The Pieman's Craft: Stretching Pizza Dough with Motorino's Mathieu Palombino


We're starting a new series here on Slice called The Pieman's Craft. In it, we'll talk to various slice slingers and see if we can glean techniques and secrets from them. Today we start off with a basic dough-stretching technique used by Motorino's Mathieu Palombino. The Mgmt.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

The pizzas at both the Brooklyn and Manhattan locations of Motorino are known for their puffy outer edge (what the Italians call the cornicione). We wondered how Motorino owner and head pieman Mathieu Palombino achieved this effect. So we visited with videocam in hand and captured it here, after the jump.

Here in this video, Mr. Palombino shows us how to stretch the dough in a series of about four distinct movements — the two steps of "opening" the dough, a sort of stretch-flip-and-rotate movement, and then the final gravity-assisted stretch.

The secret in all these steps is to flatten and then stretch the dough without really pressing down on the outer lip. Notice through all the manipulation here that Mr. Palombino is careful not to work the edges too hard.

In the second half of the video, Motorino Brooklyn's fastest stretcher, Sergio Pardo, shows just how quickly these motions can come together in dispatching a round. Enjoy!

If you have a topic you'd like covered in upcoming Pieman's Craft installments, email us: