How to Knead Pizza Dough? 2 Steps To Avoid Over-Kneaded Dough

Preparing a homemade pizza is a multi-layered process. From dough making to managing the correct oven temperatures for pizza baking to retrieving the pizza from the oven successfully, the transition from one step to another should be impeccable.

How to Knead Pizza Dough

Leave all the process aside, let’s talk about how to knead pizza dough which actually forms a strong base for your pizza. Kneading the pizza dough sometimes feels like a hectic task for amateur pizza chefs. It’s not hectic unless you don’t know Kneading the dough is the real mystery behind making your pizza chewable. 

For kneading, you’ll get tons of advice on the internet that’ll definitely confuse you about the right approach to get started with. Just remember this, mix the ingredients, let the initial substance of dough rest, and start kneading again to complete the process.

What mistakes can you potentially make during this whole process? Let’s face these;

How to Knead Pizza Dough – Ways to Knead the Dough Easily

Either you knead pizza dough by hand (knuckles, fingers, and thighs of hand), or as an alternative, you choose to knead the dough with a mixer. I obviously can vouch that science has made our life easy (but lazy as well in some instances). I don’t know what you’ll choose, but still, in this gadgetry world, I prefer kneading the dough by hand.

How to Knead Pizza Dough

I don’t want to glorify this method over the mixer method, but I feel kneading through hands is more therapeutic and brings more elasticity and quality features to your dough.

But how do you do it; let’s jump to it:

Before we start, let it take strictly to your mind; you should weigh less on yeast and dairy products.

How to Knead Dough By Hand: 3 Steps to Get This Done:

Once you know how to knead the dough through your hands, there is no better enjoyable job than this in the whole pizza-making process. Let’s jump to how you do this;

Floor Enough Your Work Area: 

Let’s don’t focus on the recipe and ingredients ratio. Everyone has their own recipe, the ratio of ingredients, and the quantity according to which they manage the dough quantity.

I won’t make a controversy here; thank me later!

Floor Enough Your Work Area

So, you have to floor your work area and let’s start mixing the dough by hand; either you are using a countertop or a wooden cutting board. The reason is the more you dust or flour the dough mixture, the less it’ll be sticky. People actually feel cringe or uncomfortable playing with a sticky substance. This is also a reason why dough mixers come in.

And for such kinds of chefs, adding less flour will prolong the process as the sticky dough will tear more, and you’ll put more effort to bring it into an even shape.

So, when it starts to feel, Ewe, it’s not feeling good to my hands, it’s time to add more flour.

After adding the flour, if it becomes drier or rubbery stuff, try adding some water.

Knead, Press, Stretch, Fold, Turn – Time to Play With Your Dough:

After mixing the dough by hands, it’s time to knead. Kneading the dough by hand, you’ll find tons of techniques and tricks on the internet to make your mind boggle about the best, thus, wasting your time as each technique requires plenty of practice.

Knead, Press, Stretch, Fold, Turn

However, if you are not in the mood to do practical with your first-ever homemade pizza, the most common style to knead pizza dough is here;

  • Roll out the dough mixture into a round shape.
  • Press the dough with the heels of your hand to flatten it.
  • Stretch the dough with the help of your hand heels and twist it to enhance its elasticity
  • Take all edges of the dough and combine them with each other
  • It’ll again form a puff, then press the dough.
  • Turn it down, then press it again.
  • Repeat the process of stretching and then connecting the edges with each other.

Knead, Knead, Knead, Until It Shines But Rest is Necessary: 

After you are done with the mixture, let it rest to run some behind the scene scientific reactions. Resting is necessary. Just like when you do a workout in the gym, your muscles go through an excessive contraction and expansion phase. You let your muscles rest for recovery and the next day’s preparation.

The same goes for the dough, as it needs rest to absorb water and form a gluten structure. Remember, from dough making to fermentation to making pizza; the whole story revolves around gluten. We’ll discuss this later; but let’s finish off this topic first.

Knead, Knead, Knead, Until It Shines But Rest is Necessary

Now you know the process, continue with these moves from 8-10 minutes. One of the myths regarding kneading pizza dough by hand is it’s a 30-40 minute long, tiring job. But in reality, it’s probably easier than you think.

So, how long to knead dough for sound quality?

The more you allow your pizza dough to rest, the less you’ll need to knead the dough. Once you start seeing some behavioral and appearance changes in your dough, it’s an indication you have reached the finishing line.

How to Tell If Dough is Kneaded Enough – Can You Over Knead Dough:

There are a lot of things that should bind tightly with your pizza-making concepts. One crucial thing about kneading is; it should be Balanced – No partial or over-kneading. In a one-liner, you should knead the pizza dough until it acts like a single unit, feels more stretchy and elastic to your hand, and shows some glow signs.

