Simple, 4-Ingredient Homemade Pizza Dough
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Up your pizza game with this simple, no-knead homemade pizza dough recipe. Made with 4 ingredients — flour, water, salt, and yeast — this dough is a snap to throw together, and you can use it the same day you mix it or store it in the fridge for up to 5 days (or freeze it!). If you love pizza with ballooned edges and crisp but pliable crusts, this is the pizza dough recipe you’ll come back to again and again. 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕
Listen up: Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t make great pizza from start to finish in three hours. This is a simple 4-ingredient pizza dough recipe. The proportions are based on my mother’s peasant bread recipe, a high-hydration, no-knead, quick-to-stir together dough. It is the simplest of the simple homemade pizza recipes and, in my opinion, the tastiest, too.
Grab a bowl, a whisk, and a spatula — let’s get slinging 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕
This post is organized as follows:
- Why High Hydration Pizza Dough is Best For a Home Oven
- Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe vs. Home-Oven Pizza Dough Recipe
- Pizza Dough Ingredients: Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast
- No-Knead Pizza Dough
- How to Handle High-Hydration Pizza Dough
- Two More Tips for Making the Best Pizza at Home
- Other Pizza-Making Equipment
- How to Make Pizza Dough, Step by Step
- How to Freeze Pizza Dough
- 4 More Pizza Styles to Try
- FAQs + Troubleshooting
Why High-Hydration Pizza Dough is Best For a Home Oven
The first step to making excellent pizza at home is to get comfortable working with high-hydration pizza doughs. High-hydration doughs, such as Jim Lahey’s popular no-knead dough, this simple sourdough pizza crust, or the one from my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs (which is the recipe below), are doughs made with a high proportion of water relative to the flour. The high proportion of water allows these types of doughs to be mixed together quickly and easily — no kneading or stand mixer required — and it also creates a pizza crust that stays crisp but moist during the cooking process with beautiful air pockets throughout.
Why? Let’s back up.
Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe vs. Home-Oven Pizza Dough Recipe
In your search for the perfect pizza dough recipe, you may have come across very promising-looking recipes for Neapolitan-style pizza with photos depicting crusts with beautifully ballooned outer edges. Contrary to what you might think, Neapolitan-style pizza dough is actually on the lower end of the hydration spectrum. If you compare those recipes to the one you find below, you’ll notice that those Neapolitan-style pizza crust recipes call for significantly less water relative to the amount of flour with hydration percentages ranging from 60 to 65 as opposed to the 88 percent hydration dough recipe below.
But didn’t you just say the secret to making excellent pizza at home is to use a lot of water? I did.
So why do Neapolitan pizza crusts perform so well at such low hydrations? Because Neapolitan pizzas cook in 60 to 90 seconds in 900ºF ovens. Yeah, and so? Stay with me here: When you bake in a super-hot oven, the cooking time will be reduced, which means there will be less time for the water in the dough to evaporate. In other words, when the cooking time is brief, the dough will be able to retain a lot of its moisture.
So, despite the low hydration, a baked Neapolitan crust is light and airy because the dough is able to retain its moisture during its brief time in the oven.
If you were to bake a 65% hydration Neapolitan pizza dough in your home oven, which can only get up to 550ºF at the most, which will in turn require a longer baking time, you likely will be disappointed with the result because the longer cooking time will allow too much water to evaporate, leaving you with a dry, tough crust.
Make sense? In other words, in order for pizza dough not to dry out in a home oven, it needs more water from the start.
(Incidentally, a high hydration dough is also the key to making excellent focaccia, like this simple sourdough focaccia or this overnight, refrigerator focaccia.)
Pizza Dough Ingredients: Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast
OK, so now that we’re on the same page — a home oven requires a high-hydration dough for best results — let’s talk about how to make this simple dough.
The recipe below calls for flour, salt, water, and yeast, all of which we will discuss in more detail below. What you will not find in this recipe is olive oil, sugar or honey, or diastatic malt. Why? For one, simplicity. But more importantly, for this style of pizza, these ingredients do not help. Here’s why:
Olive Oil: Olive oil is added to dough recipes that call for long bakes because olive oil helps keep dough tender by “shortening” the gluten network. But for a short bake, such as the 5- to 6-minute bake called for here, olive oil mostly helps transfer heat from the cooking surface to the dough, which can result in too much browning.
Sweetener: Simply stated, a sweetener is not needed — the yeast, contrary to popular belief, does not need sugar to activate or thrive. Sweeteners, moreover, can cause the dough to ferment too quickly and they can also cause the dough to burn when baked at hot temperatures.
Diastatic Malt: Diastatic malt, an enzyme that converts the starches in flour to sugar, is added to pizza dough to promote good browning in the crust. Truthfully, I’ve never used it because I don’t like running around for odd ingredients that I don’t believe to be necessary. Ideally, with this recipe, the dough will spend some time in the fridge (see below: How to Make the Best Pizza Dough at Home: Two Tips), during which time enzymes in both the flour and the yeast will break down the starches in the flour into simple sugars, which will contribute both to flavor and to browning.
No-Knead Pizza Dough
To make this dough, you’ll whisk together flour, salt, and instant yeast. Then you’ll add water and stir with a spatula until the water is absorbed and you have a wet, sticky dough ball. That’s it. That is the beauty of a no-knead dough. Let’s take a look at the ingredients in more depth:
Yeast is what will make your pizza rise, and my preference for all pizza and bread recipes is SAF Instant Yeast. The beauty of instant yeast is that you can stir it directly into the flour — no need to “proof” or “bloom” it.
Active Dry Yeast works here, too: Red Star Active Dry is my preference. To use active dry yeast instead, simply sprinkle it over the lukewarm water and let it stand for about 10 minutes or until it gets foamy before adding to the other ingredients.
Store yeast in the fridge or freezer for up to a year. These quart containers are great for storing yeast.
If you would prefer to make pizza with a sourdough starter, see this Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe
Flour: Tipo 00 vs. Bread vs. All-Purpose
Tipo 00 flour is the flour requisite in the production of D.O.C. Neapolitan pizza. Contrary to popular belief, the “00” is not an indicator of protein content. It refers, rather, to the fineness of the milling, “00” being the finest grade in the Italian classification system.
If you have never used tipo 00 flour, you may have enjoyed how nicely your dough handled, how easily it extended.
There was a period during which I used tipo 00 flour exclusively, but today I find I get just as good results when I use bread flour or all-purpose flour, King Arthur Flour being my favorite brand.
What is the difference between the two? Mostly the protein content. KAF bread flour has a higher protein content (12.7% protein) than the all-purpose flour (11.7% protein).
A dough made with bread flour as opposed to all-purpose flour will absorb slightly more liquid and will therefore be slightly stiffer. If you live in a humid environment and often find your dough to be too wet, using bread flour may help.
I must confess I am constantly changing my opinion about what type of flour makes the best pizza and this, I’ve learned, is because the flour itself is constantly changing from season to season and from year to year.
Moreover, every brand of flour absorbs water differently. For instance, King Arthur Flour’s 00 flour will absorb water differently than Giusto’s 00 Flour and Caputo’s 00 flour. Each of these varieties of 00 flour will taste differently, too. Same goes for different brands of all-purpose and bread flours.
In sum, the key is to use good flour: unbleached and unbromated flour. And I encourage you to experiment. What works best for me in my environment might not work as well for you in yours.
For pizza dough, my preference is Diamond Crystal kosher salt or Baleine fine sea salt, both of which dissolve quickly.
For finishing, I love Maldon sea salt. I finish nearly every pizza dough round I top with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
I have no trouble using cold water from my tap, which I mix with boiling water to create perfectly lukewarm water (see recipe box for details). That said, if you suspect your water is adversely affecting your pizza dough, here are two tips:
- Use water that you’ve left out overnight to ensure any chlorine has evaporated.
- Buy spring water. In some places, letting water sit out overnight will not be effective.
Working with High Hydration Dough
OK, let’s review: to make great pizza at home, a high-hydration dough made with four good ingredients is best. Now let’s talk about how to deal with this super wet dough.
#1 Tip: Handle it gently.
“As soon as I began really paying attention to how I shaped my pizza rounds by taking care to use a gentle hand, I noticed a difference in the finished product. The air pockets pervading the unbaked round really affect the texture of the baked pizza.”
