The Best No-Knead Pizza Dough Ever!

There’s nothing worse than a slice of really mediocre pizza. I view that as such a waste. When I want to indulge in something full of cheese and carbs, I want it to be worth it! Pizza dough should be crisp yet chewy yet light and full of flavor and unfortunately that’s rarely what you get at most restaurants or chain pizza shops. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for a good pizza dough recipe. I thought I had a good one but it turns out I was really missing out on things. I had seen this recipe for Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough floating around the internet before but I guess I figured it was too good to be true.

Boy was I WRONG. This pizza dough is seriously the best. It’s ridiculously easy and amazingly delicious. This pizza dough provides the PERFECT texture. You must try it if you haven’t already. I’m so glad I did.


Measure out a few simple ingredients. I used my digital kitchen scale to ensure accuracy. You’d be surprised at how often your flour measurements are off.


Add the water.


Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands (without kneading) until the dough starts to come together into a shaggy ball.


Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover in plastic, and let rise in a draft-free area at room temperature for up to 18 hours or less, depending on your kitchen, until doubled in size.


Now the dough is ready to be divided into 3 rounds and used to pizza or saved for another time! It’s that easy.

Recipe Rundown
Taste: The longer you let this dough rise the better flavor it develops. I find a lot of restaurant pizza dough is utterly bland. Not this dough!
Texture: The. best. part. This dough is crunchy, chewy, bubbly, light, and thin. It’s a million times better than most pizza doughs I’ve ever tasted.
Ease: Seriously so easy. A few ingredients come together in less than 5 minutes that you leave on the counter to rise for the rest of the day. And it can be made ahead of time. It doesn’t get much better than that. I don’t know if I’ll ever order pizza again.
Appearance: I don’t know about you but I find pizza dough to be sort of rustically beautiful.
Pros: The best pizza dough recipe I’ve ever used or tasted.
Cons: NONE.
Would I make this again? I’ve already made this twice.

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No Knead Pizza Dough

This dough is very forgiving. The second time I made it I only let it rise for 5 hours in my hot Arizona kitchen. I also didn't let it rest after shaping for as long as the recipe directed and it still turned out wonderfully.

Yield: about 3 balls of dough (you can easily double this recipe)

Ingredients:

3 3/4 cups (500 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (be sure not to use really hot water as that will kill the yeast)

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Gradually add the water, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the water is incorporated and a shaggy dough forms. You may need to use your hands to fully incorporate the water. Just remember, you don't need to knead!

Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a clean large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature in a draft-free place until the dough is doubled in size. This may take up to 18 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Don't worry too much about the time as this dough is very forgiving.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Divide into 3 equal portions. Take one portion of dough and gather 4 corners to the center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and roll into an even ball. Repeat with remaining portions. Let dough rest, covered, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour.

The dough can be made ahead of time. Refrigerate the dough, individually wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, for 2 to 3 hours before shaping. Freeze the dough, individually wrapped in plastic and placed in ziptop bags, for up to 1 month. Defrost the dough overnight in the fridge then allow to sit at room temperature as directed above before shaping.

The dough is now ready to be shaped into pizza or whatever else you desire.

From Jim Lahey via Bon Appetit

   

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53 Responses to “The Best No-Knead Pizza Dough Ever!”

  1. #
    1
    Renée — August 29, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I love how you write about it!

    …and I think I should try it out immediately!

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    2
    Csilla — August 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Oh you made it sound so good that I just gotta try it… like in 5 minutes! Even though I’m sick :) I have one question: is 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast really enough for that much flour?

    • tessa replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 7:56 am

      Yay! Yes a 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast is the perfect amount since this recipe allows the dough to rise for an extended period of time, much longer than most recipes. This allows the dough to rise more slowly and develop flavor and gluten.

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    Christina @ Diary of a Teenage Baker — August 29, 2012 at 7:46 am

    mm i have yet to try making my own pizza dough, this would be perfect for the barbeque chicken pizza my friends and i make with frozen dough!

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    4
    Stacey — August 29, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Can’t wait to try this! One question: do you bake yours on a stone or cast iron? Last time I was in Sur La Table, the cast iron pizza pan was recommended. I haven’t used it yet and wondered what your take is.

