Do you really need to throw pizza dough in the air? Here’s exactly how to stretch pizza dough, including step-by-step instructions and a video!
Hi there. We’re Sonja and Alex, and we’re pizza obsessed. We’ve spent the last 10 years researching the best way to make homemade pizza. Luckily, we’ve put in all the leg work so that you don’t have to! We’ve created our master recipe for pizza dough, which has been made by hundreds all over the world. And, we’ve answered the question: Do you need to throw pizza dough in the air? Well, you can if you’d like: and if you’re super coordinated. But what we’ve found is that you don’t need to get dough on your ceiling to stretch the perfect pizza. Here’s our step-by-step tutorial on exactly how to stretch pizza dough.
Video: How to stretch pizza dough (1 minute)
Some things, like shaping pizza dough or sourdough bread, are just easier to learn by watching! Even if we wrote the most perfect instructions for how to stretch pizza dough (and we hope we have), the best way to learn it is to watch it. So we’ve got a video for you! Alex is the dough master in our household, so he put together this video tutorial of how to stretch pizza dough.
What you need
To stretch pizza dough, you actually don’t need any special tools at all. But you’ve got to start with a great pizza dough recipe! You can use this same method with store bought pizza dough, of course. But our master dough recipe is truly sublime. For the baking of the pizza, though, we recommend a few tools.
Here’s what you need to stretch pizza dough and then bake it:
Pizza peels and stones
A pizza peel is a paddle that’s used to slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone. Why use a pizza stone? It makes for that perfect pizza crust that’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
- The best pizza peels? We recommend this Aluminum Pizza Peel. Or if you’re ready to invest in your pizza habit, this Super Pizza Peel makes it super easy to slide onto the pizza stone.
- The best pizza stone? We use this Pizza Stone and love it. (Plus, some care tips.)
Got all the required tools? Let’s go.
Do you really need to throw pizza dough in the air? Here's exactly how to stretch pizza dough, including step-by-step instructions and a video!
- 1 Pizza Dough Master Recipe
Step 1: Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour.
Step 2: Use your fingers to gently the dough into a circle, flipping several times and adding a pinch of flour if it is too sticky.
Step 3: Once you have about an 8-inch circle, pick up the dough and gently drape it over the knuckles on both of your hands. Slowly rotate it around, allowing gravity to stretch it into a circle about 11 inches in diameter.
Step 4: If the dough starts to resist stretching, put it down and allow it to rest for a few minutes, at which point it will stretch more easily. Then repeat Step 3 until you have an 11-inch circle!
Now that you’ve learned how to stretch pizza dough, you’re ready for pizza recipes! Here are the top pizza recipes you should make with your new knowledge:
- Perfect Homemade Margherita Pizza
- Pesto Pizza Recipe
- Our Best Vegan Pizza
- Best Ever Taco Pizza
- Homemade Cheese Pizza
- Everything Basil Pizza
- Truffle Pizza
- Spinach Artichoke Pizza
- Mushroom Pizza with Fresh Herbs
- Easy Pizza Sauce Recipe
- Perfect Neapolitan Style Pizza Recipe
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.