The simple tricks to stretching your dough.

By Real Simple
Updated September 24, 2009

The Four Steps

Start with 1 pound pizza dough (thawed if frozen) and follow these steps.

Step 1: Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 2: On a lightly floured surface, pressing down with floured fingertips, shape the dough into a small, flat disk.

Step 3: Working from the center, push the dough outward while spreading your fingers, making the disk larger.

Step 4: Pick up the dough. Move your hands along the edges, allowing gravity to pull the dough into a 14-inch circle, oval, or rectangle.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If the dough thins in sections or seems about to rip when you’re stretching it, return it to the floured surface and pull and stretch it there.
  • If the dough is resistant to stretching, let it rest 5 to 10 minutes, then try again.