The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Shaping/rolling pizzas

tsinct's picture

Shaping/rolling pizzas

I am experimenting with rolling the pizza dough through my KA pasta roller attachment- and its quite interesting. I am aiming for a thin crusty result, and I may be on the right track. Has anyone else done this?  Obviously the pizza is oblong, not round.

SulaBlue's picture

I, too, am striving for a super-thin, super-crisp crust and have pondered this. I don't have a pasta attachment though. I might have to get one if this works out for you!

podwika's picture

I have been making sourdough pizza crusts for a couple of years now, with about 50% bread flour and 50% WW flour.  


I like the crusts as thin as possible, but sometimes I can't stretch the dough thin enough before it starts to tear.  When this happens I put the crust down on a piece of parchment and use a french rolling pin to roll the crust out flatter.


After topping, I insert the pizza still on the parchment into a 500 F oven and wait about 3 minutes to pull out the parchment to let the pizza get crispy on the bottom.


As long as you don't mind your pizza to not have a thicker outer edge, the rolling pin or pasta maker should work, but I have never tried the pasta maker.

asicign's picture

I use a pasta machine to shape tortillas (works great!), but not pizza.  Count me amongst those who feel that a pizza should have an edge.

tsinct's picture

The roller attachment works great for homemade crackers too. For pizza, it would be easy to make a rim after its rolled out.

flournwater's picture

One of the better local restaurants serves a pizza made with an incredibly thin crust that is wonderful.  I believe they roll their dough on a board/counter as the edges are also quite thin and nicely browned.   My own pizza's vary.  I sometimes like them rolled and uniformly flattened,  other times I prefer to allow the dough to remain thicker and create an edge or border.  I use the border method when the topping amounts are substantial, thinner crust when the toppings are lighter.  I sometimes combine the two techniques by rolling the crust thin then forming a thicker edge on the crust by hand.  Favority topping for a thing crust (one I order at the restaurant) is a spinach, feta cheese et al.  Toss on a few pine nuts to finish it off.

rainwater's picture

I wish I could shape and play with my pizza dough like the italians in the utoob videos.....but my pizza dough is too soft and 75% hydration.....I use a rolling pin and go easy around the edges.....I will say this....since joining this website I used a different recipe twice a week to attain my perfect pizza......I'm not sure I could enjoy another pizza more..   I'm really happy with my recipe......I'm very delicate with rolling my pizza dough....I couldn't imagine putting it through a pasta only takes a moment, and I have nothing to clean up! 

My new quest is potato gnocchi.....great gnocchi may be more difficult than pizza dough.....if anyone has the perfect gnocchi recipe......let me know!

flournwater's picture

I wonder if you could replace a cup of the flour in this recipe with potato and get a nice gnocci. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

All the potato gnocchi dough recipes I have suggest that for 1 3/4 lbs of potatoes, 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour.   If you want one with eggs, reduce the flour to 1 1/4 c and add 2 eggs.   Don't forget some salt to balance the potatoes.

Boil the potatoes, peel and mash in a ricer while still hot to prevent lumps.  Combine with ingredients and knead into a smooth dough.  Divide dough and roll into coils about finger size.  Cut into short lengths and press each one into the tongs of a fork so one side holds the sauce and the other side your thumb print.  Spread out on a floured towel to prevent sticking. When ready to serve, boil in lots of salted water until done anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes depending on dryness of the gnocchi. 

Chopped herbs can also be added to the dough or a shake of ground caraway or nutmeg.  If the gnocchi are too soft, add more flour or reduce boiling time, if too hard, reduce the flour or switch to a baking type potato.  The idea is that the egg and the flour are both binders to hold the potato together,  if you use a high gluten flour, use a little less flour.  You can experiment a lot with these little noodles, just remember to add something to bind everything together.  If they fall apart while boiling, add more binder. 

The last time I made these,  they got drenched in hot onion-garlic olive oil and topped with gran padano flakes and fresh herbs.


baltochef's picture

Several years ago I renewed a subscription to Cook's Illustrated magazine, and the free gift for renewing the subscription was a small, 5.25" x 7.25", hardbound, 96-page book titled, How To Make Pizza..

I barely glanced at the book at the time I recieved it, and it languished on my book shelf for years..I pulled it out several weeks ago to read up on pizzas, when my interest in flat breads was rekindled..

The book is broken down into seven sections..An Introduction, Chapter One--Pizza Basics, Chapter Two--Doughs and Sauces, Chapter Three--Thin-Crust Pizza, Chapter Four--Deep-Dish Pizza, Chapter Five--Grilled Pizza,, and an Index..

With the recent (last decade) introduction of thin-crust frozen pizzas in the supermarket, I have been happier, because I have never really cared for thick-crust pizza at all..Still and all, supermarket pizza is a pale imitation compared to home-made pizza..

The chapter on thin-crust pizza has led me to my best efforts yet when making pizza in a home oven..My oven is natural gas fired..I follow the directions in the book, and bake the pizza on my 14.5" x 15.5" x 7/16" baking stone in a 450F-475F oven that has been pre-heated for a minimum of 30 minutes..

By recommendation of the book I use a food processor (7-cup) to make the pizza dough.My recipe follows below..I use butter, or margarine in the dough, as opposed to olive oil, as it is easier to cut the fat into the flour than a liquid oil..If I am not in a hurry I allow the dough to double in volume at room temperature for a greater flavor profile..If I am in a hurry, I pre-heat the oven at 200F for ten minutes, turn off the gas, and proof the dough in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap in the hot oven that I prop open approximately 3/8" with the handle of a wooden spoon..

