No-Knead Pizza Dough

6 | March 14, 2012

In our family pizza night is one of the meals that brings us all together in the kitchen. We turn the music up, put on our aprons and get to work. Everyone creates their own pizzas and we all share slices making it a great and memorable night. To us there is no need to order pizza, unless it has just been one of those days, but even then a boxed pizza can never come close to what you can make at home.

If you are reading this thinking, “Lady there is absolutely noway that I could ever create an artisan pizza crust in my kitchen” or “I’ve tried it and didn’t like the tough, thick, and doughy crust” now with this recipe you can and it is as easy as throwing a few ingredients in a bowl and letting it sit overnight.

I’ve been making my own pizza dough for three years now. I’m no expert but I know a good recipe when I see one. Although I enjoy a kneaded crust (the Tartine meathod is my favorite) there is practice and a knowledge of dough to achieve that perfect bubbly chewy texture. But of course, there are some days when I just don’t have the time, patience, and there’s a 70 pound dog at my feet, a child tugging on my apron, and a husband who’s nose is always in the pantry. That’s when this fantastic recipe comes in hand.

Brilliantly created by Jim Lahey—owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery and Pizza Spot Co., this recipe for a no-knead pizza crust has been around for a few years. But it wasn’t until I saw it in a recent issue of Bon Appétit that I immediately gave it a test. Like I threw down the magazine, pushed the dog out of the way, and ran to the kitchen.

The results: The most simple but chewy, bubbly, and crisp crust that I have ever made without time consuming kneading and a seven day starter. The ingredients and technique are surprisingly simple but it is the overnight fermentation that give this dough it’s character. The only problem I had was creating a thin crust, I don’t believe the gluten really gets enough work to get that super thin bite but I’ve found if you keep it in between a medium to thin you will get the best result. I highly recommend trying this out tonight and have pizza night tomorrow.

No-Knead Pizza Dough makes 6 – 8″ pizzas
recipe form Jim Lahey published in Bon Appétit

  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, and yeast.

While stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly add 3 cups of room temp water. Stir until well incorporated.

Mix dough gently with your hands and form it in a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a draft free area. Let it rise at room temperature (about 72°F) for 18 hours until the surface is covered with tiny bubbles and the dough has more than doubled in size.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface and gently shape into a rectangle.

With a knife, cut the dough into 6 equal portions.

Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to the center to create 4 folds.

Flip it over seam side down and gently mold it into a ball. Dust dough with flour and set on a floured work surface or baking sheet. Repeat with all portions. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a slightly damp kitchen towel. Let rest for 1 hour.

Make ahead: Can be made up to 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. When ready to use, unwrap and let it rest at room temperature, covered with a towel or plastic wrap for 2 to 3 hours.

To make a pizza:

During the last hour of dough’s resting, prepare oven: If using a pizza stone, arrange a rack in upper third of oven and place stone on rack; preheat oven to its hottest setting, 500°–550°, for 1 hour. If using a baking sheet, arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to its hottest setting, 500°–550°. (You do not need to preheat the baking sheet.)

**note: I have used both a pizza stone and a baking sheet. The results were almost identical. Usually I would say always use a pizza stone but in this case it did not make a difference. I recommend using a baking sheet especially if you are working with children in the kitchen.

Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough generously with flour and place on a floured work surface. Gently shape dough into a 10″–12″ disk.

If Using Pizza Stone

  • When ready to bake, increase oven heat to broil. Sprinkle a pizza peel or rimless (or inverted rimmed) baking sheet lightly with flour. Place dough disk on prepared peel and top with desired toppings.
  • Using small, quick back-and-forth movements, slide pizza from peel onto hot pizza stone. Broil pizza, rotating halfway, until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, 5–7 minutes.
  • Using peel, transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat, allowing pizza stone to reheat under broiler for 5 minutes between pizzas.

If Using a Baking Sheet (recommended for a busy kitchen)

  • Arrange dough disk on baking sheet; top with desired toppings. Bake pizza until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat with remaining pizzas.

Mia and Tim’s favorite pizza: tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, olives, mushrooms, and bell peppers.

My favorite pizza: garlic infused olive oil, fresh mozzarella, topped with prosciutto, arugula and shaved Parmesan.

Simple, easy, and perfectly dinner.

I have also formed the remaining dough into baguettes. Not perfect as a bread but still pretty awesome when you need a baguette in a pinch.



  • Julia {The Roasted Root}

    Holy mackerel, your post has me so excited for many many reasons. I love the technique you use, I like that the dough ferments overnight (say the word “ferment” and I’m in!), and I like that you can make a huge portion and save it for days and days of pizza. It looks airy, flavorful and the toppings with the squares…. ::sigh:: this is gorgeous!

  • hollie

    This looks good. I have some wrist issues, can I use the Kitchen aide to mix this dough rather than doing it myself. Thanks.

  • Jennifer | Mother Thyme

    We make homemade pizza once a week so for our next pizza night I am totally trying this dough!

  • Kate

    Thanks for the recipe! I have been thinking about how to take the no-knead bread recipe and tweak it for pizza. Any chance you could give a timeline – what time you start it, etc? For my working mom mind, a timetable really helps me. Thanks!

  • Kim

    I just made this last week and it was the best homemade pizza dough EVER!

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