Should You Use A Rolling Pin For Pizza Dough or Hand Stretch Only?
It is no secret that when you make potentially the most popular food in the world – pizza, there is a certain level of skill involved and that no amount of recipes can teach you how to get it right.
The secret to making pizza isn’t just in the recipes, it is also important to look at the tools you use, and a lot of the process relies on using your hands. In fact, most pizza making experts would recommend that you stay as far away from a rolling pin as possible and always use hand-stretched methods. Here’s why.
In this post, we are going to share how you can achieve perfect pizza bread every time and whether it is better to go for hand stretching your pizza dough or to use the help of kitchen tools.
Is It OK To Use A Rolling Pin On Pizza Dough?
It is widely accepted that you should not use rolling pins when making pizza. If you want to make pizza dough that has a light and airy crust, then using rolling pins will not allow for this.
When you include these tools in your pizza recipes, you will be removing all of the air bubbles within the dough that give it that fluffy texture that it is famed for. Unless you are going to be cooking a thin crust pizza, you will always want to use your hands.
Can You Knead Dough With A Rolling Pin?
Hand-kneading your dough is the best way to get the results you would want to achieve. Kneading the pizza dough allows the gluten to develop, and this is important to the rising process. If the dough is rolled, this does not allow the molecular strains to adhere together as they should.
These gluten chains give the dough its structure and using your hands to do this is the best way – it has been done this way since long ago when pizza was first invented. So, why change something that has worked so well over the years?
How Do You Stretch Pizza Dough Without A Rolling Pin?
If you have become accustomed to rolling your home pizza dough into shape, then it may seem a little strange to start doing it by hand, but don’t let this put you off. Once you get out of the ‘rolled’ mindset, then it isn’t difficult to see why hand-stretched bread dough is far better.
One of the first things you want to do when using this style of stretching is to flatten the dough ball down into a disc-like shape. Make sure that you do this on a surface that has been covered in flour as this will stop it from sticking.
It is also important to remember that the food should not be totally compressed and that you are aiming to make it less of a dome-like shape but not flatten it completely.
To make the crust, you can still use your hands but this time, employ your fingertips to do most of the work. Slowly push the dough outwards to form the crust – once you have rolled your pizza dough this way, it is easy to understand why a rolling pin isn’t an ideal tool for the job.
When manipulating the dough into shape, you can try the clock method. Placing your right hand in the centre of the disc and using your left hand to pull the left side outwards – to 9 o’clock. You should then move this part of the dough down to 6 o’clock and keep repeating this until the pizza base is at the desired size. This style of forming the bread is preferred by many professional pizza chefs – both at home and in restaurants.
An important thing to keep in mind is the thickness of the dough. If you lift it up and it appears see-through anywhere, this is a sign that you have stretched it too much. In this case, you can either put the dough back into a dome and start from scratch or fold it and make the disc smaller.
What Is The Best Rolling Pin For Pizza Dough?
Whilst it is discouraged to take a rolling pin to your pizza dough and opt to hand stretch it, if you absolutely must, it is essential to find a good rolling pin that will deliver good results. But do keep in mind that your dough will be better without one.
Contrastly, if you are making thin crust pizza, these tools can play an important role. To achieve a nice thin pizza, you must roll the dough outwards from the middle.
Wood is the best material for a rolling pin for this style of cooking; however, you will notice that there are other ones on the market. However, these wooden ones are thought to produce a more consistent result. The Ateco Maple roller is particularly well-known for its effectiveness when pizza dough is concerned.
When you make pizza at home, there is a lot to learn – but why not have fun whilst you are doing it? Hand-stretching your dough is not only enjoyable but will also produce the best results, including more air bubbles for a better texture and a less chewy or hard base.
When rolling thin pizza, you can try a rolling pin, and the material you choose will have an effect, with wood being the preferred option.