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I stink at stretching pizza dough

anezanez Posts: 121
edited August 2012 in Baking
So last night i took my first shot at pizza on the egg. I bought my dough from Trader Joe's (lazy, I know will look to make my own dough maybe next time) and had an impossible time trying to stretch out the dough. My pizza turned out really blah because of it. One was way to thin and one was just a little too thick. 

The dough was really wet and difficult to work with even tho i had it sitting out on the counter for 40 minutes or so before working with it.

Anyone have any tips on the best ways to spread pizza dough? if you make your own is there a better chance at making some that is easier to work with? Or do i just stink? 

Thanks!


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Comments

  • BudgeezerBudgeezer Posts: 446
    It just takes some time to get the hang of it.  In the meantime nothing wrong with using a rolling pin.
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    Edina, MN
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 879
    edited August 2012
    Sticky dough will not stick to wet fingers

    Lots of flour on the worksurface

    Sprinkle the dough/your hands with flour when you need to manipulate the dough.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,281
    If the dough was blah, that was because of the dough, not your stretching. If its wet, add some more flour to it. You'll get the hang of it. Just takes practice.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • anezanez Posts: 121
    thanks, all. guess i'll just have to keep practicing which means more pizza. not a bad problem to have. i'll try leaving it out longer next time. 
  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,083
    Let the dough sit out 2-4 hours...use flour on the surface and on your hands...stretch it for a few minutes...then let it rest for 10 minutes or so...you know when it is ready it looks like old ladies underwear...you know all droopy...keep trying you will get the hang of it..
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,599
    It does take a certain touch.... Use of a rolling pin will squeeze out some of the air and create a thinner, crisper crust. Hand worked crusts usually are a bit more bread like. Both are good. 
    If the dough is elastic and springs back - let it rest you will only frustrate yourself. 
    Check out this link to America's test kitchen, not so much for the type of crust, but for the basics. May help. 



    Never used TJ's dough, try to let it warm on the counter longer, up to two hours, then try to work it. 

    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • I use TJ's dough almost exclusively with great results.  As noted above, don't be shy with the flour on your work surface and your hands.  Also, I take the dough out at least a half-hour in advance and form it into a new ball by gently tucking it into itself on the bottom and forming a new skin.  (I'm sure there's a word or phrase for this that the bread-makers here know - I'm not that advanced!). Then let the dough ball rest on a well floured surface for at least 30 minutes.

    When ready, flour the surface well, then press the ball into a disk with the heel of your hands to about 7-8" diameter.  Then pick up and stretch gently using your favorite technique - I don't throw 'em but my kids are desperate for me to learn how!

    Takes a little practice, but it's fun trying.
    Mamaroneck
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,281

    One other thing I like to do is when you take the dough out to let it rise, stick it in the oven as close as you can to the light and turn the light on.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • I always buy already made dough from Publix. No problems so far, knock on wood. 

    This is what I do... 
    Dust the foil and pizza ball with flour (you don't have to use foil but I like easy cleanup):
      BBQ Pork with Goat Cheese Pizza

    Press all around the outside of the ball and make a spaceship:
      Pizza Dough

    Pick it up and put your hand on each side like this:
      Pizza Dough

    And swing back and forth -- it will start to stretch:
      Pizza Dough

    You can toss it if you want to... this is as much as I toss, tho':
      Pizza Dough

    Then stretch it out all the way around... keep turning and stretching:
      Pizza Dough 

    I used to roll the dough out with a rolling pin but I didn’t like how tough it made the crust (& I like the air bubbles).

    Pizza Dough

    Like you said, you'll just have to keep practicing which means more pizza... DARN! ;)
    I'm Kristi ~ Live in FL ~ BGE since 2003.
    I write about food & travel on Necessary Indulgences -
    You can find me on Facebook & Instagram, too! 
  • SamFerriseSamFerrise Posts: 544
    Some people should not touch dough.  It's called flour............use it.  If you leave your dough out for 40 minutes before you use it then you need a lot of medication.  If your dough is properly made it will not be sticky and hard to handle.  If you cannot stretch your dough forget about making your own.  It is simple, but you have to have a feel for the moisture content and the firmness.  You have to work it long enough to form the gluten that makes the dough elastic.  Buona Fortuna!!

    Simple ingredients, amazing results!
  • OutcastOutcast Posts: 112
    Well, that's settled....I should not make dough, and I should be on lots of medication. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,019
    Bah.  You'll be fine.  Watch a few videos on pizza dough on youtube.  If you make your own dough, use weights and I can almost guarantee you'll be in the ballpark with dough consistency.  The critical part, other than the ratios, is to follow the instructions on how you mix/knead the dough and the proofing/waiting times.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • OutcastOutcast Posts: 112
    Sorry Nola, that was meant as a sarcastic retort.  I do appreciate the tips you and others have given with actual helpful information.
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 879
    edited August 2012
    Some people should not touch dough.  It's called flour............use it.  If you leave your dough out for 40 minutes before you use it then you need a lot of medication.  If your dough is properly made it will not be sticky and hard to handle.  If you cannot stretch your dough forget about making your own.  It is simple, but you have to have a feel for the moisture content and the firmness.  You have to work it long enough to form the gluten that makes the dough elastic.  Buona Fortuna!!
    @SamFerrise  Do you have any advice (other than vague statements) to share on properly making dough?  And perhaps a recipe?  I'd like to learn from an expert like you!

