When I make pizza, I stretch out the dough right on my steel baking pan and then add the toppings. It bakes and browns very well and I avoid wrestling a stretched out pizza dough from my work surface to a baking pan or a baking stone.
Still, many people have pizza stones or baking pans that must be preheated before the dough is placed on them. So, a transfer of the stretched pizza dough to another surface is necessary. The problem is lifting it and moving it without stretching the dough further, especially for a thin crust pizza.
Taking a cue from the long held tradition of lifting and transferring a piecrust on a rolling pin, I was inspired to try this move with a pizza. They don’t call it pizza pie for nothing. So, I have used a rolling pin to transfer a pizza dough, but discovered that a two liter soda bottle works even better.
You simply place the soda bottle on the stretched out dough, roll and wrap the dough over the bottle and place it on the pan. Then you can carefully move and center the base pizza dough. Give it a try if you need to preheat your pizza pan.
In my experience, the best way to get a nicely browned pizza crust is to bake it at a high oven temperature of 500°F. I start preheating the oven as soon as I’m ready to stretch out the dough, because it takes my oven a while to heat up that hot. After the dough is placed on the baking pan. I add my toppings, place it in my 500°F oven on the bottom shelf and bake it for 12 or so minutes. It really puffs up nicely and has a well browned bottom crust.
If all this talk about pizza is making you hungry, see my earlier post on how to make a Fabulous Thin Crust Pizza that’s ready to eat in an hour and a half.
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