Pizza not stretching properly

Hi Everyone,
I am trying to find my way to the ultimate pizza recipe.
However I don't seem to be able to create a pizza that can be stretched with the knuckles without breaking.

The gluten window test is unsuccessful, it's like there is no gluten or it didn't develop properly.

My recipe:
62% hydration, 3% sourdough, 3% salt, normal white flour.

My method:
no-knead> 12hours bulk > 3 days in the fridge > 2 hours balling.

I tried different variations on the timings of the steps above.
What am I doing wrong? I am desperate :(

Djellel D.
posted about 4 years ago

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Hi Djellel,

I assume you mean regular all-purpose flour when you say you use "normal white flour".

I know AP flours can, in fact, make a good pizza crust but I'm not sure if it is a good choice if you use the no-knead method since AP flours are usually lower in protein content and may not provide a good gluten structure if not mixed properly.

My suggestion is to use a stand mixer and properly develop the gluten then give it the 3-day fridge treatment. I would also advocate to extent the 2-hour balling time to give the gluten structure more time to "realign" itself, for the lack of a better word.

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Mike K.
posted about 4 years ago

Hi Mike!
Thanks, so you confirm it's potentially a flour problem. Because many no-knead recipes I saw end-up with very nice dough .. without kneading.
So, first action, I just ordered 25Kg of Caputo 00
I will try with the stand mixer, as you suggested.

Djellel D.
posted about 4 years ago


It sounds like you're really committed to making excellent pizza. If you want to understand how to do that, I'd start with the master class chapter in the pizza bible.

I don't think the caputo flour will help with your problems in stretching the pizza. Caputo flours are great, but may not be the right flours for you--check out the descriptions of flours in the pizza bible for more on the flour you'll want to use.

The good news is that you seem to already have the basics: flour (but you probably need a different type), water, yeast (maybe in different proportions), salt (maybe in different proportions), a mixer (and as Mike says, that will make a huge difference with the gluten development), a fridge, and a clock. As long as you have an oven, if read about how to make the pizzas, tweak the recipes you're using, pick up the right flour, and handle the dough correctly, you'll be making good pizza in no time!

Good luck!


Adam Sachs
posted about 4 years ago

Hi Djellel,

Caputo 00 is a lower protein flour and will be "weaker" than All Purpose flour. You might try a high gluten flour such as All Trumps, Pendleton Power, or Tony's

Also, you'll want to knead your dough for pizza. There are a lot of no-knead recipes for bread, but I'm not sure it's something that will work with pizza.

You sound like you're well on your way to making a decent pie. Please keep up posted, and good luck!

There's a Pizza Bible store where we sell over a dozen different flours. The high gluten flours are the best sellers. If you're in the US, shipping is reasonable:

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted about 4 years ago

Guys, you are AWESOME !
I went ahead and kneaded my pizza in a stand mixer (a good 12 min, adding salt toward the end), then put the dough in the fridge directly without bulk fermentation. 3 days later I was tossing pizzas in the AIR !!!!!
I had a bad rise though, I don't know, may be because I used sourdough straight out of the fridge (3%). All be it, the flavor and texture were super nice. I have to find a fix to this.
Now that Caputo 00 is on the way, I hope I can manage the same results; crossing fingers.
My remaining issue now is the oven. I will start a new thread for that.

Djellel D.
posted about 4 years ago

I'm glad we could all be of help.

However, as Raj pointed out, Caputo 00 may not be the best choice regarding it's protein content. And it's not really suited for standard home ovens. Like Raj suggested, take a look around in the Pizza Bible shop. Lots of good flours in there.

- Mike   about 4 years ago

3% sourdough starter is really low. I think the minimum I have seen is 15% of your flour content. I use around 27%, and King Arther has one that is around 80%! Also your starter should be room temperature (70 degees) when you make your dough. And you should be letting it rise for an hour before putting it in the fridge. Then when you make the pizza your dough should be room temp.

John Dole
posted about 2 months ago

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