Forming Pizza Crust Article -
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How to Form Pizza Crust

Although making pizza is simple, there are still a few tricks that can help ease the process along.

1. We used the recipe for Jay's Signature Pizza Crust. Once the dough has been formed and allowed to rise, uncover the dough and punch it down.

2. This recipe makes two pizza crusts or one very large crust. If you would rather make individual pizza pies, portion the dough into as many round balls as you want pies. Once the portions have been formed, cover and let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax before rolling the dough out.

    3. Flour the surface of your work area to keep the dough from sticking. While you don't need to use a rolling pin to roll the dough out, it will help maintain a consistent thickness. Another approach is to pound the dough down with your fist or the palm of your hand--this is just a preliminary shaping, to form the dough ball into a disc.

      4. Dust your hands with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Gently stretch the dough using the back of your floured hands, letting the weight of the dough pull the dough thinner. Use the backs of your fingers to push the dough out wider. Start in the middle of the dough with both hands close together, and slowly pull your hands apart, allowing the dough to glide above your hands. Turn the dough about 15 degrees on your hands and repeat this step until the dough is thinner, wider, and consistent throughout the entire circumference of the crust.

        5. Try spinning the dough in the air. This is certainly not required, but it's a lot of fun! It also helps to make the dough more round,.

          6. Cover a bread peel (a rimless baking sheet or heavy square of cardboard will also work well) with either flour or corn meal. This flour layer is vital because it keeps the dough from sticking to the peel. Place the dough on the peel. Complete any final forming of the shape.

