Pizza Dough

Is there a single soul on this planet who doesn’t like pizza? There are so many different varieties I can’t think of one person I know who doesn’t have a personal favourite. Pizza dough has actually been around for over 1000 years and it first became popular in Naples where it was usually served as an appetizer or snack. This was almost 200 years BP though (Before Pizza!). Pizza itself only really took off in 1830 with the opening of the world’s first Pizzeria (I bet you read that in an Italian accent!).

Although there are millions of pizza delivery options on your doorstep, it’s really simple to whip up your own pizza dough, sauce, and toppings at home. Which probably has a lot to do with why this yum-tastic Italian offering has stood the test of time! Yes, “yum-tastic”, I went there.

Save Your Favorite Recipes!
Create an account and save recipes

How to Stretch Pizza Dough

Knowing how to properly stretch your pizza dough is probably the most important part of making a pizza, but it’s also a bit tricky at first! Firstly, you’ll need to make sure that your dough is at room temperature. If you’ve pre-made it and kept it in the fridge, you’ll need to warm it up for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise that cold pizza dough will just snap back like a rubber band when you try to stretch it out. Bringing your pizza dough to room temperature will loose it up and make it easier to shape.

Once your dough is ready to go (see what I did there?), rub a little olive oil onto your hands and work surface. This will keep the dough from sticking to your sheet pan or cutting board and also ensure it turns out with a nice golden crust. Avoid using too much flour at this point because it’ll just toughen up the dough, which is not what you want.

Before you start to stretch the dough, use the palm of your hand to press it down into a large flat disc shape. Then use your middle three fingers on each hand to press the dough out from center and widen the flat disc out into a large circle that’s about half an inch thick. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round at this stage, but the dough shouldn’t shrink back when you press it. If it does start to snap back, just repeat the process until the dough holds its shape.

If you’ve seen anyone making pizza dough in a restaurant or even on TV, you’ve probably tried to replace the pro-move of stretching the dough out with your knuckles and tossing it in the air. But this really isn’t a great way to learn how to stretch pizza dough, as impressive as it is! I recommend keeping the dough close to you and using hand pulling and gravity to get an even crust. Then when you’re ready to stretch, pick up the dough and hold it with both hands on one edge, with the rest of the dough hanging down. It’s a good idea to have the top of the pizza dough facing towards you so you can check the thickness. You can then leave a lot of a stretching to gravity as you rotate the dough hand to hand in a wheel-like motion.

You’re bound to get a few thin spots and/or holes when you first try this, but don’t worry about that – you can always pinch any torn or thinned out bits by pressing around them and bringing the dough together to cover up the area. Anyway, creating the classic Italian pizza dough isn’t about perfection, it’s about passion!

Learn to cook like the Kitchen Magpie

All Pizza Dough Recipes

Below you will find our pizza dough recipes, ready for the making!