Confused with all the options to stretch pizza dough by hand?
Learning to stretch pizza dough by hand is a fun new skill to learn. After trying out many different techniques, this is the one that we find simplest to pick up, and also super quick if you are making a lot of bases. Watch it done on this video double-quick time!
Firstly ensure your dough is up to room temperature and nice and puffy. If you try to stretch pizza dough by hand while too cold it will be too resistant and you will likely tear the base. You will get to know as soon as you pick up the dough if it is ready to stretch or not.
Start by dusting the worktop with your preferred flour (we used plain flour here, but semolina works well) and pop the dough ball onto the floured surface, pressing it out into a small ring, with a nice puffy rim around the edge. (This will turn into your chewy yet crunchy crust – the best bit!)
Flip it over and do the same again. Then flip it back again. You are now ready to stretch.
Start to spin the pizza base with the flat of your hands, while gently increasing the diameter with your fingers as you turn. Don’t be rough or try and go too fast, as you don’t want to tear the base. Keep spinning and stretching and you will soon get the hang of it and it will become easier and easier. Once the base is around 12″ in diameter, slide it onto a thin oven sheet, or a pizza peel if you have one.
We like a quick dusting of polenta on the pizza peel, which gives the pizza a nice set of mini “ball bearings” to ride on and should slide off the peel nice and easily into the oven.
Waste no time in adding your toppings and popping it into your oven, giving it a little shoogle on the peel to make sure it doesn’t stick at the vital moment you put it in the oven.
Now, check out our next lesson on topping and cooking your pizza in a kitchen oven.