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    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — August 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I’ve heard about his recipe for no-knead pizza dough and I think I thought the same! Now I will definitely have to try this. I totally agree, pizza better be great, otherwise its not worth it.

    Definitely going to be bookmarking this for the near future! What temperature do you bake your pizzas at??

    • tessa replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

      450°F-500°F, depending on the weather and how clean my oven is ;) I also like placing a grill-safe pizza stone on the grill during the summer to bake pizza on (see my comment above for the exact pizza stone).

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    Molly — August 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Wonderful! I have to try this since my attempt at pizza dough ended in the trash…
    I’m curious, could you use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose?

    • tessa replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

      I haven’t tried using whole wheat flour with this recipe personally but it should work, especially if you don’t replace all of the AP flour with whole wheat flour. I’d try 50/50 whole wheat to AP flour the first time and see how it goes, you can work your way up to more whole wheat from there if possible.

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    Cathy @ Noble Pig — August 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Am going to try this very soon!!

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    8
    Laura — August 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I love making pizza at home, much less grease than delivery! I wonder if you can put the bowl into a cold oven with the light on, if that would speed up the rising process. I’m too impatient to wait 18 hours

    • Tessa replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

      Hi Laura – did you see my note just below the recipe title? If your kitchen is warm or you place the dough in a warm area you won’t have to wait 18 hours. The longer you wait though, the better the dough tastes.

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    Cherine — August 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I love pizza but I’ve never heard about the no-knead recipe… you saved my life now ;)
    I will definitely try your recipe soon….

    thanks for sharing, it looks appetizing.

  10. #
    10
    Felicity — August 30, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Here in Australia we can buy flour labelled as either “00″ flour or “Pasta/bread-making” flour or “Strong” flour. It has a higher protein content than the normal all purpose (or what we call “plain”) flour. The “00″ flour is the kind of flour I make my pizza dough with, but I let the Kitchenaid do the kneading for me! Is the whole idea of no-knead dough based on the fact that you are using ‘soft’ as opposed to ‘hard’ flour? And whenever I make wholemeal/wholewheat pizza bases I’ve found the best bases have been when I’ve used 50% wholemeal and 50% white flour. I love your site too, by the way!

    • Tessa replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 11:37 am

      Felicity – This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, which you mentioned is called plain flour in Australia. The idea behind no-knead doughs is that you let it rise for an extended period of time, allowing the yeast to do the work and develop the gluten that kneading usually develops.

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    11
    Sydney — August 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    This is remarkably similar to how I make no-knead bread! I never thought to just reduce the amount of yeast! Genius! I can now make bread AND pizza dough in one easy step!

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    Kellie — September 1, 2012 at 10:13 am

    When I saw this recipe on Foodgawker I had to try it. I have never been able to find a decent dough recipe. I made it last night and my husband and I enjoyed the flavor (best tasting we’ve tried so far) but I had a problem with getting it to stretch out on the pizza pan, even after letting it rest for an hour. It was very tough. Have you had this problem? I managed to get two small pies out of it but it was pretty thick and we like our crust a little thinner. Any suggestions?

    • Tessa replied: — September 1st, 2012 @ 10:39 am

      Hi Kellie – shaping pizza dough can be a bit challenging. I find a combination of stretching the dough out with my hands and using a rolling pin works best for me. I know lots of people, including Jim Lahey, say not to use a rolling pin but it’s the only way I can get the crust big enough and thin enough to be nice and crispy. Also, letting the dough rest, covered, for 5-10 minutes as you’re shaping it if you find it keeps springing back can work wonders. I actually rolled the dough out so thin it was too big to fit on my pizza stone haha :)

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    Tracey — September 1, 2012 at 10:37 am

    What a gorgeous pizza Tessa!! This would have been the best dinner last night had I seen it in time. Next week maybe :)

    • Tessa replied: — September 1st, 2012 @ 10:39 am

      Thanks Tracey! Pizza night is the best :)

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    DJ — September 2, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Tessa,
    What is your best/favorite pizza recipe for this dough, including baking temp and time? It would be the perfect pièce de résistance for this wonderful dough recipe blog! Thank you!

