How-To: Shape Pizza Dough

Feta & Olive Pizza with Spicy Tomato Sauce

There’s no party like a pizza party! Making your own pizza at home is a fun activity and a tasty dinner. The only tricky part is shaping the dough. Follow these tips to create a chewy, bubbly pizza crust without things getting too sticky.

Before you start shaping, bring your dough to room temperature. Have you ever experienced stretching and rolling pizza dough, only to have it snap back into place? Cold pizza dough is full of tense, tight strands of gluten that make it extra springy. If your dough has been in the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before shaping. It will be much easier to work with. 

Bake the pizza:

Once the dough has warmed up, you can pick your method and start shaping. It’s tempting to coat your work surface and hands in a pile of flour to prevent sticking, but adding all that flour can have some unintended consequences. Incorporating additional flour into the dough can make your crust tough. Try coating your hands with a little bit of olive oil instead. 

Once you’re prepped and ready to go, try one, or a combination, of these methods to shape your pizza dough by hand. 

Stretching pizza dough by hand

shape the pizza

To stretch pizza dough, pick up the dough in your hands. Hold the edges of the dough with both hands, and let the rest of the dough hang down. Slowly turn the dough like a steering wheel, letting gravity stretch out the dough. Watch for any thin spots forming, and use your hands to support the dough and keep it from tearing. 

Pressing pizza dough

shape the dough

Place your dough in the center of the pan. Use the tips of your fingers to lightly press down and out, gently working the dough towards the edges of the pan. We love this method for deep dish and sheet pan pizzas. 

Shaping pizza dough with a rolling pin 

Don’t be afraid to turn to a rolling pin (or even a wine bottle!) for a little help. Place the dough in the center of a working area, like a cutting board or pizza peel. Flatten the dough into a disk with the tips of your fingers, and then lightly work the dough with the rolling pin. For a round pizza, start in the center, and roll out in every direction. For a sheet pan pizza, work into a rectangle and then transfer to the pan.  

Watch a Blue Apron chef demonstrate how to shape pizza dough with a rolling pin.