Introduction: Pizza Dough Press (AKA Squishinator 2000)

Picture of Pizza Dough Press (AKA Squishinator 2000)

I take my pizza very seriously, so the next logical step after buying an outdoor pizza oven was to build a pizza dough press. After all, the last thing I want to do if I'm hungry for pizza is to spend precious minutes rolling out the dough when I could be squishing it between two slabs of black granite instead.

Materials:

1/2" x 12" x 36" edge-glued pine board

2" x 4" x 8' board

12" square black granite tile

Two 3" strap hinges

4" length of 1/4" threaded rod

14" length of 1" x 4" board

Liquid Nails

Screws

1/4" nuts

Tools:

Hand saw

Hack saw

Drill or screwdriver

Caulking gun

Clamps

Hammer

Vice

Step 1: Cut Materials

Picture of  Cut Materials

Measure and cut the following pieces:

From the pine board, two 12" squares

From the 2" x 4", two 14" lengths, two 12" lengths, and one 16" length for the handle

From the 1" x 4", two 7" lengths

If your threaded rod is longer than 4 inches, use a hack saw to cut the desired length

You'll probably want to sand off any rough edges to avoid getting blood on your pizza dough later.

Step 2: Build the Two Halves of the Pressing Surface

Picture of  Build the Two Halves of the Pressing Surface

Mark a line one inch in on two opposing sides of the 12" square, place the two 14" boards across the pine board, setting them flush on one side and overhanging two inches on the other and on the inside of the line you just marked.

Before attaching the 2" x 4" boards to the pine square, you should screw the two 7" lengths of 1" x 4" board to the inside edges of the 2" x 4" boards (see picture). Then put glue on the 2" x 4"s and screw them into the pine board from above.

Use the caulking gun to put liquid nails all over the pine square. Lay one of the black granite squares over the pine square and clamp down until the liquid nails has dried completely.

Repeat for the top half of the pressing surface, except this time use the 12" 2" x 4"s and make them flush on both sides. You will also only need an inch and a half gap between them so they can act as a guide for your handle.

Step 3: Bend Hinges and Connect Two Halves

Picture of Bend Hinges and Connect Two Halves

Put your two halves together and measure how tall they are from the bottom of one 2" x 4" to the top of the other. Depending on how thick you like your pizza crust, you may want to factor in a gap between the two halves. Add the height of the halves to the required gap and you will know where to bend your hinges. Measure and mark the hinges, place in vice and hammer to bend.

Once both ends of the hinges are bent, screw them in to connect the two halves of your press.

Step 4: Shape and Attach Handle

Picture of Shape and Attach Handle

I cut away some of the end of the 2" x 4" handle to form a grip and rounded the other side for easy maneuvering.

Lay your handle across the top of the press in the 2" x 4" guides and make sure the rounded edge is flush with the uprights. Clamp in place.

Drill a 1/4" hole through the uprights and handle.

Thread the 4" rod through the hole, putting washers in between each upright and the handle so it will move easily, if there is much of a gap between the uprights and the handle and washers to keep things tight. If you need to use a hammer to get the rod through you may need to file the end of the rod so the nut will go on later.

Put nuts on either side of the rod to hold everything in place.

Step 5: Squish Pizza Dough

Picture of Squish Pizza Dough

With a little bit of oil and some dough you are ready to press out pizza crusts until your arms go numb. I floured the granite to help the dough release more easily. You can make any size pizza you want; the press doesn't discriminate. It helps to invite friends over for this so they can be suitably impressed with your building and pizza-making skills. Make them provide all the toppings; you've done your part.

Comments

TheCoffeeDude (author)2015-12-24

Great for making crackers too! Thanks for sharing this.

Faircreations (author)2015-08-16

Think you need to change te sizes. I cut two 14" from the 2" by 4". It's definitely two 16" needed. I have to buy a new piece of wood now.

SomeshRao (author)2014-09-21

Looking at the pictures, I see greenish wood. Did you use pressure treated wood?

If so, i would replace with regular untreated wood, since they use some very poisonous chemicals for treating wood.

lime3D (author)SomeshRao2015-04-01

Even if he had used pressure treated wood, the dough doesn't come in contact with it, and it is removed from the press before cooking.

theskashow (author)SomeshRao2014-09-21

nope, pine boards, regular 2x4s and cherry scraps. Probably just the lighting in my garage.

SomeshRao (author)theskashow2014-09-22

Thanks. Appreciate the info.

aurelia70 (author)2014-09-19

Do you have a picture of what the dough looks like on the press after it's been pressed?

theskashow (author)aurelia702014-09-22

It finally stopped raining long enough to make pizza in our outdoor oven. I just updated the last step to include pictures of the dough being pressed and the pizza after it's cooked.

TheGeek1984 (author)2014-09-22

Nice 'ible, though id use it for tortillas, I prefer to hand press my pizza dough. It must be the Italian in me.

nicholasgomez (author)2014-09-19

Great project. !! I love the idea of using this with the granite tile. This is one for my honey do list.

Computothought (author)2014-09-19

Modified giant tortilla press....

xwania (author)2014-09-18

great idea. will be making it soon. look forward to the pictures of the crushed dough

tomatoskins (author)2014-09-18

Since I have gotten into cooking a lot more lately I can see this being one of my future projects.

tylerwhitworth (author)2014-09-18

Awesome! It reminds me of a tortilla press only bigger. With corn tortillas I'll use 2 pieces of heavy plastic (like a big freezer bag cut into sheets) and it works well because the dough is pretty easy to peel off the plastic and I don't have to grease the press at all. I bet you could do the same thing with this, although you'll need a larger sheet of plastic than a freezer bag.

I'm sure it will do a good job on tortillas, the reason I went with granite was so it would be easy to peal the dough off. I will be uploading some photos of different things we have "Crushinated".

tim_n (author)2014-09-18

Think I've found another project! Thanks

seamster (author)2014-09-18

Nice project!

I'm not familiar with the idea of a dough press... does this have some benefits over the traditional rolling and tossing of pizza dough?

theskashow (author)seamster2014-09-18

I had a friend who had a pizza shop and he used a press. You can put out a lot of very consistent pizzas with one. Also no dough stuck to the ceiling ;)

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