Pizza – How to Shape Dough for the Second Rise

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 112,242
    Pizza expert Ruth Gresser demonstrates how to shape pizza dough for the second rise.

    Ruth Gresser

    Owner and chef Ruth Gresser grew up cooking with her mother, who owned a catering business in Baltimore, Md. Ms. Gresser cooked her way through Grinnell College in Iowa before moving to San Francisco, where she cooked for several years at Friends a Cafe and at Le Trou Robert. In 1987, she graduated summa cum laude from Madeleine Kamman's Classical and Modern French Cooking School in Glen, NH. She then moved to Washington, DC, where she has helped open four popular restaurants: Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle, Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown, Blue Plate and Obelisk. Ms. Gresser has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs Madeleine Kamman Scholarship and a guest chef appearance at Alice Waters' renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. She has also been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine, The Washington Business Journal and by Georgetown University Television. Ms. Gresser has been a chef demonstrator, contributor and panelist for The Smithsonian Institution and for FreshFarm Markets in Washington, DC. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

    Hi, I am Ruth Gresser from Pizzeria Paradiso, we're making pizza today. Right now we're going to shape the dough for the second rise. I have the two kinds of pizza dough that we have made earlier; I have a whole wheat dough, and a white flour dough. Now, this dough, it was made yesterday, and so it has been rising in the refrigerator overnight. Your dough might look a little bit different in the bowl than this, it should have a nice smooth surface on top, and it will double in bulk is that's when you know that it's time for shaping. So, I'm going to start with the white pizza dough. I'm going to put some flour down on the counter, and I am going to take the dough out of the bowl. Little pieces will attach to the side, so you can just pull them out as well. What you're going to do is just knead it a little bit to get some of the air out. Then you want to shape it into balls. You're going to be making a round pizza, so you want to start -- when you go to shape the round pizza, if you start with a ball, it's easier to make it into a round. So, what you're going to do is you're going to cut pieces of the pizza dough into about even size pieces. The recipe that I have given you, a pound of flour should make three individual sized pizzas, or two 12 inch pizzas, which should serve two. So, you take the dough, and you can -- there are several different ways to shape it. One is to just shape it in your hand, and what you do to shape it in your hand is you pull the dough away from you and squeeze it together at the bottom, and then turn it and squeeze it together at the bottom, and turn it and squeeze it together at the bottom. Then just pull the bottom around, shaping it with your other hand, and there you have a ball of pizza dough. So, you want to put that then onto a floured flat surface, like a plate, and then we will cover that and just let it to rise. The other way to do it is to take the pizza dough on a non-floured surface. You want a surface that the dough can actually grab a hold of, put it down on the counter, and hold your hands, sort of cup the dough with your hands, and move the dough on the surface, on the counter. You want a non-floured surface because you want the dough to sort of grab the counter a little bit. Then you just sort of shape it in the same way that you shaped it off of the counter. You're shaping it into a ball like that. Then squeeze the bottom together, and there you have it. The whole wheat dough, you're going to treat in the same manner. So, we're going to put it on the counter, and cut it into several pieces, and the same thing. We want to shape it on the counter itself, just start rolling the dough between your hands. Again, you will feel it, the dough is grabbing on the counter and forming a ball virtually on its own. Make sure it's squeezed together at the bottom, and there you go. Then we are going to take the pizza dough, and you want to make sure that you cover it, because you're now going to set it to rise again for another hour or so. If you are leaving it at room temperature, or if you are going to put it in the refrigerator, again, you can make it and put it overnight in the refrigerator so you have the dough ready to use the next day. Next we're going to actually shape the balls of pizza dough into a pizza.