True pizza lovers agree that the crust is what makes or breaks a good pizza, whether you love thin-crust pizzas with crisp crusts or thick-crust pizzas with chewy crusts. If you love making pizza at home, you might have wondered how to roll out pizza dough without a rolling pin.
Benefits of Knowing How to Roll Out Pizza Dough Without a Rolling Pin
Here’s something that might surprise you: pizza professionals actually don’t recommend using rolling pins when it comes to rolling pizzas! Sure, it might make rolling out the dough easier, but the pressure of the rolling pin can cause the pizza dough to tear! What’s more, pizza dough will stubbornly shrink back to its original size when you use a rolling pin, so you’ll be forced to keep working the dough to get it to stretch out. This is the reason you normally see pizzamakers using their hands to stretch out the dough and toss it to get that perfect and even thickness.
So, if you don’t have a rolling pin, it’s no problem! Here are some other ways on how to roll out pizza dough without a roller.
Ways on How to Roll Out Pizza Dough Without A Rolling Pin
Use a Wine Bottle
If you love making pizza at home, chances are that you also love drinking wine! Wine bottles are great for rolling out pizza dough because you can easily clean the surface of wine bottles and oil them up to prevent the dough from sticking. You can even chill the wine bottle to help keep the pizza dough springy. The length of a regular wine bottle is just enough to roll out a pizza to around 10” to 12”.
Use a Sheet Pan
If you’re a fan of Little Caesar’s-style pizza, you can make your own version at home by using a sheet pan. Using this method, you don’t even need to roll out the pizza dough at all! Once the dough is ready to use, you place the dough directly into the oiled sheet pan and use your fingers to push the dough right up into the corners. Put your desired toppings and bake the pizza as directed in your recipe. Sheet pan pizzas usually have thick, chewy, and bread-like crusts.
When using sheet pans, make sure to add a bit more water into your dough. The added water makes the dough easier to shape inside the pan as well as adds more steam during the baking process to make the dough rise and crisp up.
Use a Cast-Iron Skillet
Do you love Chicago-style deep dish pizza? Well, no need to visit the Windy City if you’ve got a cast-iron skillet at home! Just like using a sheet pan, you won’t need to roll out the pizza dough if you’re using a skillet. Just place the ready dough into an oiled skillet, push the dough up against the sides, and top with your preferred toppings.
As with sheet pans, you’ll need to tweak your dough a little if you’re using a cast-iron skillet to cook your pizza. Using a cast-iron skillet results in a crust that’s thick and chewy but with a crisp bottom.
Stretching the Dough by Hand
Watching professional pizzamakers stretch and toss pizza dough by hand can be intimidating but you just need some practice, a wide surface, and some flour to create a delicious hand-stretched pizza! While the tossing does stretch out the pizza more evenly, you can have the same effect simply by placing your dough on a floured kitchen counter surface and pushing the dough out in a circular motion.
The main reason professional pizzamakers prefer using their hands to stretch out pizza dough is that it allows the dough to keep small pockets of air. These air pockets help keep the dough light and fluffy during baking; without them, you’ll end up with a dense and heavy crust.
How to Stretch Pizza Dough by Hand
Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to stretch pizza dough by hand:
- Cover your clean countertop with flour.
- Place the prepared pizza dough ball on the countertop and cover it completely with dough.
- Using your fingertips, push out the dough starting from the center of the ball. Pushing the ball outwards moves the air bubbles towards the crust.
- Keep the center slightly thicker as you move outward to prevent the dough from tearing.
- Once you’ve pushed out the dough to your desired size, pick up the flattened dough gently and drape it over your fists.
- Pull apart your hands slowly and gently to stretch out the dough, rotating continuously to keep the dough evenly stretched. Make sure to keep the thickness of the dough as even as possible.
3 Tips to Create the Perfect Pizza Dough
If you’re still unsure how to create quality pizza dough, here are three tips that you can use:
Use Room-Temperature Dough
Before stretching out your dough, make sure that the dough is room temperature. At room temperature, the gluten inside the dough is more relaxed and easier to stretch out.
Let Your Dough Rest Before Using It
If you have freshly made dough, let it rest for around 30 minutes to one hour before stretching it out. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax and prevent the dough from shrinking while you are stretching it out.
Use Other Ingredients to Prevent the Dough from Sticking
Other than flour, you can coat your work surface with olive oil or semolina to help prevent the dough from sticking. Semolina is an interesting ingredient to use because it will give your dough a nutty flavor and crunch after it has been cooked.
There you have it, pizza lovers! Now you know how to roll out pizza dough without a rolling pin. According to the pizza masters, a rolling pin isn’t even a good tool to use to roll out pizza. Sure, if you’re pressed for time and you need to roll out your dough quickly, there’s still an argument to be made for knowing how to roll pizza dough with a rolling pin. However, if you want authentic pizza with that light and delicious crust, you need to use your hands. Get more tips on dough making.