Dough keeps shrinking whenever I stretch it

My dough is very elastic and keeps shrinking whenever I try to stretch it. The end result is tasty, but the shape is off and my pizzas are smaller and thicker than I'd like.

When I watch dough being stretched at pizzerias, their dough seems so much easier to work with. How can I fix this? Is it technique, or is this a problem with how the dough is being made?

Jason Shugars
posted about 5 years ago

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Make sure the dough isn't cold. If it's coming from the fridge, leave it out for about an hour before shaping it. You'll notice a huge difference as far as elasticity goes.

Also, try to handle the dough as little as possible. If you're taking the dough out of a bowl or a plastic bag, it's very possible that the glutens are getting activated. Once that happens, it'll be very difficult to work with.

Peter Lewis
posted about 5 years ago

If the dough shrinks back.. maybe it's not at room temperature or hasn't risen enough...??

I find if the dough stretches back.. it's usually cold. I offer tips in this video:

Frankie G

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Frankie G
posted about 5 years ago

This is called snapping back and it can happen because of a lot of reasons.

1. your dough is not matured yet. Typically a 24-36hr dough is sufficent before use. If you are using your dough too early snapping back can be a problem. Also what protein % is the flour your using? The higher the % the stronger your dough which means it will take longer for your dough to be ready if it's a high protein

2. Your water was too cold when you made your dough. This happens especially in the winter in areas like the east coast or mid west. A final dough temp (after mixed should be 68-72 degrees. If it was too cold your dough just never started to leven, so it may not be ready

3. Salt % is too high. 1-3% salt to your flour weight is an average. Anything above could make your dough to snap back.

4. Your water is too hard. Hard water makes your dough tight and may make your dough snap back. Higher hydration is recomended or filters, softeners help even reverse osmosis. You could buy bottled water too

5. If a dough is over mixed (mixed too long or on too fast of a speed typically with a planetary mixer can cause the proteins to over develop casing your dough to be to tough.

6. Cold Dough. Warm it up a room temp prior. Always recomended

7. Other issues like dead yeast or P&L being off could be related to snapping back but most likely be the above troubleshooting

Tony Gemignani admin
posted about 5 years ago

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