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Home » How to Knead Pizza Dough

How to Knead Pizza Dough

There’s an art to knowing how to knead your pizza dough. Too much kneading can make your crust too tough, while too little can make your crust lack structure and elasticity.

Kneading pizza dough is simple once you master the technique. First, flatten the dough and fold it in half, using your hands to push, fold, and rotate the dough for roughly ten minutes. You’ll know the dough is ready when it feels smooth and elastic. Once it’s ready, form it into a ball and let it rest. 

We want nothing more than to help you learn how to be innovative and efficient in the kitchen, so you can savor every moment with people you love over a hearty, home-cooked meal. Our recipes–like our easy pizza dough–are designed to be quick and simple, as well as tasty and nutritious.

Pizza dough resting after kneading by hand.

How to Knead Pizza Dough by Hand

Kneading pizza dough by hand is not just a step in pizza making; it’s an opportunity to connect with the very essence of baking. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  1. Prep Your Surface: Begin by placing your dough on a countertop that’s been lightly dusted with flour. 
  2. The Kneading Process: Press down on the dough with the heel of your hand, stretching it away from you. 
  3. Fold and Press: After stretching the dough, fold it in half towards you. Once folded, press down and outward again with the heels of your hands. This action helps develop the gluten in the flour, giving your pizza crust that perfect chew.
  4. Repeat for Perfection: Continue the fold-and-press action. With each repetition, you’ll notice the dough becoming smoother and more elastic. 
  5. Monitor the Texture: As you knead, the dough might start to stick to your hands or the countertop. If this happens, lightly dust the surface with a bit more flour. However, be cautious not to overdo it. Adding too much flour can alter the texture of your dough, making it too dry.
  6. Know When It’s Ready: You’ll know the dough is well-kneaded when it’s smooth, elastic, and springs back when poked. 

Remember, kneading dough is as much about feeling as it is about technique. Trust your senses, and don’t rush the process. Happy baking!

Common Mistakes When Kneading Pizza Dough

While it’s easy to knead pizza dough, it’s easy to mess it up, too. Under-kneading your dough leads to not enough gluten for creating the texture you’re looking for, while over-kneading it can often make your dough difficult to shape, more bread-like in texture (instead of light and airy)  and tough to eat. 

However, there are a few other easy mistakes you could make. Not using enough flour or water (or using too much) affects the dough’s flavor and texture. Using the wrong flour can also have a major impact on your dough’s outcome. 

The best flour for pizza dough varies for each pizza style. Be sure to pay attention to what type of dough your recipe calls for, and follow any temperature guidelines. Following these simple steps will warrant the best dough results.

Adding flour to pizza dough.

Mastering the Rise: The Secret to Perfect Pizza Dough

If the recipe calls for resting time, make sure you allot enough time for that. This stage can be crucial for pizza dough preparation and contributes to great crust flavor and texture.

Wondering how long to let pizza dough rise? Pizza-making experts say that letting dough rise and rest in the fridge for a full day is best. Don’t have a full day? Our quick pizza dough recipe rises in only ten minutes and makes enough for two pizzas, so you can freeze and save the extra dough for another day.

What happens to your dough when you let it rise, and why does the amount of time matter? As the dough rises, the yeast consumes the sugars in the flour. This fermentation makes for a tasty, airy crust after you’ve baked it. 

Kneading pizza dough.

Not giving your dough enough time to rise can lead to a dense-feeling crust. Letting it rise for too long, however, can lead to other issues. Over-proofing dough could result in an over-fermented taste, and your crust could collapse when you bake it. 

You’ll know your dough has risen enough when you can see it has nearly doubled in size and it looks puffy and smooth. Your dough may also have small bubbles on the surface. Check the dough with your finger to ensure it’s elastic enough. If the finger indentation disappears quickly, your dough is light, airy, and ready to make a pizza! 

Resting pizza dough after kneading.

Family Pizza Night: Making Time for Memories

There’s something extra special about the memories made over something as simple as a family pizza night. From making dough together to picking family-favorite toppings, a pizza-making night is a great way to bond and enjoy each other’s company. After all, food is best when shared with the people you love, so why not leave ample time for making memories in the kitchen?

Cooking something delicious shouldn’t be time-consuming. Our mission is to make meals easy–without losing out on all that great flavor!

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