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,680
    edited August 2012


    @NecessaryIndulg

    Nice step by step.  I've done about 6 (homemade dough) pizzas now and have always pushed the dough out on the table.  I like the hanging/stretching idea.

    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 2,891
    @Necessaryindulg, Nice!  Looks like another pizza on the menu this week.  Maybe I can get it close to round using this technique.
    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • anezanez Posts: 121
    thanks for all the input. and thanks for the pics, @Necessaryindulg appreciate it!
  • njlnjl Posts: 759
    I've done hand stretched/pressed and rolling pin.  I don't see a huge difference with the different methods.  One thing you can do if you want a little thicker/airier crust is get it pressed out to the size/shape you want, and give it 10-15 minutes after that do a bit more rising before starting to cook it.
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,971
    I roll mine out because I don't feel like taking the time to learn any other way. I do make my own dough and I've found it to be very good and easy to make.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 225
    Google how to toss pizza dough. I found several excellent videos on how to do it, including the Canadian champion pizza tosser, a lady. Most of the videos I saw poked around the edge similar to the pictures on this post, then tossed it by using either the fists or the forearms (the champ used her forearms). I did this, and now that I have my rig correct, I got restaurant quality pizza.

    I used indirect, PS legs down. Two bricks laid flat for spacers, stone on top of the bricks, large egg at 550. It was sublime. Oh, the dough makes a difference too. I found it here, called the best crust I ever had.

    Good luck.
    LBGE
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,747
    @Necessaryindulg  thanks for the pictorial lesson. 
    I agree that I'm not a fan of rolling cause it makes the crust a bit tougher, and less airy. SWMBO loves ultra thin crust, and likes rolling it out. 
    After watching enough pizza guys here, I've always tried pressing out ward, but never your technique with the swinging. Gonna give it a shot next time. 

    As far as getting feel for the moisture content and the firmness..... that will come with some practice.
    Go into your local pizza joint, and ask to buy a ball of dough from them. Feel the texture, and consistency of what that one feels like, and use that as a basis of what you are trying to do.  When you are comfortable with that you can change things up. 


     
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,281
    paqman said:
    Some people should not touch dough.  It's called flour............use it.  If you leave your dough out for 40 minutes before you use it then you need a lot of medication.  If your dough is properly made it will not be sticky and hard to handle.  If you cannot stretch your dough forget about making your own.  It is simple, but you have to have a feel for the moisture content and the firmness.  You have to work it long enough to form the gluten that makes the dough elastic.  Buona Fortuna!!
    @SamFerrise  Do you have any advice (other than vague statements) to share on properly making dough?  And perhaps a recipe?  I'd like to learn from an expert like you!

    Nope. All he has are negative comments to make if you aren't doing it the way he thinks it should be done. Like Seinfeld's soup nazi, he's the resident pizza nazi.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,747
    Lol


    NO PIZZA FOR YOU!
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • bigphilbigphil Posts: 1,357
    edited August 2012
    i found the best way to stretch pizza dough is let my wife do it . i honestly have no business doing it am just that bad 
    Large Big Green Egg , XL Big Green Egg . BBQ Guru, Weber Kettle, Weber Q grill for road trips.
  • anezanez Posts: 121
    haha, phil. my wife's pizza came out much better than mine. i was very happy for her. didn't stew over it at all. nope, not for one second. haha
  • 2SCdoodlegg2SCdoodlegg Posts: 89
    edited August 2012
    I make dough using this recipe for NY Style Pizza:


    Prep yeast (yeast + 12 oz water hot out of the tap with a pinch of sugar- set for 20 minutes) combine with
    21 oz flour ( I use King Arthur or Caputo 00)
    1 Tbs. non-iodized finely crushed sea salt
    1Tbs, EVOO

    I use a Kitchen Aide stand mixer on speed 2 for 4 minutes to knead,  but you can hand knead for 6 minutes if you prefer

    Then I take the dough and divide it into 4 balls weighing at least 8 oz each.  I put these dough balls into 24 oz yoghurt containers that have been greased with EVOO to rise.  (After at least a 45 minute rise, these containers allow you to dump the balls out onto a work surface and they already have a round shape.)

    Most of the time I refrigerate for up to 2 weeks thawing the dough for 2 hours before use.  The longer it sits the more flavorful it gets.

    When I am ready to use I dump the dough out of the plastic containers and and place one palm down and pull out with the other head while swiveling the dough clockwise.  Most of the time the dough comes out really round. 




    1large BGE and 1 well used mini BGE living in coastal South and North Carolina!
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,019
    edited August 2012
    Is that flourless dough?


    ;)
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,431
    vidalia1 said:
    you know when it is ready it looks like old ladies underwear...you know all droopy...keep trying you will get the hang of it..


    Somehow, I am not getting a fix on this ! Help me please. You have a picture so I can build on?

     

    =)) :))

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

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