    • Tessa replied: — September 2nd, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

      For this dough I made a pizza by taking a round of dough and stretching/rolling it out into a thin, large pizza shape. I spooned this sauce on: http://www.handletheheat.com/2011/07/homemade-kitchen-pizza-sauce.html

      Topped some fresh mozzarella cheese slices and pepperoni on top and baked at 450°F on my pizza stone for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese was melted and bubbling and the crust was browned. This awesome thing about pizza is you can customize it any way you want!

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    15
    Sara — September 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Just made this for dinner and the husband and both picky toddlers loved it! The boys enjoyed “delivering the pizza” just like the pizza guy. Definitely going to make this again.

    • Tessa replied: — September 15th, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

      How cute!! So glad your family enjoyed it.

  16. #
    16
    Casey — September 18, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I know the recipe calls for all purpose flour but can whole wheat flour be substituted in place of the all purpose flour? I am excited to try recipe. I have never made a pizza of my own, other than by the pre made pizza crusts :( Thanks :)

    • Tessa replied: — September 18th, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

      Casey, see my response to Molly’s comment above, #6. Good luck!

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    Lee — September 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I love making my own pizza and have a pizza stone but I have no idea how to tranfer it to the stone once I have my topping and stuff on it. Any advice? Thank you.

    • Tessa replied: — September 18th, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

      You can roll the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper then transfer the dough on the parchment to a flat surface, ideally a pizza peel but you can also use another large flat surface such as a rimless cookie sheet. Top your pizza as desired, then use the pizza peel or cookie sheet to slide the dough on the parchment directly onto the baking sheet.

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    Lee — September 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you. I have to admit I didn’t know what a pizza peel was but they are cheap so I am ordering one. Should I slide the pizza right off the peel or should I put the parchment paper on top on the pizza stone? Again thank you for your response and for the recipe it looks yummy.

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    Lee — September 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you this stuff is excellent.

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    Edie — November 28, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    If making family sized 16″ thin pizzas, how many sections would you split this into? The original recipe – this is half – states a 10-12″ pizza per ball. Should it be 2 balls, instead of 3? Need the info to relay to my sister and family w/ their pizza making xmas gift. Personally, I’m going to give it a go this weekend. Thanks for your input.

    • Tessa replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      I would try 2 balls! Did you end up trying it this weekend? Hope everyone enjoys!

  21. #
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    Kakie — November 29, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Awesome! So, so easy to make and tastes great. Also may it with half wheat/half white. Only adjustment I made was 1/4 cup extra water.

    • Tessa replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      So glad to hear that! Good to know half wheat worked out.

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    lavon — December 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    i made this with have spelt flour and half unbleached. it turned out with a really crunchy crust. i tried a spelt pizza once at a cafe in ontario, i think i have improved on their recipe.

  23. #
    23
    David W — January 7, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I’ve tried almost every recipe for homemade pizza. Generally, pizza is almost impossible to make at home correctly because home ovens don’t get nearly hot enough. This is the only recipe that actually creates a neopolitan worthy crust that you don’t need to leave your house to get. It also could not possibly be easier to make!

  24. #
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    Rachael — February 10, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Just made this recipe for the third time ( its currently rising), so I just wanted to thank you for it! Everyone that’s tried it has been in love and now I’ve been getting requests from friends to make it for dinner when they come over! So fantastic and easy!

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    Sean — February 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I have made this fantastic (Lahey) recipe many times now since I received his book for Xmas. We have Friday pizza nights and by Saturday (the next day) I am already craving it. There is a question/comment posted above about difficulty stretching the dough. I have had this problem at times. This is likely a sign that the dough wasn’t wet enough when put together, or wasn’t brought back to room temperature before attempting the stretch. It needs a good 2-3 hours outside the fridge. I would definitely not use a roller – you flatten out all the bubbles needed for a nice blistered crust. If you get the dough consistency correct and at room temperature it stretches by hand very, very easily. Equally important as the dough is the Jim Lahey oven technique. Basically it requires use of the broiler to superheat the stone. You can find all his secrets in his book. It is very worthwhile and super simple. The stratiacella recipe recently became my all time favorite meal. It is unbelievably tasty (I added a bit of truffle oil and cherry tomatoes). If you are serious about making seriously good (great actually) pizza at home – get the book!