            7. Arrange whatever toppings desired onto the newly formed homemade crust.

            Jun. 22, 2009 11:07 am
            Apparently one must use much more than a dusting of cornmeal. The one and only time I used a pizza peal and a hot pizza stone, the pizza stuck like glue to the peel and absolutely refused to leave the peal - made for one big mess.
            Jun. 26, 2009 8:45 pm
            Until recently I was not able to make pizza on a peel, but recently I have great success. I use only bread flour and LOTS of flour for dusting. THe New York Times food page on their website has a great video and recipe. My pizzas (large individual size) now slide right off of the peel onto the stone. Be sure not to press the dough on the peel once you set it there, shake the peel occasionally as you add the toppings to make sure the dough is not sticking. Also, you can gently lift the dough and blow under it around the edges. Hope this helps.
            Jun. 30, 2009 5:03 pm
            I've never had much luck with the flour & slide method. Instead I stretch my dough out on baking parchement, put the toppings on and using a cutting board slide the pizza and parchement onto my pizza stone. The stone stays clean, the pizza never sticks and you can bake several pizzas in a row with this method. Good luck!
            Aug. 10, 2009 8:27 pm
            I recently made a pizza dough adding all the dry ingredients into a bowl and blended it with a wooden spoon. I then added the water and olive oil to the flour mixture and worked it until the dough was done. Next I kneaded the dough for 10 minutes and then rolled it to fit the non stick pizza pan which had holes at the bottom of the pan. This gave me an evenly baked crust.
            Aug. 14, 2009 7:07 pm
            Aug. 15, 2009 1:33 pm
            Has anyone made this dough ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a few hours? I was wondering if that could be done or if it would ruin it?
            Aug. 23, 2009 11:19 am
            I freeze pizza dough and place in the fridge the day before I plan to use it. The dough bakes just as well pre-frozen or after it has just risen.
            Aug. 26, 2009 8:34 am
            I spray the baking sheet with PAM before I roll it out. After I roll out the pizza dough, I then lift up one side at a time and re-spray the pan with PAM. I bake the crust for 10-15 minutes by itself. I flip it over when it comes out and then put the ingredients on the up side, which used to be the down side. So it is nice and crispy and not soggy at all.
            Aug. 30, 2009 4:40 am
            My wife & I form the dough directly onto the olive oiled pizza stone. The dough is worked until it matches the stone perfectly. Works great.
            Oct. 8, 2009 8:13 pm
            I just have all my toppings ready, take the pizza stone out of the oven and arrange the dough & toppings on it. Much easier than trying to slide the pizza onto the stone.
            Oct. 13, 2009 2:49 pm
            I've been baking pizzas for over 30 years so I've make plenty of mistakes along the way. Here's some tips for getting that pie from counter to oven and back in one piece. Cornmeal works great. Just sprinkle some on the peel. Then, with the palm of your hand, spread the cornmeal around. Your palm should glide over the cornmeal without sticking to the peel's surface, especially the leading edge. If it feels sticky in spots, just add more cornmeal. Don't overdo it since some of the cornmeal is going to stick to the final product. Too much and it can affect the taste and texture of your pie. Once the peel is ready, lay the dough in place. It should move easily on the peel. Now add your ingredients. The more ingredients, the heavier the pie and thus the more force necessary to slide the pizza off the peel and on to the oven stone. A firm jerk may be needed to overcome the inertia of a heavy pie. Finally, if you have any holes in the crust, the pizza sauce can leak through to the peel and
            Oct. 17, 2009 6:43 am
            To Ladybug - you can refrigerate the dough for hours - believe it or not, it rises in the fridge so when I am having a big gang, I make the dough in the morning and leave it in the fridge all day (in a covered, greased bowl).
            Oct. 21, 2009 8:27 pm
            This pizza sounds fantastic and can't wait to try it.I did try a very easy pizza crust which came out very well. However I tried out a very easy pizza crust which came out really well. For the Pizza dough, 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp. instant yeast, 2 tsp. sugar, 3/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 cup +2 tbsp.water,room temperature, 2tbsp.extra virgin olive oil. Mix the flour,yeast,sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and olive oil and mix until it starts coming together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for approximately one hour in a warm place with no drafts. Punch down the dough. Remove from the bowl and divide into four equal portions. Roll out each portion into a roughly shaped 8 to 10 inch circle. Top with your favourite toppings.
            Dec. 11, 2009 6:01 pm
            to rjbake,great advice,and it was great to here the word pie pertaining to a former new yorker now in the south i got weird reactions when ordering a pie w/pepporoni.
            Dec. 15, 2009 7:48 am
            One easy way to make pizza and not have it stick to the pan is to use non-stick aluminum foil. No oil or corn meal on the bottom of the crust is needed unless you want it there, either way, it is a little harder to spread out with oil but it does work.
