The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to manage a wet, amorphous blob of pizza dough

pigreyhound's picture

How to manage a wet, amorphous blob of pizza dough

So I made my first sourdough pizza recipe tonight and had some struggles with managing the dough. I ended up having to form the dough three times since I couldn't seem to get it from the counter to the peel without losing control of it. It was still rather wet as I gently pressed it out so perhaps it was just too wet to begin with. I kept putting flour all over the counter and my hands and the dough...but it still would stick somewhere when I tried to move it.

 The taste was good, the outside was crispy but because I overhandled it, I ended up with flat, dense/moist pizza crust. I probably should have let it sit again for an hour or so after I reformed it but my family wasn't going to wait another hour. 


Any suggestions or tips for the next time I give this a try?



SylviaH's picture

Just joking...To make pizza dough, shape and top and move to the oven all in one motion...takes a lot of practice...and it seems I'm always practicing!  I'm by far no pizza perfecto but it's been my experience that you have to be "fast" and lite and Oh yes very organized...hey iron hand, velvet glove...touch...Anyway, all joking aside..just stretch your dough out on a lightly floured surface, pat it out, lift and much flour and handling creates a tough dough...less is more with pizza...easy on the sauce and toppings.  Have all toppings ready to go setting right next to the dough preparation area.  Place it onto plain, floured, semolina or cornmealed lightly parchment paper and top it..all goes onto the hot stone in the oven.  So much easier this's very hard to all those great video's on YouTube...practice makes perfect...also the Super Peel will lift any stuck pizza or one that's been heavily topped.  It's saved many of mine...when I cook them outdoors it's a one man show. My hubby just waits for I need all the gadgets I can get...I can take my time picking toppings and putting it together while watching the fire/food...I use the super peel to move the pizza to my metal pizza paddle which has been sprinkled with flour "semolina burns black in my woodfired oven" soon as it hits the paddle I must keep shaking it and "keep the pizza moving" I have a little ways to the oven or it will stick.   Then into the hot fired oven it goes.  Indoors or outdoor cooking that pizza has to move on the paddle, pan or do it with some parchment paper or a super peel  for indoors. 

Hope this watch some video's. 


JIP's picture

Why not try shaping on the peel..

fancypantalons's picture

Beat me to it. :)  The other option might be shaping on parchment paper, although it's tendency to slide around means that shaping directly on the peel is probably far simpler.

SylviaH's picture

 I probably didn't make myself very's easier to show than tell....hey show and tell on You Tube...Actually I do all my shaping on my floured surface /board and then up onto my hands and then onto my surface for topping/ transport to the oven.

Take your proofed  fairly sticky/tacky dough from it's container.  Drop it into a bowl with some flour in it, flip it over to flour both sides.  Shake it off and/or put it onto a floured surface.  You can do this without putting it into the flour bowl first...just don't over flour your dough.  With your fingers poke it back and forth into a fairly flattened shape.  Pat and stretch it into a small circle.  Keep it moving around and enough flour only to keep it from sticking.  Pick it up and shape it with floured backs of your fists, stretching it into a circle while rotating. You can hold an edge of it and it will stretch while rotating...make a 10" circle from apx. 200g dough ball.

Now you put it down onto parchment and top it.  Watching a video on Youtube can show you shaping a lot better than I can explain it.  Wouldn't it be fun to learn how to flip it in the air...... or back and forth onto your arms<...this I'm practicing.

Have fun, Sylvia

pigreyhound's picture

Ok, so since I am home alone, I decided to try the pizza dough again without the pressure of hungry family looming over me....

 I watched several videos on pizza making and handling wet doughs before I tacked the dough. I used a 100% hydration starter and about an equal amount of flour and a couple tbsp of olive oil. Then I used my dough scraper to pull and fold the dough a couple times over the course of the morning. 

When shaping, I was careful to be gentle and streched the dough over my fists until it was the size I wanted and almost thin enough to read through. 

 I used parchment under my dough so I could move it from the counter to the pizza stone to the cooling rack.  

Well, it was much easier this time around!  The crust was thin with a good crisp crust. Maybe a bit too thin for me but it tasted good and the crust was an even golden brown. Some nice holes in the crust too.


Thanks for the suggestions!