How to stretch pizza dough – 2 minutes
We are now at a crucial stage: stretching the pizza dough.
It is important to adequately flour the surface on which you will be working. Roll the dough into a ball and press at the center using your hands – it takes practice – or use a rolling pin, which is easier, but will cause you to lose some of the gas in the yeast which is responsible for the rising of the pizza dough.
You can try either way and see which way is better for you. In the end, it’s the experimentation that’s fun.
Look at the following sequence of photos to see how I do it so that you can begin practicing.
When working by hand, you have to enlarge the ball of dough by pressing down on it gently, starting from the center and enlargening it by pressing outward and pulling it out delicately from the edges. Your objective is to end up with a thin layer of dough of uniform width, with the exception of the very outer edges where we want a couple extra millimeters of dough.
How ro stretch pizza dough by hand (video)
The pizza dough’s diameter should be around 20-25cm, depending on the density of the ball of dough. Be careful not to extend the dough beyond the diameter of the pizza pan that you will be using.
At this point you should have a lightly floured anti-stick pizza pan in front of you on one side, with a well-rounded disc of pizza dough on the other side.
I have not mentioned anything about greasing the pan because it is not necessary.
As long as you ensure that the dough was stretched on a well-floured surface and that you use a well-floured good quality pan, you will not need anything else to ensure that your dough does not stick. This way you ensure that your pizza dough is drier and similar to those of pizzerias. You can grease the pan if you like, but the result will be unlike a wood-oven pizza and more like a regular slice pizzeria.
At this point, the disc of dough is ready to place on the pan.
Without allowing it to lose its shape, lift the disc of dough in your hands and transfer it to the pizza pan. I show the proper techique in the video. It may fall apart, but that’s ok.
If it does happen, fix it by reattaching the broken areas by massaging those parts of the dough until the dough around the holes reattach and close.
Or else, get a small piece of dough and blend it together with the dough around the holes, almost as though you are patching up the holes. Don’t worry about how it looks, as we will be putting the tomato sauce on top and you will not be able to see it. What’s really important is that the holes are not there when you put the sauce on top because if the sauce seeps down to the pan, it will burn and then make the dough stick to the pan.
Once on the pan, adjust the shape of the dough to make sure that it takes the proper shape. Then spread about three or four large spoons of tomato sauce on top of it, leaving the outer 1-2cm of the border clear of sauce. Add a pinch on salt if you have not already added it to the sauce.
Add the mozzarella and basil and go next step!