Pizza Dough Recipe
Want to know how to make the best pizza dough ever? Want it to be just the right amount of chewy and crispy with beautiful scorched bubbles on the crust? Would you also like it if that pizza dough was super easy to make (no kneading required!) and made to bake in your home oven? Thought you might 🙂
You're in luck; I finally figured out how to make high-end pizzeria quality pizza dough. Actually Jim Lahey did all the figuring out; I just followed the recipe. He was kind enough to share it with Bon Appetit (and, therefore, me) a few months ago. You can check out the rest of his recipes in his cookbook, My Pizza.
Tips for perfect pizza dough:
- Put your rolling pin away! Seriously. Using a rolling pin will remove all the little air bubbles leaving you with bad pizza crust. Go put it away 🙂
- Turn your oven to the highest temperature for a full hour before baking the pizza. You want it HOT!
- On a well-floured surface, stretch the dough, starting at the edges and moving in a circle around the dough (or a rectangle if you want to make flatbread)
- Resist the temptation to flatten the pizza dough (see tip #1)
- Make a fist with one hand and drape the pizza dough over your fist. Make a fist with your other hand and slowly rotate with pizza dough around in a circle using your two fists. The pizza dough will look a little like a blanket covering your two hands.
- Once the dough is about 10-12 inches, drop it onto a lightly floured pizza peel or baking sheet.
- Don't worry if it is oddly shaped, it will have more character this way!
- Don't add too many toppings to your pizza. Less is more.
Pizza Dough Recipe
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping dough
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and yeast.3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- Add 3 cups of warm water and mix it with a wooden spoon until it becomes a rough dough. Then use your hands to gently bring the dough together to form a rough ball. Note: you may need to knead it a couple of times to get it to create a ball.1 ½ cups warm water
- Transfer the ball to a large, clean bowl and it with a clean kitchen towel. Set the bowl aside in a warm (room temperature) draft-free location for at least 18 hours, or until the dough has more than doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Take a corner of the dough and pull it towards the center of the dough. Repeat with the remaining 3 corners until you have a little package. If the 'package' is a little sticky, dust it with flour. Place the 'package' seam-side down on a lightly floured surface. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and set aside for 1 hour.
- Working with one piece at a time, take the four corners of the rectangle and fold them in towards the middle (like a parcel.) Turn the seam down on a lightly-floured baking sheet and dust the top with flour. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and set aside for at least 1 hour.
To make pizza:
- Place a pizza stone (or a baking sheet turned upside down on a rack in the top ⅓ of your oven. Turn your oven on as high as it will go. Make sure it comes to temperature before baking the pizzas.
- Generously flour your work surface, hands, and 1 ball of pizza dough. Press the pizza dough down in the center then gently push and pull the edges into a 10-inch circle. Try not to squeeze out the air bubbles; they're the best part.
- Transfer the pizza dough to a well-floured pizza peel then top the pizza lightly with sauce and toppings. Slide the pizza from the peel onto the hot pizza stone and bake until the bottom is crisp and the top is blistered – about 5-6 minutes if using a pizza stone or 10-12 minutes using a baking sheet. Allow your oven to re-heat for 5 minutes between pizzas.
My dough had an incredibly strong alcohol smell, is that going to alter the taste/texture at all? Did I leave it in too long or measure out a little too much yeast? Do i need to be really rigid about how long is sits out for and the temperature, as it was cold outside i left it in the oven with the light on. Thanks!
Dough that over ferments will begin to smell of alcohol. This can happen from using a little too much yeast or from letting it sit out a little too long. If it were bread, you’d probably want to start over again. Luckily, pizza dough is much more forgiving. Once it’s baked, you won’t notice the taste!
BTW: I normally do the light on in the oven trick when it’s cold out, too. Works like a charm!
Should the yeast be prepared according to package directions first or just added dry to the recipe ? I want to give it a try but not sure . Thanks!
Just add it dry to the recipe. 🙂
Wow! Fantastic pizza. Made this tonight for dinner and everyone was really impressed. I still can’t believe how good it tasted. I will be making this more often. Thanks for posting. C
Thank you so much for the feedback, Cate! So happy you loved the pizza as much as I do 🙂
Best pizza crust! Can’t believe I made it. Followed to a t except my yeast was a tad expired. Still I live in a city not known for pizza -this was better than you can get at a pizzeria. Thank you so much for your tips and posting.
I love this recipe, it’s so simple and easy, plus everyone compliments me on my tasty pizza!! I usually cut the dough in portions and freeze what I’m not using on the same day. I have been making this recipe several times and it never disappoints.
I also tried it with 1/2 unbleached flour and 1/2 whole wheat and it worked ok.