            Dec. 17, 2009 4:12 pm
            Can't wait to try Jay's recipe!
            Dec. 25, 2009 6:03 pm
            i only use 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup ice cold water, stir it up, roll in ball out of the bowl, put it on a floured surface,knead about 15 times, roll it to fit pan, put cornmeal on pan, bake 5 minutes, then take out of oven and put toppings on, then bake 10-12 minutes on 400 degrees. great crust and pizza!!
            Dec. 25, 2009 7:40 pm
            My husband and I like to make pizza with prejarred alfredo sauce and chicken. I don't get the heartburn and it dosn't taste like the same old thing. I also like to add garlic and fresh spinache for a change. I have my kids make there own little pizzas and for the picky eater they make it themselves and so they are more likely to eat it. My son will eat just about anything if it is in a calzone or on a pizza. Even spiache and artichoke hearts. I want to try out this recipie and make them out in advance and freeze them to save on the frozen food budget.
            Dec. 28, 2009 7:15 am
            I preheat my pizza stone in a very hot oven. I have found it fairly easy to flop the crust onto it, it usually has a more rustic shape. Also, I bake it just a couple of minutes without toppings. I remove the crust, top it and return it to the stone using a cookie sheet. My family likes it better this way as the crust doesn't get soggy. I work like an assembly line making as many pies as I need to. It only takes about 10 minutes per pie once topped.
            Jan. 5, 2010 7:31 am
            Does anyone have a recipe for a really thin crust pizza. This is good, but we prefer less dough on our crust.
            Jan. 5, 2010 8:29 am
            I noticed that none of the recipies for Pizza dough call fpr any Duram Simolina flour. If you add a small amount you will find it will spin better, dust a small ammount on your stone,
            Jan. 5, 2010 11:19 am
            Using Jay's Pizza Crust recipe, I've found that I need to add significant, up to 1/2 cup, flour to the dough when rolling/forming it because it's so sticky. One tip I use when preparing the crust for toppings, preheat the oven with the stone and toss the crust without toppings on the hot stone for a couple of minutes on each side. Then pull it out and add the toppings. No stick and the crust bakes to a nice crunch on the bottom. My family enjoys this recipe and method more than any other we've tried so far.
            Jan. 5, 2010 11:23 am
            In reply to 4Nancy; I normally roll out a very thin crust with Jay's recipe as described in my post above. By precooking the crust for just a couple of minutes, it firms the surface to add toppings, and makes the crust very crispy when cooked on a hot stone.
            Jan. 29, 2010 5:05 am
            For the best thin crust you can make this dough and leave it in the fridge overnight to ferment. Take it out of the fridge to warm up four hours before use. Form dough into balls the size you want and coat in oil. This will slacken the gluten allowing you to form a nice thin crust with little effort. Don't over handle as you want to keep some of the air pockets when you form your pizza. I also use a pizza screen on a stone which gives me fantastic results.
            Feb. 16, 2010 2:37 pm
            A lot of great tips here... I've made my own crust just a handful of times, always trying a new recipe each time. Not sure yet how I will do mine when I make some tomorrow, but Im getting a lot of good ideas. Also, is it just me or does the crust of the finished pizza in that top pic look a little burnt, while the toppings look barely done? lol
            Mar. 5, 2010 1:37 am
            jls i made my own pizza crust with my own recipe, eventually when i shaped it wasn't really a circle, but its very much delicious and many of my customers like it eventhough its not properly shaped up, whats most important is the taste and the nutrient that gives to the body and the satisfaction of one's life.
            Jun. 20, 2010 3:42 pm
            Here's a little "trick" that I use when making bread or pizza crust. Take a cup of water and heat it in the microwave for a few minites. This will warm the microwave and also leave it "humid". Let your dough rise in there. No drafts and your dough will rise quickly. Also when I make pizza, I add minced dried garlic and Italian seasoning right in the dough....delish!
            Jun. 29, 2010 2:32 pm
            Sep. 14, 2010 5:07 pm
            To 4Nancy - try the Brooklyn Brick Oven Pizza recipe on this site -- I made the dough from this recipe for use tonight and it makes a perfect thin crust NY style pizza. Don't skip the long time (16 hours - so make it tonight for tomorrow's dinner!) of resting in the refrigerator - It uses cold fermentation to let the yeast do it's magic - and this is essential. Let me tell you it's well worth the wait though, as a former New Yorker it's as authentic as it gets and easy to work with.
            Sep. 14, 2010 5:08 pm
            It makes enough dough for an 18" round pizza - so if you have a 16" or 14" pan just cut some of the dough away prior to rolling out and use it for something else.
            Sep. 21, 2010 12:28 pm
            I am trying to find a receipe for apizza that was made out of bread dough or foccica bread that was baked in a rectanuglar pan, about an inch high , with a tomatoe, onion, garlic sauce and just alittle cheese on the top. I am not sure if this was a regional italian bread. Linda
            Oct. 1, 2010 6:09 pm
