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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 Jan 8 '17 at 22:59
  • 1
    As opposed to hand shaping, or as opposed to rolling it (which is likely to affect texture due to compaction)? – rackandboneman Jan 9 '17 at 9:06
57

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.

  • 28
    "When asked why he was quitting the company, former pizza chef Antonio simply said: I just don't give a toss anymore." – flith Jan 9 '17 at 9:49
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    "Kids loved to watch our staff toss." Blimey. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 9 '17 at 17:17
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    I've also heard that it "airs" the dough - especially the circumference (due to the spinning), thus giving a slightly thicker crust there. – Baard Kopperud Jan 9 '17 at 20:57
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Is there any word in British that isn't sexualized or a curse? – jpmc26 Jan 10 '17 at 12:43
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    @jpmc26: Nope!! – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 10 '17 at 12:45
33

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 Jan 8 '17 at 23:27
  • A properly prepared Neapolitan dough should require no rolling...only hand stretching. – moscafj Jul 21 '18 at 18:06

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