I haven’t tried it but my hunch is that it would work great. It would probably be a bit heavier though since whole wheat flour is more dense. If you try it I’d love to hear how it turns out!
1/2 white 1/2 whole wheat worked great!!!
I doubled the yeast to 1 tsp! That was the only change I made!!
Do you think this recipe would work with whole wheat flour?
I would love to try this recipe, but I’m just wondering if the amount of yeast stated in the recipe is correct. 1/2tsp. for all that flour seems like way too little yeast. I’ll wait to hear from you before trying it, I don’t want to mess it up.Also, How many pizzas does this make?
Thanks so much!
I know it doesn’t seem like much but it is the correct amount. When I make this recipe I usually get between 5-6 pizzas depending on the size. Make sure you barely work the dough, that’s the real trick
I actually had this last night with pesto sauce, prawns, thinly sliced lemons and a little drizzle of lemon oil and it was out of this world!
I’ve been searching for a pizza dough recipe that actually works for years now. This one works perfectly!!
Worked like a charm! Thank you for the recipe 🙂
It did!!!!! Even got the bubbles. Made my day! Thanks so much.
That’s awesome news! You are very welcome 🙂
I just put my ball of dough in the oven (for rising) I guess the 18 hrs will be up Saturday lunch time…cant wait to see how this goes. Cant say how many failed attempts I have had, making pizza at home. The worst was this “namaste” spreadable dough.
Thanks for posting this!
You’re welcome, Minu! I hope it turned out awesome for you!!
I’ve been making pizza dough for years but have struggled with it being too bread-like: puffy and soft. This is the first recipe I’ve used that gives a chewy, crisp crust – and a five-minute effort the night before allows a pizza meal to be pulled together quite quickly. Next time I’ll experiment with adding a little whole grain flour – though I don’t want to ruin a good thing!
I confess that I fumbled the “folding in the corners like a package” part and just kind of wrestled these into blobs during stage 2. Good results nonetheless – so I’m happy to report that this recipe suffers fools gladly.
Thanks for a great recipe and instructions.
I’m so happy the recipe turned out for you. I had the same problem with dough-y crust before I found this recipe. Let me know how it turns out if you try adding some whole wheat flour, I’d be really curious to know!
this recipe is so good. i tried it for supper. made the dough at 3 pm and tried 1/6 of the recipe. turns out the dough is yummy. not at all oily. the best crust ever.
Thank you so much, Lynette! I’ve been wondering how it would turn out if I made enough for just one pizza. Thank you for letting me know!!
This recipe seems like it would make a lot. Can you freeze the extras?
It does make a lot! Although I haven’t tried freezing the extras myself, my hunch tells me it would be okay. Definitely make sure you leave ample time to allow the dough to come back to room temperature. I’d probably take it out in the morning if I was going to make it for dinner.
Here’s what I would do:
1. Make the dough up to the step where you divide it into 6 pieces (let it rise for the hour)
2. Take any dough you are not going to use and wrap it well in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer.
3. When using the frozen dough: take out of the freezer in the morning. Unwrap, dust with flour and place on a flat surface. Cover with a damp tea towel.
4. Proceed to step 7 in the recipe directions.
If you try this, let me know how it turns out for you!
BTW: I’ve halved this recipe and it has turned out great. Might be easier to go that route 🙂
Kristen, I LOVE this dough recipe! I made it a couple of weeks ago for the first time and I was so happy with it! However, I DID use a rolling pin, which I will leave on the shelf next time! Thanks for all of your tips!
You are so welcome! I’m happy the pizza turned out great for you. Definitely try it without the rolling pin next time. It’ll be even tastier!
i’m using 00 type pizza dough for my pizzas. very elstic and easier to stretch out without a roller
Thanks, Rodrigo! I’ve never tried OO flour before. If you make this recipe using it I’d love to hear how it turned out 🙂
By the way, I forgot to mention how awesome that opening picture is. LOVE the hand all covered in sticky dough.
Thank you so much, Maria!
I remember seeing this recipe when the issue of the magazine came out. I forgot all about it. So glad you posted this. I need to try it, especially after reading your rave reviews. Have you halved the recipe? It seems like it makes a ton of pizza dough, far more than I need in one shot.
I did try halving it but I put it in my oven to rise (so it would be out of the way) but forgot about it and turned my oven on. Oops! I ended up with a cooked ball of dough covered in melted plastic wrap 🙂
I think it would work just great to half the recipe. Or you would always freeze the ones you don’t use to have them on hand for another time 🙂
you’re my hero…..pizza is the most perfect food ever, I could eat it every day. I’m trying this real soon.
I agree, I love pizza too!