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.
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
Drill or screwdriver
Step 1: 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
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
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
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
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.