How to roll out pizza dough like a pro

Pizzaiolo tossing pizza dough in a restaurant

Photo: Maxim Fesenko (Shutterstock)

As many readers know, i’m a (mainly) former pizza chef. One of the things people always I liked to ask It was if I knew how to throw pizza dough in the air, as seen in movies and some famous pizzerias. Paulie Giannon, founder of Paulie Gee’s Pizzeria (I worked at Paulie Gee’s Logan Square in Chicago), practice generally discouraged. “Throwing is to show,” He said. I still did it anyway.

In short, yes, I can throw a mass into the air, although I’m not particularly good at it. Some of my co-workers were absolutely amazing at a launch, which was always a delight to kids and adults alike as the restaurant has an open kitchen. Travis and Danny, two of my old co-workers, have a knack for it; Travis always gets some really awesome airtime with his, while Danny mastered a rotation speed that always amazes me.

The pros and cons of tossing pizza dough

paulie mealthough you are right :for most of it pulling is not a good way to stretch pizza dough. WWith softer types of dough, As the in the Neapolitan style who I deal with frequently, you run a real risk of putting holes in it when you throw it. That renders the dough useless during a fast-paced service.Y since we cold fermented the dough in a process that took three days, it was obviously a huge waste if we punched or dropped it.

During slower services, Restless pizza makers like to practice their toss without using restaurant resources. One way we practiced was using damp kitchen towels, which are the approximate weight of the dough, but would need to have the correct level of moisture. If it was too soaked, it would splash water everywhere (and on co-workers), but if it was too dry, the towel would float inconsistently and be unwieldy.

However, there a practice-specific tool—essentially a toy—called to Throw dough. is exactly what sounds like: a simulated pizza crust made of silicone that roughly mimics the texture and weight raw pizza dough. Its edges are also fluted to mirror those of a real pizza crust, so the weight is distributed just like the real thing.

Original throwing dough

these tools are funny, and you can get them online. Amazon sells a 13″ round for $37, or you can get a similar 13″ through the USA pizza team online store for $25, if you want to learn how to roll pizza dough at home. I have to warn you that they are a bit delicate; if you use your fingertips a lot to keep pushing the thing up in the air, you risk puncturing it. (Another way these things are realistic.)

How toss pizza dough like a pro

am No the most coordinated person, but there is one thing I know for sure: the launch is really important. Travis always compares it to shooting a layup with a basketball. He wants to use the palm of his dominant hand with a bit of the fingertip to throw the dough into the air, jerking his wrist (like you’re spinning a basketball for a layup). The mass has to be parallel to the ground when it takes flight; any angle will make it harder to retrieve on its descent, or make it harder to stay airborne if you plan to bounce it up.

On your way down, you can either let the dough fall to the back of your knuckles, push it very gently with your fingertips (a maneuver only ideal with Throw Dough), or use the palm of your hand for a re-launch to keep the fun going. A real dough will quickly stretch to comical proportions, and if you’re good at it, these things can become paper-thin and absolutely huge. It will eventually rip, at which point you may or may not cry. A Throw Dough obviously won’t grow any bigger since it’s made of silicone, but you do get infinite throws, or at least theoretically.because they eventually break down use and throw away.

Honestly, tossing pizza dough is about as much fun as it sounds. At home, dough is a more precious resource since it’s probably destined for dinner, so I don’t really recommend it as a home cooking technique. But if you want to try to dump the dough without missing a meal, practice version to play. And if you don’t have high ceilings, I strongly recommend that you only practice outdoors, because at first, disaster is inevitable. With practice, you’ll look like a pizzaiolo master and have a really specific party trick to show off to your friends. Or you can get a job at a pizzeria, like I did.

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