How to Handtoss Pizza for a New York Style Crust
This hub is the conclusion of an earlier hub on making pizza dough. Handtossing well made pizza dough is not actually that difficult, of course I was never one of those people who could throw the dough up into the air and catch it but I can't catch anyway and that isn't all the important for a great tasting pizza.
You will need cornmeal, flour, a pizza peel, a pizza stone, and whatever toppings you wish to put on your pizza handy.
Begin by preheating your stone in an oven at about 500 degrees. Sprinkle corn meal on your pizza peel generously. Take your "proofed" preportioned dough, or dough that was allowed to swell from the size of a baseball to the size of a softball, and with your thumb and forefinger pinch the edge of your dough ball defining a lip which will become the pizza crust. Work quickly the dough should have loosened to the point where gravity stretches it for you. When the lip is well rest the pizza dough centered on your knuckes with your palms facing. Stretch the pizza dough with your knuckles by pulling your two hands apart. Give the dough a light toss to rotate it and continue to stretch the dough with your knuckles until your pizza dough is round and the size that you want. Make sure it will still dit on your pizza peel and stone. Place the stretched pizza dough on the peel. Correct any holes that your see by pinching the dough together. Give the peel a slight jerk to test that the pizza will slide on the corn meal easily. If it sticks lift the pizza dough anyplace it sticks and blow cornmeal under it.
Note: It is really important to work with a dry peel so that the pizza dough doesn't stick.
When your pizza dough is stretched and will slide easily on your peel you can top your pizza anyway you like. Avoid putting toppings on your lip as it will cause your crust not to rise. Work quickly. The longer the raw dough sits on your peel the more likely it is to stick.
When you have topped your pizza test to make sure it still slides easily on the peel. If it doesn't work gently to fix the problem with corn meal as before. Carefully slide the dough onto your preheated stone and allow the pizza to bake until the crust is a nice brown and all the cheese is melted. It doesn't take long. check your pizza after about five minutes. When your pizza is finished cooking remove it from the stone with your pizza peel.
Note: Avoid cutting the pizza on the pizza peel. It will moisten the peel and limit you to making only one pizza at a time and it causes wear on the peel that it isn't made for.
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