Tight, dry, and also hard, pizza dough the won’t stretch, does this sound familiar? We’ve all competent that, and it’s extremely frustrating. For this reason I spent some time digging right into what renders pizza dough stretchy. And here is what I uncovered – the an enig to perfectly stretchy pizza dough.

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The key reason pizza dough is no stretchy is improper gluten development, the gluten strands space too tight because the dough doesn’t get enough time come relax, you’re utilizing the wrong form of flour, the dough is also dry, or the dough is as well cold.

You use the not correct flourToo lot or too small kneading (over and also under advance of gluten)The dough is not tranquil enoughToo dry odughToo cold dough

Gluten, the cause of all your trouble

The most typical reason because that dough the isn’t stretchy is pertained to gluten.

Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat flour that helps save the dough together. The gluten in the flour starts occurring a network when you add water and knead the dough. This network grow stronger and stronger the more you knead the dough. Hydration also helps gluten development over time. So for long, slow-moving fermentation, the gluten will develop even there is no kneading.

If this gluten network develops too much, the dough is going to be very elastic and also hard come stretch. If the on the other hand develop too little, the dough will simply rip if you shot to stretch. So the crucial is to have just the ideal amount the gluten development.

You desire the gluten network to construct for three reasons:

Give the dough structureTrap gas native the fermentationMake the dough together

If gluten hasn’t developed enough, the dough will puncture and also not have the ability to hold onto CO2 produced by the yeast during fermentation. The dough will also be difficult to stretch and launch right into the oven without making feet in the pizza.

The main determinants that impact how solid or weak the gluten network gets: the quantity of gluten in the flour, exactly how much you knead the dough, and how lengthy it’s left to rise. Therefore you need to start v the right form of flour, and the right amount of kneading.

But the strength of the gluten network isn’t the only thing that affects the stretchiness the the dough. Once you knead the dough, the gluten strands gain tense. Once the gluten is tense the dough gets elastic and also hard come stretch. But if you leaving the dough come rest, the gluten will acquire relaxed and the dough gets much easier to stretch.

So you want a strong gluten network that prevents tearing, yet you likewise need to let the gluten relax. This will offer you a dough that’s soft pliable, and easy to stretch.

If you desire a deep dive right into the topic of gluten, inspect out this article.

What makes pizza dough stretchy?

The balance in between gluten development, and also how serene the gluten is are the main components in how stretchy the dough is.

It’s all about the flour

To make an excellent pizza, you need to start with great flour. Appropriate gluten advancement starts through flour v the best gluten content.

The optimal lot of gluten is about 10-13%. If you usage cake flour, that’s low in gluten, you’ll end up v a weak dough that’s not going to hold up during proofing. And if you’re making use of bread flour, that’s high in gluten, you’ll finish up with a dough that’s also elastic. Girlfriend should thus aim for something in in between – Tipo pizza flour.

The finest pizza flour space Italian Tipo 0 or Tipo 00 flour. This is additionally what’s recommended by The True Neapolitan Pizza Association, that identified standards for Neapolitan pizza.

Pizza flours differ in quality and also gluten content. Yet most Italian Tipo 0 or Tipo 00 will certainly be in the 11-13% variety and give a an excellent result.

A great all-around pizza flour is Caputo Pizzeria. Caputo Pizzeria is Tipo 00 flour milled in Naples, Italy. This is a really high-quality flour used by plenty of pizzerias in Naples, that just the ideal amount that gluten.

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Overkneading – the gluten is too solid to stretch

The other thing that have the right to go wrong through gluten is overdevelopment. This means that you’ve functioned the gluten also much. And also made the network so strong that it’s difficult to stretch your dough.

It’s hard to perform by hand. For this reason don’t problem too much if you’re kneading by hand.

If you’re making use of a was standing mixer, i recommend running it in 5 minutes intervals. Then usage the punctured or windowpane test to check if the gluten has occurred enough. It’s also much better to give the dough a break due to the fact that a was standing mixer will increase the temperature the the dough if you run it for as well long.


Another factor your dough is not stretchy is that it has also low hydration.

What is Hydration?

Dough hydration is the quantity of water compared to the quantity of flour. The higher the hydration (the much more water your dough contains), the softer and an ext stretchy the dough will be.

What Is the best Hydration because that Stretchy Pizza Dough?

The best hydration because that stretchy pizza dough is 60-65%. You can go even higher, however that will make the dough sticky, and also hard to occupational with. 60-65% is, therefore, a good starting point.


Cold dough is additionally hard to stretch. Once the gluten it s okay cold, it likewise tightens up. And when it’s warm it gets soft.

The dough is typically easiest to take care of when at room temperature, in the 70-75°F (21-24°C) range.

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So if you make cold fermented pizza dough, the you keep in the fridge, it’s crucial to allow it involved temperature before you try to large it. The dough will certainly feel lot harder when it’s cold, and that’s going to do it difficult to form your pizza. So, take the dough out from the fridge and leave it out for 2-3 hours to pertained to room temperature before stretching out the pizza.

If you, leaving the dough in a warm room come ferment, you might find the gluten to be as well soft and relaxed. Climate you can stick the dough in the fridge for 15-20 minute to cool it down to do it simpler to handle throughout stretching.