How To Toss Pizza Dough?

Mastering the art of tossing pizza dough is not only a spectacle but also a crucial step in achieving the perfect crust. It allows the dough to stretch naturally, avoiding the compaction that rolling pins can cause, and introduces air into the dough, making it lighter and crisper.

Whether you’re an aspiring home chef or just looking to improve your culinary skills, learning how to toss pizza dough can elevate your homemade pizza to pizzeria-quality heights.

In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the art of tossing pizza dough and share tips and techniques for mastering this skill. Keep reading to know more!

What Is Tossing Pizza Dough?

Before diving into the main issue, we need to understand what tossing pizza dough is. Tossing pizza dough is the technique of stretching and shaping pizza dough by hand in a circular motion. 

This process not only creates the iconic round shape of a pizza but also gives the dough an even thickness and texture that results in a crispy yet chewy crust. Tossing pizza dough requires both skill and finesse (reworded) as it involves manipulating the dough without tearing or stretching it too thin. 

Watching a pizzaiolo toss pizza dough is like watching a graceful dance, where every movement serves a purpose in creating the perfect pizza crust. While it may seem daunting at first, with practice and the right techniques, anyone can learn how to toss pizza dough like a pro.

How To Prepare Pizza Dough Before Tossing?

Before you begin tossing pizza dough, it’s essential to prepare the dough properly.

First and foremost, make sure your pizza dough has rested for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator. This resting time allows the gluten in the dough to relax, making it easier to stretch and toss without tearing.

Next, remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This step allows the dough to come to room temperature, making it more pliable and easier to handle. 

How To Toss Pizza Dough Properly?

Once your dough is prepared, it’s time to start tossing! Let’s dive into the steps of tossing pizza dough.

Step 1: Shape The Pizza Dough 

Once you have successfully prepared the dough for tossing, the first step you need to do is shape it into a perfect circle. 

To do this, start by cutting the dough ball in half with a bench scraper or knife. This will make it easier to work with and prevent tearing.

Next, generously coat the dough with flour on both sides. This will help prevent sticking and give the dough a nice texture when cooked. 

Using your hands, gently flatten the dough into a round shape, making sure not to press too hard and deflate the dough. Keep in mind that you want an even thickness throughout the pizza for an evenly cooked crust.

Once flattened, use your fingers to define the outer crust of the pizza by pinching and pulling it upwards. This will create a raised edge that will help hold in the toppings and create a crispy crust.

Finally, push the dough outward from the center using your fingertips, rotating the pizza as you go to maintain an even thickness. This will help stretch the dough further while keeping it in a circular shape. Continue this motion until your pizza reaches the desired size.

Step 2: Stretch The Pizza Dough

Now that you have shaped the dough, it’s time to stretch it further.

Using your fingertips and palms, gently pull the dough outward in a circular motion, rotating the pizza as you go. 

This step is where the finesse comes into play as you carefully stretch and shape the dough without tearing or creating an uneven thickness.

Keep repeating this motion until your dough reaches the desired size and thickness. Remember to use flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Step 3: Toss The Pizza Dough

Tossing pizza dough involves a combination of gravity, finesse, and practice. Here are some specific smaller steps to help guide you in tossing your pizza dough:

1. Start by placing one hand on top of the dough and the other hand underneath.

2. Gently lift the dough with both hands, letting gravity stretch it outwards.

3. As you continue to do this, rotate the dough in a circular motion while gradually increasing its distance from your hands.

4. Maintain control of the dough as you toss it and catch it with your hands in between rotations.

5. Repeat this motion until the dough reaches the desired size and thickness.

Remember to use flour as needed to prevent sticking and don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out perfectly.

Why Do We Toss Pizza Dough?

Are you wondering why pizza dough needs to be tossed? Tossing pizza dough is not just for show, it serves a practical purpose in creating the perfect pizza crust. 

By tossing and stretching the dough, you can evenly distribute air pockets throughout the dough, which leads to a light and airy crust. Tossing also helps create an even thickness throughout the pizza, preventing any undercooked or burnt spots. 

It also allows the dough to stretch further, creating a larger pizza with a thinner crust. Additionally, tossing helps develop gluten in the dough which gives it structure and a chewy texture.

What Are Some Basic and Advanced Techniques Used To Toss Pizza Dough?

We’ve gone through all the steps for how to toss pizza dough and the purpose of this tossing process. We thought you would like to know more about some of the basic and advanced techniques used to toss pizza dough. 

The basic technique for tossing pizza dough involves using both hands to gently lift and rotate the dough in a circular motion, gradually increasing the distance between your hands as you go. This creates an even thickness throughout the dough and gives it a round shape.

For Beginners

More advanced techniques involve incorporating flips and spins into the toss, adding more finesse and style to the process.

Some experienced pizza makers can even toss the dough in the air and catch it with their hands, showing off impressive skills. 

However, it’s important to note that these advanced techniques require a lot of practice and should only be attempted once one has mastered the basic tossing technique.  

For Advanced

One-Handed Toss vs Basic Two-Handed Toss

So, are there a lot of differences between one-handed and basic two-handed tossing techniques? The answer is yes and no. 

The concept behind both techniques is the same – to stretch and shape the dough.

However, one-handed tossing involves using one hand to lift and rotate the dough while keeping the other hand free for additional movements or adjustments.

The benefit of this technique is that it allows for more control and precision when shaping the dough. However, it may take more practice to master and is not recommended for beginners. 

On the other hand, basic two-handed tossing uses both hands to lift and rotate the dough. This technique may be easier for beginners as it allows for more support and control over the dough.

Ultimately, both techniques can produce great results, so choose the one that works best for you and your pizza-making style.

Some Tips For Tossing Pizza Dough Successful

Here we add some tips to help you toss pizza dough better:

1. Use high-gluten or bread flour for a stronger dough that can handle the tossing process.

2. Make sure to properly prepare and shape the dough before tossing it to prevent any tears or uneven thickness.

3. Start with small tosses and gradually increase the distance between your hands as you become more comfortable.

4. Remember to use flour on both sides of the dough as needed to prevent sticking.

Last but not least, remember practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out as expected.

Common Mistakes People Made During Pizza Dough Tossing

Besides the above knowledge with all the tips you need to know when tossing pizza dough, you also need to pay attention to common mistakes people make during this process.

These include:

1. Not preparing the dough properly before tossing, results in uneven thickness or tears.

2. Using too much force when tossing, causes the dough to stretch too thin or tear.

3. Not using enough flour on both sides of the dough, leads to sticking and difficulty in handling.

4. Tossing the dough too aggressively, can cause air bubbles to burst and create holes in the dough.

5. Trying to do advanced tossing techniques without mastering the basic two-handed toss first.


Surely you are fully equipped with knowledge related to the question of how to toss pizza dough. The specific steps involved, from the initial lift and rotation to the gentle toss and precise catch, reflect a blend of skill and finesse. 

While tossing pizza dough may seem like a professional pizzaiolo feat, it’s a technique that can be learned and perfected with practice.

So why not give it a try and impress your family and friends with your newfound tossing skills? Happy cooking!

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