How to Tell If Dough is Kneaded Enough

Other than this, some common signs tell you pizza dough has been kneaded enough. Like;

  • You’ll see a shining glow at the surface of pizza dough – the same glow you see at your wife’s when you offer her your credit card for shopping. Yeah, that’s the thing, you imagining the right expressions.
  • Your dough should be extremely stretchable without ripping.
  • It should not be lumpy or extra fluffy.
  • Whatever shape you mold your pizza dough in, it should hold the mold.
  • It should be somewhat sticky, not immensely.

If you see these signs in your pizza dough, caution here; you must stop there. Continuing the process even after these signs may destroy all your efforts in a minute. You can over-knead the dough so it’ll become dense and stiff, making kneading more of a struggling process.

Though kneading the dough by hands is nearly impossible as stiffness resembles the cooled tar coal rubber. You’ll feel formidable kneading that dough.  

What are the Signs of Over-Kneaded Dough?

And what happens if you over-knead dough? The signs of over-kneaded dough will be;

What are the Signs of Over-Kneaded Dough
  • Will not be chewy – elasticity will be affected
  • Not a stretchy pizza dough –tears when stretching happens
  • Hard to chew after baking
  • Won’t hold the shape

This happens when you exceed the limit and overpower the gluten structure, causing the dough to behave indecently.  

Why Do You Knead Dough? What the Fuss Behind it: 

Remember what did I say? It all revolves around gluten. Basically, you have to fuel the protein structure that keeps the dough holding its shape and elasticity.

Why Do You Knead Dough What the Fuss Behind it

I don’t want to tangle you with scientific reaction definitions, yet in simpler words, after the yeast releases waste material in the form of CO2 and alcohol, the gluten structure helps to hold these materials. Thus, you can say the more potent the gluten structure will be, the longer and the higher dough will rise.

Once the gluten structure weakens, you can see your dough losing its shape.

Kneading the pizza dough stimulates the gluten molecule to align and form a chain to help the fermentation process. That’s why it has always been advised to use high-protein bread flour than regular wheat flour because bread flour has better richness in protein blocks.

Pizza Dough Too Sticky – How to Counter this?

The first question that needs to be solved here is should pizza dough be sticky? A minimal stickiness is an optimal condition of finely kneaded pizza dough. However, if you face extremely sticky pizza dough that means you haven’t dust the dough enough or your pizza dough hasn’t kneaded supremely.

But after even all these steps, if you still find your pizza dough too sticky, you probably have used dairy products for the flavor. You have to bear this stickiness now.

How to Knead Dough with Mixer? Pizza Dough Blender Method:

If you don’t want to put your hands in a mess of flour, yeast, and other ingredients, a pizza dough blender makes your life easy. You put your ingredients in the mixer, and it supremely provides you with quality pizza dough, so you avoid the pizza dough kneading process.

How to Knead Dough with Mixer

However, you should be good at using the mixer, as never over-knead the pizza dough. This is how you do it;

  • A mixing bowl will get all your ingredients, and you need to stir it to make it a stage 1 substance of pizza dough.
  • If your mixture still remains dry, add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to make it velvety
  • Attach the dough hook to your mix and start with 0
  • Gradually shift your mixer to a higher speed with an interval of 45 secs to 1 minute.
  • You are done

As timing to knead the dough by hand needs 8-15 minutes to give supreme finishing, what about the duration in the case of a mixer? How long to knead pizza dough in mixer? How to avoid uneven saturation dough?

Unfortunately, if you are looking for a quicker solution than manual kneading, a mixer doesn’t do that. You still need to knead for 8-10 minutes at the medium-fast setting. But still, a mixer saves your efforts at many steps.

People Also Ask – FAQs

What is the best way to knead pizza dough?

It depends on the people’s choice of what they prefer; either manually or through a stand mixer. Whatever you choose, you should knead the pizza dough well.

How long should you knead pizza dough?

You should knead pizza dough for 5-15 minutes. During this time duriation, stop the process whenever your pizza dough starts responding to you about the kneading limit.

Can I knead pizza dough by hand?

Yes, definitely. Even today most of the pizzerias or chefs prefer kneading pizza dough by hand. I believe you get better quality by doing it manually.

The Bottom Line –What’s the Better Way of Kneading?

So how to knead the dough for a splendid quality pizza? I prefer kneading pizza dough by hand instead of using a stand mixer. Every procedure has its own pros and cons, but your main goal should be bringing the dough to perfection so it can stretch well, doesn’t feel sticky, and bakes into highly chewy pizza.

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