How to Stretch Pizza Dough

How to Stretch Pizza Dough

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When it comes to preparing pizza, pizza dough is an essential stage. Why? Just take a peek at your lump of dough. Is it truly ready, willing, and able to be loaded with cheese and pepperoni and baked? I don’t think so!

Hello there! Shea is my name, and I like preparing pizza. However, I must say that extending the pizza is my least favorite aspect. Stretching requires time and skill, and if your dough isn’t ready for stretching, you’ll fail.

The good news is that I’ve discovered the ideal method for stretching pizza dough. My how-to instruction is so simple that even inexperienced pizza makers will have no trouble expanding their pizza dough with it.

Whos ready to stretch some pizza dough?

How to Stretch Pizza Dough (6 Steps)

How to Stretch Pizza Dough

Stretching pizza dough may seem and even sound difficult. To be honest, it’s not the most difficult element of cooking homemade pizza. However, with a little patience and effort, you can stretch pizza dough and produce delicious, perfectly-crusted dough in no time.

Step 1: Start By Bringing Your Dough to Room Temp

If your pizza dough is too cold, it will not stretch. This is due to the gluten network (which is responsible for rising and generating your dough) tightening up when exposed to cold air, such as that found in the refrigerator.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before stretching it. If your dough is frozen, it may take closer to an hour to defrost the pizza crust. You may alternatively defrost it in the refrigerator overnight, then take it out 30 minutes before stretching.

If the dough was not chilled or frozen, you may begin working on it after it has risen. Most pizza doughs need a few hours to rise.

Step 2: Oil Your Workspace

Following that, you should oil your workplace and hands. Oil will keep things from adhering. It will also give your pizza dough a more strong taste, which we can all agree is a wonderful benefit.

If you choose, you may substitute flour. Just remember that too much flour on your desk might equal too much flour in your dough. A thick and tough dough might result from over-flouring. Use just a little amount of flour.

Step 3: Push the Dough Down

I prefer not to begin with a large ball of pizza dough. Before I begin working with my pizza dough, I want it to have the desired circular form of a pizza. So I press the dough down with the palm of my hand.

Then I’ll gently swirl the dough around in a circular motion with my three middle fingers until it resembles a little disc. A little snapback is OK at this stage, but if it is entirely stiff, let it rest for another ten minutes.

Step 4: Use the “DJ” Method

When you’re happy with the appearance and feel of the dough, you may start the DJ process. The DJ technique is so named because you’ll be spinning your money around like you’re in a DJ booth.

Simply lay your hands in the center of the dough to do the DJ approach. Then, as you spin the pizza dough, extend your hands outwards. Here’s a nice video that demonstrates the pushdown and DJ approach.

Step 5: Stretch it Out with Gravity

This is definitely my favorite portion of the pizza dough-making process! To give your pizza dough a nice stretch, lift it up using just one side. Allow the remaining pizza dough to hang in front of you (thanks, gravity!).

When you’re happy with the length, crimp the edges (to produce the crust) and rotate it. As you spin the pizza dough, continue pinching the ends. Slow down and let gravity do its thing. This video will assist you if you are a visual person.

Step 6: Polish it Up

At this stage, your pizza dough may be as thin or as thick as you desire. If you see any little cracks in the dough, flip it over carefully to seal it. You may also customize the crust to your taste.

A Few Tips for Stretching Pizza Dough

See? It is not difficult to stretch pizza dough. But here are a few more pointers to help you succeed.

  • No rolling pins are permitted. Rolling pins will remove the required gasses for a light, airy, and beautiful crust, leaving you with a thick, tough, and unappealing nightmare. Never stretch pizza dough with a rolling pin!
  • Avoid using scented moisturizers or soaps. You’ll be stretching your dough with your hands a lot. Any strong odors will pass to the pizza dough, altering the taste character. Before plunging in, use gentle soaps and moisturizers.
  • Don’t throw it up in the air. I understand. It seems to be enjoyable. And you may be able to pull it off someday. But it won’t happen without a lot of practice. Leave the pizza throwing to the pros or it will end up on the floor.
  • Allow it to properly proof. Working with overproofed or underproofed pizza dough is going to be a pain, if not impossible. Check that your dough has proofed for the appropriate period of time.


Stretching dough is simple with the appropriate technique and suggestions, even for novices. Check out the commonly asked questions below to learn more about how to stretch pizza dough.

What does stretching pizza dough do?

Stretching pizza dough effectively provides a clean slate for adding and cooking mozzarella, pepperoni, vegetables, and any other toppings you wish. Stretching also provides a delicious airy and lightweight crust with just the perfect amount of doughiness and crunch.

Why stretch the dough instead of rolling it out?

Gasses develop as the dough proofs, ensuring an ideal crust. The gasses will be forced out of the dough if you use a rolling pin. At this stage, you’re dealing with tough, thick dough.

Should you stretch and fold pizza dough?

The stretch and fold technique is used to knead pizza dough rather than stretch it (despite the name). Stretching and folding are excellent methods for kneading. Simply grasp one side of the dough and fold it onto the other edge, rotate, and repeat.

Should pizza dough be room temp before stretching?

Yes! Cold pizza dough will not stretch and will nearly completely snap back. Before trying to stretch the dough, make sure it is at room temperature.

Final Words

Stretching dough may seem difficult, but with experience and the appropriate methods, it is not too difficult. Begin with room temperature dough and an oiled work surface. Push the dough down, then stretch it out to the appropriate form using the DJ approach and gravity. Bake, then serve!

Do you ever bake your own pizza? How do you roll out your pizza dough? Please share so that we may try your way!


What is the best surface to stretch pizza dough?

Marble is favored because it does not retain cold temperatures as well as stainless steel, and there will be no of the reactions that some are concerned about when stainless steel and food come into contact.

How long to leave pizza dough out before stretching?

Warm up the cold dough for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before stretching. Gluten, the protein that gives pizza dough its chewiness, contracts under cold environments such as the refrigerator, which explains why cold pizza dough will stretch out and snap back like a rubber band.

Should pizza dough be room temperature to stretch?

or rock.When pizza dough is cold, it stiffens and becomes rigid. That is why it is critical to let the dough to get to room temperature before stretching it. This might take an hour, so take the dough out of the fridge while you preheat the baking steel.

What can I add to dough to make it stretch?

Gluten contributes to the dough’s flexible nature, enabling it to stretch without breaking. Though it is crucial to completely knead your dough, it is not required to knead your dough for an extended period of time.

Should I roll or pull pizza dough?

Bread Recipes

Never use a rolling pin to stretch pizza dough because it will press out all the gas, reducing oven spring and resulting in a compacted, harsh texture. Flour both sides of the rounded and proofed pizza dough. Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten into a disc.

Should pizza dough rise covered or uncovered?

Dough must be covered during proofing, but if your plastic wrap has a hole or you use a cloth that does not produce a tight seal, air exposure will cause the top of your dough to become crusty and tough.

Can pizza dough rest for too long?

Pizza dough that has been over-proofed or has been allowed to rise for too long may collapse. The gluten gets too loosened, and the finished result is gummy or crumbly rather than crisp and airy.

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