Recently, our test kitchen and photo studio were overrun by pizza dough. Between testing and shooting the delicious pizzas for FC #135, we stretched a lot of dough, and while doing that, we found that each of our food editors has a different technique (see above).
Regardless of how you like to stretch pizza dough, there are a few things to keep in mind while handling it. If you’re stretching on a surface, lightly flour it so the dough doesn’t stick. If the dough continually retracts, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before resuming stretching. Don’t let the center of the dough get too thin, or it may develop a hole. Finally, as you read through the three methods, know that they can be used separately or in conjunction. And, if you’re feeling brave, go ahead and give the dough a toss over your head.
Pizza Tool Kit
If you make pizza often, get ahold of these three crucial tools: a peel, a stone, and a cutter. None will break the bank, and they make cooking and serving more pleasurable.
Photos by Scott Phillips
Abby likes the "dimple" method, using her fingertips to spread the dough on a floured surface. "It doesn't shrink back when I do it this way."
Ronne lets gravity do most of the work with her "steering wheel" method. Hold the dough perpendicular to the work surface and turn it by moving your hands in one direction along the edge.
Juli uses the back of her hands. "It looks cool and makes me feel professional," she jokes. More seriously, she notes that she's able to see how and where the dough is stretching.