The fast method, detailed in the book, will usually allow me to sit down and eat pizza within 90 minutes of starting to make the dough..After proofing once, the dough is portioned out by weight (3.7 oz.), rounded up tightly into balls, sprayed with pan spray, covered with a plastic bag, and allowed to rest for 30 minutes..

I roll out the 3.7 oz. balls of dough by hand on a wooden cart top using flour to prevent sticking until the dough is approximately 3/16" thick..This yields an approximately 10" diameter pizza shell..I do not trouble myself greatly about trying to make perfect circles, oblongs are OK..

Any extra dough that is not going to be baked immediately is rolled out to shape, placed between sheets of parchment paper, frozen until hard, the parchment trimmed close to the shell, and placed in a 2.25-gallon zippered plastic food storage bag..

The fresh dough will bake up with a crust edge that is approximately 3/8"-1/2" thick..The frozen shells, defrosted to room temperature, bake up almost perfectly flat with the edge virtually the same thickness as the dough under the filling(s), and almost as crisp as a cracker..This is the way I like my pizza crust..

These pizzas take from between 6-7.5 minutes to bake at 450F-475F..

Pizza Dough For A 7-Cup Food Processor -- Yield = approximately 18 oz. dough =  five 3.7 oz. portions

10 oz. Gold Medal bread flour

1 oz. unsalted butter

2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon table salt

1 teaspoon SAF Gold instant yeast

6.05 oz. water, 80F

I have been experimenting with toppings, and recently made a nearly cheese-less pizza using olive oil brushed onto the dough, pesto, very thin slices of cooked potatoes, a drizzle of olive oil on the potatoes, and carmelized onions on top of the potatoes..


rcrabtree's picture

I have tried my food processor for pizza dough and wasn't happy with it since I am used to a stand mixer.  The trick with mixing dough in a food processor is to use cold water - the food processor heats up the dough quite a bit.

I use Jeff Varasano's pizza dough recipe since I like thin crust as well.  However, I like the "NY" style thin crust which is not crispy or cracker-like.  The trick to getting a thin crust is, well, having a dough with extremely good gluten development.  A la Jeff, having a high hydration dough allows a really slack dough that stretches easily, and proper kneading and gluten formation allows the dough to stretch really thin without tearing.

I have recently found that an autolyze rest prior to kneading DOES make a big difference.  I skipped it for a long time and would just mix and knead but was never completely happy with the gluten formation.  I added it back in last time I made dough and there was a complete difference in the structure of the dough, even though it was the same recipe.  I can't wait to try baguettes again, with an autolyze - I think this will make a big difference there as well.  In fact my pizza dough is about the same hydration as a standard baguette recipe!

baltochef's picture

I should have mentioned in the above post that the resulting dough turns out fairly "sticky", and requires some scraping to get all of the dough out of the food processor..

Unlike rcrabtree, I have found that cold water is not necessary for this dough to turn out propeerly..Having a full understanding of the electrical appliance that is going to knead the pizza dough is essential in order to get proper results..The blade of a food processor rotates far faster than does the paddle of a stand mixer..As a result, the dough comes together, and the gluten is developed, in 1/3 to 1/6 of the time that a stand mixer requires to accomplish the same level of gluten development..

I followed the recommendations in the Cook's Illustrated book and used 80F water to make the pizza dough..I have now made this dough 6 times, with no issues whatsoever at any point in the process..The recipe works very well, as long as the baker understands dough development and how to use a food processor..The dough is hand kneaded for 1-2 minutes on a floured surface after being removed from the food processor..Proper gluten development, passing the windowpane test, these are the same as for any other dough..

For thin crust pizza, the use of bread flour with a higher protein content than all-purpose flour contains is essential..This, of course, varies greatly depending upon the brand of flour, and the type of wheat(s) that the manufacturer uses to make up the flour..This is pointed out in the book..The baker must have a good idea of the protein content of the flour that they are going to use to make the thin-crust pizza dough in order to understand what the final baked results of the pie is going to be..Softer flours will result in a thicker, chewier, less crisp crust..

The baker / person eating the pizza must decide what their definition of thin-crust pizza is, and develop a pizza dough recipe that will bake out the way that they want their pizza to taste..Experimentation is the only way that one is going to develop a recipe to achieve the kind of thin-crust pizza that they desire..Unless the pizza is burned, even the "mistakes" should be pretty tasty!!!..

I highly recommend the little book by Cook's Illustrated for anyone interested in improving their pizza making skills..


rick.c's picture

I worked in several pizza joints as a teen.  Well, that was a long time ago, but, I still remember the process that I learned/refined to stretch a thin pizza.


Start with an oiled dough, chilled is better.  Dunk one side in flour and place on counter, oiled side down.  Press side of hand into dough 1/2" from edge to form crust, spin dough on counter and repeat until you have gone all the way around.  Then, press down on center part of dough (non crust) to degass.  Start stretching dough by spreading it on the counter, placing hands against crust and spreading outward.  There will come a point when you need to pick it up.  Hang the dough over your fists placed at 11 and 1 o clock, floured side against fists.  Strecth by spreading fists apart, then toss dough to rotate.  Throw it if you feel the need.  Repeat until it is a big or thin as you want it.  Place floured side down on peel, top as desired, bake away.  Oh yeah, if you have trouble sliding a pizza off of the peel, try lifting an edge of the crust, then blowing a bubble under the pizza to reduce the friction, it works!