Rolling out pizza dough can be daunting, especially when you see experts do it with ease. Nevertheless, rolling pizza dough is not as difficult as it seems and with a few useful tips, you can master it in no time.
This article gives a step-by-step guide on how to roll out pizza dough for the perfect crust.
Making the Pizza Dough.
Most pizza dough recipes have the same basic ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt. You can also add oil or sugar to the dough for extra flavor. To make pizza dough, you’ll need:
3 cups of all-purpose flour.
2 teaspoons of dry yeast.
A cup of lukewarm water.
1 teaspoon of salt.
2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Step 1: Prepare the yeast
Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water, add a pinch of sugar, mix and allow to sit for 5 minutes at room temperature. Observe to see when the yeast foams or bubbles, as this is a telltale sign that it is ready to be used.
Step 2: Form a fluffy dough.
Pour the flour into a separate container and make a well in the middle. Add salt, olive oil and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix all together to get a smooth or fluffy dough.
Step 3: Knead until smooth.
Sprinkle your hands and the work surface with a little flour, then transfer the dough to the surface and knead until the dough is fine and stretchy.
Step 4: Prove the dough.
Place the dough inside an oiled container, cover it and allow to rise for about an hour.
Shaping the Dough: Rolling vs Hand-Stretching
Once the dough has risen, it is time to shape it. There are two main methods of shaping pizza dough: rolling and hand-stretching.
Anyone who has ever made homemade pizza dough knows that it can be a bit tricky to get the perfect consistency. The dough needs to be firm enough to hold its shape, but not so dense that it produces a tough crust. One way to achieve the ideal texture is to roll the dough before baking. This will push the pockets of gas out of the dough that were formed during the rise, resulting in a thinner, denser crust.
The rolled dough will also be less likely to form large bubbles in the crust. As a result, it will produce a pizza with a crispy, flavorful crust that is evenly cooked all the way through.
On the other hand, stretching the dough by hand is the traditional method, but many people find it easier to roll it out with a rolling pin. Each method produces a different type of crust, so it’s really a matter of personal preference. rolled doughs are more suited to thin crust or cracker-thin styles, while hand-stretched doughs are better for Neapolitan and New York-style pizzas.
How to Roll Out Pizza Dough
For the purpose of this article, we will be considering the rolling method only. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to roll your pizza dough
Warm the dough:
Cover up the dough with a kitchen towel, at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes. This is because a protein in pizza dough called gluten always toughens up under cold conditions, this makes cold dough snap back when you try to roll it out. Warming it relaxes the dough and makes it easier to stretch.
If you’re using store-bought dough, remove it from the plastic and place it in an oiled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl and set it in a warm place for at least 30 minutes. On the other hand, if you’re working with homemade pizza dough made the same day, you’ll be starting this step after the first 1 1/2- to 2-hour rise time after you’ve split the dough into two portions.
Ensure you clean the surface:
When you are making sticky dough, it is important to have a clean surface. This will help to prevent the dough from getting dirty and stuck with debris. Choose a surface that is easy to clean, such as a kitchen counter or a table.
A clean work surface is essential for making a pizza dough that is free of dirt.
Dust your surface with a little flour:
You don’t want to use too much flour or else the dough will become tough, and if you use too little, it will stick to your hands and surfaces. The trick is to find the perfect balance of not letting the dough get sticky.
Press your pizza dough with oiled hands:
Transfer the dough to a lightly dusted work surface. With oiled hands, press the pizza inward from the middle towards the edges until it is shaped into a circle. The dough will be sticky and thick at this point.
Rolling out the pizza dough:
Start by rolling the dough outwards with your rolling pin, making sure to move your hands across it evenly. This will create a perfectly round shape. Keep rolling the flat disc backward and forwards until it becomes oblong-shaped, then rotate it around and repeat. A few flips and rolls will elongate the dough to your desired size. For a thicker crust, roll the dough out until the edge is half an inch thicker than the center.
Let gravity finish the rolling:
To stretch the dough, lift it up by its edges and move your arms in a circular motion.
Make sure your pizza dough is rolled out evenly to create a dense crust with few or no holes. Once that’s done, you can add your toppings and bake the pizza.
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Rolling out pizza dough is a great way to get an even, thin crust with few bubbles. It requires a bit of practice and patience to get the perfect pizza every time, but it’s worth it for its delicious results. With the right technique and a little bit of practice, you can create a pizza that is ready to bake and enjoy!