What are the reasons to throw pizza dough beyond putting on a good show?

Related: How to throw a pizza dough?

  • 2
    Speed? Does this guy toss it once to make a perfect circle, or to satisfy a requirement of the competition?
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 22:59
  • 1
    As opposed to hand shaping, or as opposed to rolling it (which is likely to affect texture due to compaction)? Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 9:06

2 Answers 2


A lot of it depends on the type of pizza you make. Where I worked we did thin crust pizza, and these were the reasons we tossed:

Speed. Trying to roll or pat out a 17 inch pizza would be very time consuming.

Consistency. Was easier to make the crust a consistent size and shape.

Space. Rolling or patting a person needs the table space 100% of the time. When tossing you can step back from the table and let another person get in to prep (or finish) their toss.

Job marketing. People wanted to work there just to learn how to toss, and it helped maintain that "authentic" vibe.

And as you pointed out, the show aspect of it. Kids loved to watch our staff toss.

  • 29
    "When asked why he was quitting the company, former pizza chef Antonio simply said: I just don't give a toss anymore."
    – flith
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 9:49
  • 28
    "Kids loved to watch our staff toss." Blimey. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 17:17
  • 1
    I've also heard that it "airs" the dough - especially the circumference (due to the spinning), thus giving a slightly thicker crust there. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 20:57
  • 6
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Is there any word in British that isn't sexualized or a curse?
    – jpmc26
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 12:43
  • 2
    @jpmc26: Nope!! Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 12:45

Those who favor throwing pizza argue that it is the best way to stretch and shape the dough without risking a puncture or tear. Some claim this extra exposure to the air helps the dough retain moisture, while drying the surface. This improves the crust. ...and of course, there is the show. On the other hand, simply shaping dough on a floured surface appears to be fairly common and also results in a correctly shaped Neapolitan-style pizza.

  • 7
    My personal anecdote is I find it easier (less time to achieve a given radius, even distribution of dough, etc) to toss a pizza dough the roll it out when working with very high gluten dough.
    – casey
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 23:27
  • 1
    A properly prepared Neapolitan dough should require no rolling...only hand stretching.
    – moscafj
    Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 18:06

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