01 of 06
One of the most daunting parts of making homemade pizza dough is properly stretching it out. Watching a profession sling dough gracefully up in the air can deter even the best home cook from making their own pie. Thankfully, it's not as hard as it looks, and with a few helpful tips, you'll be a pizza pro in no time.
To get started, you'll need a ball of pizza dough and a countertop dusted with flour. The better the ingredients you use to make the dough, the better the dough will be. Using the correct flour is especially important and allowing the dough to rise properly is also a must.
This technique for stretching dough also works for store-bought pizza dough. Make sure the dough is at room temperature before stretching.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Don't Use a Rolling Pin
Once your dough has risen, you're ready to stretch it out into a flat disc. You may be tempted to use a rolling pin to do this, which can sometimes work fine, but it often causes the dough to tear. You will also find that the dough keeps shrinking back on itself making it difficult to get a large enough disc. Use your hands for the best results.
If you're making a Neapolitan pizza, rolling pins are forbidden according to the official Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana rules.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Press the Dough Into a Small Disc
Start by pressing your fingers together, standing them straight on the tips and stiffening them. Practice this on the countertop first. When you're ready, place the dough ball on the well-floured countertop and flatten it slightly by pressing down with the palms of your hands.
Then, begin pressing into the dough with your fingertips, gently working them outward and pulling the dough with it. Rotate the disc to make sure you are stretching it evenly into a circle. Leave the outer edges a little thicker for the crust.
Keep doing this until the dough has flattened and widened into a small disc. Don't press too hard, since you risk tearing the dough. You'll learn how much pressure the dough can withstand as you go.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
The Hand Flop, Part 1
Take the disc and lightly press one hand flat on top of it.
Take hold of the edge of the disc with your other hand and quickly lift the disc and flip it over so the bottom edge rests on your right wrist, and the rest flops over your hand, which is now palm-up.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
The Hand Flop, Part 2
Next, flop the disc back down onto the floured countertop.
Repeat this several times and you will quickly notice the dough stretching out each time. This is a move that you might recognize from your local pizza shop, where the pro pizza makers quickly bat the dough back and forth between their hands to stretch it.
Do this until the disc is the size and thickness you prefer, rotating to keep it circular. Be careful not to let it get so thin that it tears.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Top Your Pizza Dough
Voila! You have a perfectly hand-stretched round of pizza dough. Now you're ready for some toppings and a quick bake in the oven.