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    George B — March 23, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Genius hardly! This is not anything new! Its only that this guy put it into his own book and is calling it his “own recipe” and “something new”. In reality this is very old school and nothing new at all. The recipe itself is not even genuine.

    Lets clarify one point, mixing is kneading, dah! So using the term No-Knead is crap…

    Most better pizza shops have been making their dough this way for decades. There are many local pizzerias that brag about how they have no electric mixers and make/mix everything by hand. Do you actually think they have been mixing and kneading 50 LB sacks of flour, plus water, plus yeast, plus salt, plus sugar by hand. Hell NO!

    Its all about kneading, excuse me, mixing the ingredients for a few minutes till they combine, then using slow fermenation to develop flavor and great gluten formation. Pizzerias use overnight refrigeration to retard the fermentation which is preferred vs letting the dough sit out for hours. This is what develops great texture and flavor for pizza dough or bread. Only way to make great pizza, but new process or recipe, nope!!

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    Sonny — March 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Do it make a difference if you use active dry yeast or “instant yeast”? I’m new to all of this, and from what I’ve been reading, active dry yeast needs to be proofed first??? Do I need to do this for this dough recipe?

    • Tessa replied: — March 23rd, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

      Sonny – you can make the recipe exactly as written with either type of yeast. Generally you can substitute instant yeast for active dry yeast but not the other way around. You don’t really need to proof the yeast in this the recipe because it has such a long fermentation the yeast will have plenty of time to properly develop (as long as it’s not expired).

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    28
    Sonny — March 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Tessa, thanks for your quick reply to my question about which yeast to use. Another question — when I place the dough in a bowl to set aside for the 18+ hours, should I add some olive oil to the bowl and spread the dough around it to keep from sticking? Does it matter one way or the other?

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    Rachel — April 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing the recipe we had it a couple of weeks ago and I just pulled out a frozen ball for dinner tonight. It was great!

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    Taylor — May 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I’ve made this dough twice and I’ve loved it both times. It’s not my go to dough recipe. However, once it’s risen over 24 hours I noticed my dough started to lose elasticity, and was harder to thin without tearing the dough. Do you know if this is an issue of ingredient proportions (too much or too little flour, perhaps)? or is this just a matter of how long the dough has been sitting? If you could give me an answer on this I’d really appreciate it.Thanks for an awesome recipe!

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    31
    Taylor — June 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I meant to say “NOW* my go to dough recipe.”
    I’ve made it several more times and still have the issue of tearing and causes me to roll out uneven dough. I suppose the texture and consistency of the dough feels almost lumpy when it’s like this. However, after freezing the dough and bringing it back to room tempurature, it’s completely homogeneous, elastic, and easy to work with. Now I’m super curious as to what’s happening.

    • Tessa replied: — June 25th, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

      I’m glad to hear that! I find the dough is easiest to work with after I’ve let it sit at room temperature (if it’s been in the fridge/freezer) until it’s not longer cold at all. If the dough is still being difficult and springing back when I try to roll it out then I cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax and that usually makes the dough easier to work with.

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    Erika — August 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    If I’m making a large quantity of dough at once, is it okay to use a standing mixer with a dough hook instead of mixing it by hand? :)

    • Tessa replied: — August 26th, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

      I would use the electric mixer JUST until the dough comes together. Be careful not to knead!

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    Lesslie — October 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

    So I’m making this for dinner tonight. I prepared it last night and it is currently rising; however, your recipe never says how to bake it! 375 for 20 minutes or so is what I was thinking, but it would be great if I knew what the actual recipe stated. Thanks!

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    Eddue — December 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    The late fall/winter of the year can be a challenge to get dough to rise. A trick I use is a heating pad on medium/low covered with a dish towel then place your bowl(s) of dough on top. On top of that I put a big, plastic, rectangle storage container (like a cheap sterilite) turned upside down. The one I use is about 16″ deep and maybe 12-14″ wide on the narrow end. The dough rises wonderfully. The last I did was two batches of no-knead bread dough and made “rustic” dinner rolls — came out awesome. Plan to do the NK-pizza dough this weekend.

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    EddIe — December 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Forgot to mention — I loosely cover the bowl(s) with plastic wrap during the rise.

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