I've been mesmerized by the videos from this very talented Japanese pizza maker:
Could I learn how to do this? If so, would my pizzas be any better? So, despite being a bit of a klutz and with only this video as a guide, I decided to make some extra dough balls and see what would happen. It ain't pretty; maybe after a few thousand pies like the Japanese guy I could make it look pretty. But I was stunned that even on my very first attempt, it worked! Like I said, it ain't pretty. I wish I knew what he was saying, but after seven dough balls, here are some preliminary observations based on my dough, which may be softer than the one in the Japanese video:
1. When initially pressing out the ball, keep fingers and hands as flat as possible to avoid creating any irregularities that could become weak spots when the dough gets thinner.
2. Keep the thumb on the right hand away from the dough. It can easily poke a hole in the dough as it is being thrown around. All fingers need to be kept together for the same reason.
3. The main stretching is done by step 1 in which the left hand pulls the dough over the right hand. The next step, the slapping step, seems more for positioning the dough in place for the next stretch.
4. The speed of the motions are not about show. It seems important to keep the dough in motion so that gravity doesn't let the fingers poke weak spots.
Even for a first attempt, I really liked this method: more uniform thickness and better control. Maybe. Will have to keep trying. Here is a video. Did I say it wasn't pretty?
I'm definitely going to keep trying! It was fun!.