How to Shape Pizza Dough

If you want to make Italian style pizza at home, you need to learn how to shape pizza dough. And while shaping pizza dough might sound intimidating at first, it’s not that complicated.

In this recipe I’ll show you how you can shape your homemade pizza dough, or even your store bought or frozen dough. But please be prepared to err. No one is born with the knowledge of how to do this. You’ll need practice, sometimes tearing your dough, having some holes. But believe me, that’s normal.

This recipe is the second of my 4-part How to make homemade pizza series (1. Making the pizza dough; 2. Shaping your pizza dough; 3. Pizza sauce and toppings; 4. Baking your pizza).

A Few Tips On Shaping Pizza Dough

First of all, you need room-temperature, good quality pizza dough in order to be able to shape it. Here are some additional tips:

  • If your dough is frozen or you’ve kept it in the fridge, be sure to leave it on the counter until it comes up to room temperature.
  • Use a dough that’s been kneaded long enough so that the gluten could develop and give it an elastic consistency.
  • I find it is best to work with the pizza dough if it’s either fresh (right after being proofed), or if it had been rested in the fridge for 2-4 days. 1 day old dough is very hard to work with.
  • If it tears or you get some holes, don’t worry. This is homemade pizza, and these things happen even with professionals.
  • Don’t worry if anything goes wrong. Your pizza dough can tear, or it can be of any shape other than round. It’s a homemade pizza after all.
  • You need about half a cup or 50-60 g of flour for your work surface to begin with. You can later add more flour if you feel it’s not enough.

Your pizza dough is ready at this point. The next step will be adding your pizza sauce and toppings. Click in the link to see my recommendation for the best pizza sauce »

How to Shape Pizza Dough

Balazs Szilagyi
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 servings


  • 280 g room temperature pizza dough


  • Start the process of shaping pizza dough by making a big heap of flour on your work surface, and putting your pizza dough ball in the middle of your flour.
  • Pat your palms first in the middle, then moving slightly towards the edge. You'll get a flat, somewhat thick disc of pizza dough at this point.
  • Press it down so it can absorb some more flour. Continue tapping, making it larger and thinner every time. Make sure to preserve the round shape by turning it continuously.
  • Lift it, holding with both hands. Start rotating the dough in your hands, letting it stretch by its own weight.
  • Once it gets the desired size, put your dough in your pizza pan. You can adjust the size and the shape in the pan.
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