How To Make Pizza Dough – Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough
This is one of the easiest and low effort ways to learn how to make pizza dough. This crust is chewy, bubbly, and better than what you’ll get at most pizza places – plus, isn’t homemade always better? Yes! It bakes wonderfully in a home oven, on a pizza stone or a baking sheet.
And thanks to the brilliant no-knead method of Jim Lahey—owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza spot Co.—it’s easy to prepare, deriving its character from overnight fermentation.
Just remember to start at least 1 day ahead – but three days ahead would be even better!
How To Make Pizza Dough The No-Knead Way
Makes six 10″–12″ pizzas
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams – I use Central Milling “Organic Panissimo Type “00” Normal”) plus more for shaping dough
4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 cups water
Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a spoon, gradually add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature (about 72°) in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. 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.
Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for 2–3 hours before shaping.
To Make the Pizzas
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 the stone on rack; preheat oven to its hottest setting, 500°–550°, for 1 hour. If using a baking sheet, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to its hottest setting, 500°–550°. (You do not need to preheat the baking sheet.)
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 pizza crust on prepared peel and top with desired toppings such as pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, pepper, oregano, tomato, olive, basil, etc. Don’t go nuts with the toppings. It’s really easy to over-top a pizza – use a light touch.
Using small, quick back-and-forth movements, slide pizza from peel onto hot pizza stone. Broil pizza, rotating halfway, until the bottom of crust is crisp and the 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
Arrange pizza crust on baking sheet; top with desired toppings such as pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, pepper, oregano, tomato, olive, basil, etc. Don’t go nuts with the toppings. It’s really easy to over-top a pizza – use a light touch. Bake pizza until bottom of crust is crisp and the top is blistered about 10 minutes. Transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat with remaining pizzas.
How To Make Pizza Dough: Final Thoughts
I know. It seems like a recipe that basically requires no sacrifice, no technique, and no special ingredients it is just a recipe for the uninitiated, right? I mean, this thing doesn’t even require you to get your hands dirty or own a cool, fancy electric mixer.
How could it be good? HOW? Let me tell you, my friends, this pizza crust recipe is one of the best out there. It defies all logic. Heck! It defies all food science. This is a great example of how very, VERY simple ingredients paired with the idea that time is your number one secret ingredient can make some of the best pizza dough of your life.
I know, you may have written off similar techniques before in your search to learn how to make pizza dough. Let me impress upon you – try it once, you may just never go back. You may even begin to teach others how to make pizza dough!