it’s perfectly even and about 10 inches across, you should be proud and consider yourself a real pizza professional! However, you may be more like the rest of us and notice some imperfections. 

To fix any imperfections, you’ll need to pinch the torn areas closed. To do so, simply press around them, and the dough will come together and cover the area. If you notice any areas that are too thick, press them out until they reach about ⅓ in thickness. 

Do not worry if the edge (what’s essentially going to be the crust) doesn’t look thicker than the center. The toppings will weigh down the center, and the crust will puff up in the oven. 

Conclusion 

Now that you know how to stretch pizza dough, we encourage you to get in your kitchen and give our tips above a try! With a little practice, you’ll improve your skills, have fun in the process, and create savory pies!