Hand Stretching Method 1
Hand Stretching Method 2
Tossing and Saucing
How to Stretch Dough:
- Dough should always be allowed to warm up for at least 30-60 minutes at room temperature before using.
- Gently scrape a dough ball out of the dough tray using a dough scraper. Keep the dough ball as round as possible. Do not pull the dough ball out of the tray, rather completely scrape it loose from the tray before removing.
- Place dough ball into dusting flour bowl and flip over to dust both sides.
- Sprinkle dusting flour on the counter and place dough ball on the counter sticky side up. The sticky side is the bottom of the dough ball as it was sitting in the dough tray.
- Define the edge of the dough by putting your fingers together, place them at the top of the dough ball, and push down to create an edge around the outside of the dough. Work your way around the dough ball and back up again. Use the underside of your fingers, not your fingertips to push down. The result should leave the dough with an edge about 3/8” thick and a gentle “hump” of dough in the center.
- Now you will stretch the dough out to size. Lay your hands palms down on top of the dough straddling the little hump of dough in the center, use your fingertips to “dig” into the edge of the dough, and start stretching the edge in a gentle arc type motion.
- One hand will lightly hold the dough while the other hand does the stretching. The dough will naturally rotate on the counter as you stretch it out.
- Continue until the dough is 75% -100% of the size you need. Dough thickness should be uniform across the dough or have a slight hump in the center. If the dough is thin in the center discard and start over.
- If needed, give the dough a few slaps or a few spins in the air to get it out to the desired size.
- Always make the dough ¼” larger than the size you are making to allow for shrinkage that will occur when you sauce the pizza.
- If you are using a screen/pan simply lay or “flop” the dough down onto the screen/pan and sauce.
- If you’re baking directly on the stone you will lightly flour a peel first, then lay or “flop” the dough onto your peel. Be sure to “shake” it every so many seconds to keep it from sticking to the peel.
- You may also opt to make the entire pizza directly on the prep table surface and “pull” the pizza onto a slotted aluminum peel to reduce the amount of dusting flour you get in the oven
Do’s & Don’ts of Hand Stretching Dough
- Do make sure the dough ball is as round as possible.
- Do stretch just the edge of the dough. If you try to stretch the entire dough you will end up making a very thick edge and a very thin middle.
- Do make sure the sticky side (bottom) of the dough ball stays up.
- Do pop small bubbles before you load into the oven.
- Don’t flatten the entire dough ball. You should keep a slight “hump” of dough in the center.
- Don’t use a dough that has a thin middle. If you stretched out a dough ball and created a thin middle – start over with a new dough ball.
- Don’t stretch the entire dough ball. You should focus only on stretching the edge, the middle will stretch out on its own.
- Don’t let your fingers go past the edge of the dough when stretching. Your fingertips should go right up into the edge but not past it.