Wednesday, August 10, 2016

EZ Homemade Wooden Pizza Dough Press!

Ahoy from Amoy! (Xiamen, China)
DIY Make your own homemade wooden pizza dough press

Since coming to XMU in 1988, we've made a tradition of making pizza every Christmas Eve (and many other holidays as well). We've even had Chinese TV crews film our pizza making (maybe they'll give us the Nobel Pizza Prize?) How I've wanted a pizza dough press, but even today they cost from USD 700 to 9.000. But I just made a great homemade wooden pizza dough press for only USD 25! With nothing but a small drill, hammer and screws, small hand saw, and wood glue, I made this very practical, easy to use press in only 4 hours.

If you have very basic woodworking skills, just look at the photos below and you'll see how to make it. The key is--make it strong! This is basically just a very large version of a wooden tortilla press, but it must be very strong to handle the pressure needed to flatten a big ball of pizza dough. The good news is--it doesn't need much pressure when the base and handle are so long.

You will need one 8-foot long 2"x4", a 17" long piece of 1" x 10", two 18" diameter round pieces of 1" thick wood (or square if you can't make it round), a 10mm thick 4" long bolt for the handle rod, two hinges, and lots of screws.

1st step: Place something between the two round (or square) pieces so they are 1/8"to 1/4" apart and fasten them together with two hinges. The pressure will be enormous, so bend the hinge over the top of the upper wooden piece and screw it on both top and side. It will never come apart!
Easy DIY Homemade wooden pizza dough press make your own

2nd step: On the opposite side, screw in the vertical assembly that will hold the handle. That assembly is made from 3 pieces of 2"x4" (two are 9 inches, the center piece is 3") that screwed together very securely (and wood glue on everything!) with 4" screws.

3rd step: screw a 17" long piece of 1" x 8" on top of the upper round piece (don't forget the wood glue). Let it cover the bent over hinges (I chiseled out two grooves so they lay flat). This is double insurance that the hinges won't fly off when you press the handle.

4th step: screw (and glue) the 1" x 1" x 7" strip on the upper round piece near the handle (this handle will hit this and press it down).
Easy DIY Homemade wooden pizza dough press make your own

5th: drill a hole in the handle (28" long 2"x4" board) and fasten it to the uprights with the 10mm 4" bolt. No need for a nut, or for it to reach all the way through, if you make the furthest hole a bit small and then force it in. It won't come out.

6th step: Make some pizza! It's large and heavy, but it has to be to handle the pressure--and it works beautifully. But some wax paper or saran wrap on the wood surfaces before placing the dough. Or better yet--we bought two 15" diameter silicon baking pads. The dough presses smoothly between them and comes right off (but you can use these pads to bake the pizza as well).

Again, I have no woodshop (not even a work table; I sat on the floor to make it), but it took me only 4 hours to make it, cost only about $25, and my wife loves it (and I love her pizza). See photo below for details (click to enlarge them).

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill Brown
Academic Director, XMU OneMBA
Xiamen University
Fujian, China 
Easy DIY Homemade wooden pizza dough press make your own

 School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

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