            Wow, this is awesome. More people need to make pizza at home! No need for that pizza hut stuff. Check out my blog for recipes too and food related stuffs.
            Oct. 7, 2010 2:31 am
            Thank you so much. It is very informative and makes making Pizza Crust so easy.
            ada pedreira 
            Nov. 2, 2010 3:53 pm
            i need the recipe of pizza crust. thank you ada
            Nov. 7, 2010 4:51 am
            me too
            Nov. 15, 2010 7:47 pm
            We have had trouble getting the pizza off the peel and onto the hot pizza stone even with a coating of cornmeal. If this happens, slide a taut piece of waxed dental floss under the crust to loosen it from the peel. Works great!
            Dec. 30, 2010 3:47 pm
            HELP! I tried to make a pizza and the crust was uncooked and soggy in the middle. It was disgusting. What would do this. I drained the meat, used fresh green peppers, mushrooms tomato sauce onions and mozarella cheese. It looked and smelled great but was very watery. UGH.
            Feb. 13, 2011 9:49 am
            Another good tip for flavorful pizza crust is to substitute warm, flat beer for the water. A local pizza shop gave me that hint years ago, and I have been making my crust with it ever since. Yum!
            Feb. 17, 2011 5:52 pm
            To make a really good thin crust let the dough rise a second time after you work it. An hour will make a big difference in how easy it is to roll thin. It will be crispy and thin without being hard or dense at all because the extra rising will allow for more tiny air bubbles to form- keeping it light when you roll it out. Or, if you have the time, follow the advice of "bferris19" or "peternf" above by letting it rise overnight or all day in the fridge.
            Feb. 18, 2011 9:05 am
            A big thank you to gardengirl for the dental floss idea! I was very hesitant to use my stone and peel after the fiasco I had the first time I made pizzas on the stone. The floss gave me the confidence to try again and it worked like a charm.
            Mar. 6, 2011 7:00 pm
            I want to try this recipe and mastering pizza crust. That's what makes pizza taste delicious or suck! The crust has to be a good bite and soft and the sauce compliments the crust.
            Mar. 12, 2011 2:53 pm
            It takes a little bit of experience but what you need to is dust it with flour or cornmeal and put it in the peel and shake the peel to make the dough slide back and forth. If it ticks, pick it up and dust some more. when it slides easily quickly put on your toppings and slide into the oven.
            Apr. 5, 2011 4:36 pm
            Hi, Tonight will be our first time making pizza dough ever. We are using the dough "Amazing Whole Wheat Pizza Dough" only all whole wheat flour.. so new at the whole dough thing.. would someone be so kind to lmk the procedure to make pizza like this for company. Is it possible to make it ahead some how? I would prefer to have the crust and be able to put the toppings on it fresh while they are here. Thank You.. Barbara
            Apr. 24, 2011 1:00 pm
            I make pizza weekly. The best solution is to roll the dough out on top of a peel covered with parchment paper. I use a cast iron "stone" in the oven which has been heating for an hour at 500 degrees. I use the peel to slide the parchment with pizza on top onto the stone. It slides easily and the parchment also makes it easy to remove when it is done. It is also wasy to lift the edge of the pizza to see if it is done.
            Jun. 24, 2011 7:52 am
            would sifting wholewheat flour make it a less dense dough. I have made wholewheat dough in the past it it is so dense that it is not all that edible. I am diabetic so looking for a better choice for pizza dough. Thank you Hayley
            Sep. 8, 2011 7:06 pm
            After carefully mixing the ingredients and baking in the oven, I throw it in the trash and call Dominos...
            Ruth S 
            Feb. 17, 2012 2:19 pm
            The secret to getting your pizza off the peel is to have a wire pizza screen that can be bought at most kitchen supply places or can be ordered on the internet. You must oil the screen on one side before putting your prepared dough on the screen. It's wise to make sure you have enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your counter. I used to use rice flour rather than corn meal but now I just use the flour and it works just as well. The screen can be left for the whole time or if you like a crustier crust you must remove it after the pizza has baked for 8 minutes. You will need the peel and a pair of tongs because you will have to slide the peel under the pizza but on top of the wire rack. Use a pair of tongs to grab the screen with and lift the pizza on the peel just enough to pull the screen out from under the pizza. This way the whole crust will be brown which is the way my husband likes his pizza. Hope this helps.
            Ruth S 
            Feb. 17, 2012 2:21 pm
            Correction: That should have been lift the pizza off the peel
            May 15, 2012 12:30 pm
            My problem is the actual rolling out of the pizza dough. Any suggestions?
            Jul. 9, 2013 11:25 am
            Can this recipe be bread machine adapted?
            Dec. 21, 2014 10:45 am
            I have been making pizza for years...and love this recipe. I use the Pampered Chef Pizza Stone and have never used flour or cornmeal on the stone, no need it slides right off.
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