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The Secret to Making Round Pizza

The secret to round pizza.
The secret to round pizza.

You already know my secret weapon for homemade pizzas is my Baking Steel. Well, I have another little secret to share. There is a trick to making round pizza and I am going to share it with you.  And you don't need to say abracadabra or tap your magic wand.  You may think it requires years of practice, it doesn't.  Here is the secret, if you want a round pizza start with a round dough. It's that simple.  Why round?  Circles are graceful, they suggest community and perfection.

After my dough has fermented on the counter for 18 hours and I'm not going to use it, I store it in a round plastic cylinder.  Divide and ball your dough into rounds, be sure to pinch the seem and give it a tight seal.  In this case, the pizza dough has been fermenting for 2 days in the fridge. You can find these cylinders in virtually any super market.  I have a stash of these in my cabinets from Glad.  Let me show you my stretching technique, and I would love for you to chime in and let me know if you have a secret to round pizza.

secret to round pizza.
secret to round pizza.
Getting ready to shape.
Getting ready to shape.

Shaping the Dough

The dough should be removed from the refrigerator at least one hour before shaping.  You want to let it rest and come to room temperature.

Take one ball of dough and generously flour it and your hands.  Start by pressing down on the dough and gently pressing this dough out evenly keeping the cylinder shape. Continue this until the dough is about 6 inches in diameter.  Just be careful not to knock all the gas bubbles out.  We like bubbles.

pressing the dough
pressing the dough
lightly press down the dough, careful with the air bubbles.
lightly press down the dough, careful with the air bubbles.
Be careful not to knock out the air bubbles.
Be careful not to knock out the air bubbles.
Pressing the dough softly.
Pressing the dough softly.
Get ready for lift off.
Get ready for lift off.

Next we're going to lift the dough off the work surface and place it on our knuckles.  Once in position, continue to rotate and stretch the dough on the back of your knuckles in one direction.  Pull it wider and wider with each rotation until you reach your desired diameter.  With this size dough (213 grams) that's about 10-11 inches.

dough on the knuckles
dough on the knuckles
Grab the dough and place it on the back of your knuckles.
Grab the dough and place it on the back of your knuckles.
continue rotating.
continue rotating.
Using the back of your knuckles, begin stretching.
Using the back of your knuckles, begin stretching.
Gently begin rotating and stretching the dough with the back of your knuckles.
Gently begin rotating and stretching the dough with the back of your knuckles.
continue stretching, ever so lightly
continue stretching, ever so lightly
continue rotating and stretching
continue rotating and stretching
just about ready for the pizza peel
just about ready for the pizza peel

Now take a lubricated peel, flour, semolina will do the trick and gently place your dough on top.   Your pizza is ready for topping.

-Andris

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Ready to top. I love these tiny air bubbles.
Ready to top. I love these tiny air bubbles.
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