Legendary pizza dough

Photo by juan manuel Núñez Méndez on Unsplash
This pizza dough started out as Jim Lahey's "no knead" pizza dough and over the years I've tweaked and adapted it a bit. However I arrived at this pizza dough, it is by far the best I've ever had and I don't say that lightly.

Some day I'll write something profound and extensive about Jim Lahey's pioneering work with no knead breads but today is not that day. I will say that no kneads do work and they work beautifully. As is true with any bread baking, the techniques made popular my Jim Lahey work best when you understand why they work.

Those recipes aren't fool proof but they're also breathtakingly simple. I'm a fan. Like all no kneads, this is a wet dough that has to rise, undisturbed, for 18 to 24 hours. You cannot speed up that process and be happy with your resulting dough.

Anyhow, back to this pizza dough. Here it is:

Makes four 10” to 12” pizzas

1000g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and shaping dough
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
700 ml water


  1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a metal or plastic spoon, gradually add the water to the sides of the bowl and not the center; stir until well incorporated. 
  2. Mix dough gently with a metal spoon or a silicone spatula to bring it together and form into a rough ball. It will be a ragged mess but it’s supposed to look like that. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 24 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
  3. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough square then weigh. Divide the total weight into four or five equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, Fold the top into the bottom and one side into the other. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
  4. Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. It’s ready to use now. If you want to store it rather than use it right away, refrigerate immediately after you shape the four portions.

Note: This is a generous recipe and it yields enough dough to make thicker pizzas. Thicker pizzas are easier to make than thin ones if you’re new to this. As your pizza shaping skills improve, use less dough for thinner crust pizzas. Start with thicker ones though, you’ll be happier with the results.