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Why not rolling Pin? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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Why not rolling Pin?

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  • Why not rolling Pin?

    Ok Sorry if this is covered but I searched and never saw WHY.

    Why should you not use a rolling pin to roll out the dough.. other than using your ands and stretching the dough out how else do you get it out?

    I want a thinner crispier crust...

    I do get a store made dough from a samll itaian market...not sure if they use the caputo flower or not...

  • #2
    Re: Why not rolling Pin?

    I would say main reason for doing them by hand is that you tend to get a puffier, more interesting crust. I personally can't get the dough as thin with a rolling pin as I can by hand. Rolling can toughen the dough and tends to remove bubbles - making it heavy instead of light. OTOH, the pizza police aren't likely to come arrest you and there are plenty of people who do roll so...try it. There is a good chance you will still want to finish stretching by hand. And to complicate things, different flours and hydrations can influence which solution you may want to use.

    Good Luck!


    • #3
      Re: Why not rolling Pin?

      The rolling pin has it's place in my kitchen, but not in pizza. I've found that rolling out dough for pita bread gives you a thin, uniform, floured surface, and the pita breads uniformly "balloon" to form a pocket every time, which only happens sporadically when they are hand stretched.

      It all depends on the effect that you want. Every industrial pizza outfit has a "sheeter" which is a pair of mechanical rolling pins, once through the thicker spaced rollers to elongate the ball, and again through the thinner spaced ones to get it thin and round. If you wanted to create a simulacrum of commercial pizza, and could get your WFO cool enough to do it, then the rolling pin would be the way to go. Most of us are trying to get a more artisanal effect, with slightly irregular shapes, and lots of oven spring from the bubbles in the dough ball. It's also the best effect with the high heat of the wood oven.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #4
        Re: Why not rolling Pin?

        Let me be the resident heretic:

        I use a rolling pin when I desire a thin crispy crust. It works... it really does, but only if one wants a thin and crispy crust. After rolling I let the crust rest for 20 or 30 minutes to rise just a bit so it isn't cracker-like. (I use a "NY style" dough formula for this type of pizza.)

        Now let me recover my dignity (and hopefully the respect of some of our colleagues):

        I more often shape by hand to get big puffy edges on the crust.

        (I use a high-hydration Neopolitain style dough for this type of pizza).


        • #5
          Re: Why not rolling Pin?

          Awww, Brian!

          It isn't heretical to use a rolling pin. IMO it is more that it gives a different effect. And arguably works better with different dough vs. hand shaping, but...like bread the answer lies in what you want! And that's what you said, and I agree!


          • #6
            Re: Why not rolling Pin?

            Is there a 'Perfect Pizza dough Mix '? I made 3 different ones last weekend -- my first firing--- and the one with the egg in was far superior.
            No rolling pin was harmed in the creation of any Pizza.


            • #7
              Re: Why not rolling Pin?

              Originally posted by muppety1 View Post
              Is there a 'Perfect Pizza dough Mix '?
              Sure, its the one you like best.

              Alternately you could use the one given on the forum, which just happens to be what works best for me.
              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



              • #8
                Re: Why not rolling Pin?

                Originally posted by muppety1 View Post
                No rolling pin was harmed in the creation of any Pizza.
                Of equal importance: was any pizza harmed as a result of the rolling pin?


                • #9
                  Re: Why not rolling Pin?

                  You can use a rolling pin. I know that many people say, don't. My advise is to handle the dough as little as possible. My best pizza experience was in Trastevere, Rome. 30 pizzas were rolled out by hand, stacked, dressed, put into their WFO, then 30 cooked pizzas were taken out of the oven two minutes later. When the dough was rolled out, it was with 4 to 6 strokes of the rolling pin. My advise is to do what ever technique manipulates the dough the least. In my hands the more I manipulate the dough, the tougher the pizza.
                  San Luis Obispo

                  "Pizza is suffused with the good feelings everyone has because they're together," Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Why not rolling Pin?

                    the easiest way to answer this question is the Pepsi challenge.

                    same dough, same toppings, one hand formed, one rolling pin.

                    see which you prefer.

                    For me, they are like chalk and cheese.

                    If you like pizza bases that can also be used as a frisbee - use a rolling pin... and while we're going crazy... a docker for good measure.
                    My 2nd Build:
                    Is here


                    • #11
                      Re: Why not rolling Pin?

                      Pins aren't generally used on yeast leavened doughs* simply because the pressure defeats the purpose (you just waited all night for bubbles to form and now you wanna squish them all out?) and you end up with a poorly risen or just plain flat bread. As long as you are gentle (there's a reason rolling pins aren't power tools!) and let it rest (a good thirty minutes I would guess) you should get the crispy but not saltine consistency you're after.

                      Conversely, you could roll then prebake the crust ala pie crust. How you'd do that in a wood fired oven, I'm not sure. It would have to come out a lot quicker than a pizza - and they usually take ~90 seconds (going by what others have reported). If you could pull it off you should get a light yet crispy crust. If not, maybe you can find a market for leavened charcoal?

                      *Chemical leavening (b. soda and b. powder) rises during baking. That is why pins can be used on pastry which are usually chemically leavened.
                      Last edited by Archena; 08-25-2009, 03:43 PM.
                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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