During the shaping process — the point at which you are stretching your ball of dough into a 10- to 12-inch round — take care to use a light touch (see the video above for reference). When you handle the dough minimally, you preserve the bubbles created during the rising. See these bubbles? …
Those bubbles become these ballooned textures throughout the dough:
Two More Tips for Making Excellent Pizza at Home
Let’s review again, to make excellent pizza at home, you should:
- Use a high-hydration pizza dough.
- Use good quality ingredients.
- Handle the dough minimally.
Here are two more tips:
1. Invest in a Baking Steel
The single best and easiest/most affordable step you can take to make better pizza at home is to invest in a Baking Steel. In short, steel is a more conductive cooking surface than stone. This means heat transfers more quickly from steel to food than it does from stone to food. Why is this important for pizza? Serious Eats’ Kenji J Lopez Alt offers this explanation:
“How does the baking surface affect hole structure? Well those crust holes develop when air and water vapor trapped inside the dough matrix suddenly expand upon heating in a phenomenon known as oven spring. The faster you can transfer energy to the dough, the bigger those glorious bubbles will be, and the airier and more delicate the crust.”
I get the best results when I place my Baking Steel in the upper third of my oven, but every oven is different, so play around with placement till you find the sweet spot.
The beauty of the Baking Steel + a high-hydration dough.
2. If Time Permits, Refrigerate The Dough
During a long, slow, cold fermentation, enzymes in both the flour and the yeast will break down the starches in the flour into simple sugars, which will contribute both to flavor and to browning. Moreover, during this time in the fridge, the dough will relax, making it easier to stretch.
Other Pizza Making Equipment
As always, for best results with bread or pizza recipes, use a digital scale. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this. Measuring by weight is the only way to truly measure your ingredients accurately. It also, in turn, allows you to make meaningful adjustments to a recipe — i.e. reducing the water quantity — to make it work best given the flour you are using and your environment.
A pizza peel. You need a mechanism to get the dough round from your counter to your Steel. A peel plus a sheet of parchment paper makes this easy.
Parchment paper. For easy transfer of pizza from peel to Steel, my preference is to use parchment paper, which stays with the pizza in the oven. The alternative is to sprinkle your peel with cornmeal or flour or something to prevent it from sticking. These ingredients ultimately end up burning on the Steel or making a mess on your oven floor. No thank you. Recently, I’ve been buying these rounds, but standard rectangular sheets of parchment work just fine, too.
Quart containers: These are the handiest containers for all sorts of things (soups, stocks, stews, storing yeast) but especially rounds of pizza dough. Dough can stay in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
How to Make Pizza Dough, Step by Step
OK! Are you ready? Let’s make pizza dough:
Whisk together flour, salt, and instant yeast (SAF is my preference):
Add water, and …
… mix to form a sticky dough ball:
Let rise in a warm spot till nearly doubled, about 1.5 hours.
Turn out onto a floured work surface.
Divide into four portions and …
… ball up, using as much flour as needed.
If you are baking pizza immediately, let the dough rest for another hour before shaping. Otherwise, transfer the balls to quart containers and stick them in the fridge.
This is the dough after a night in the fridge.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to cup the dough into a round.
Let the rounds sit for about an hour covered in a towel.
Gently stretch a round into an 11-inch round (roughly).
Transfer the round to a peel lined with parchment paper.
Get your toppings ready. For a classic Margherita pizza, youll need tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
Spread about 2 ounces of tomato sauce over your dough.
Top with about 3 ounces of mozzarella. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake on a preheated Baking Steel at 550ºF for 5 to 6 minutes. Shower with fresh basil out of the oven.
The beauty of the Baking Steel + high hydration dough: oven spring.
As noted above, you can mix and use this dough today — it does not require a long, slow rise. If you want to make it ahead of time, however, and stick it in the fridge until pizza night, that works, too:
- Make it Tonight: Plan on 3 hours start to finish from when you mix your dough to when you turn out a freshly baked pizza.
- Make it Tomorrow (and beyond): Method 1: Mix your dough today, let it rise for 1.5 hours (roughly). Portion it into 4 balls; then transfer to the fridge for up to 3 days (or even longer). When using dough you’ve stored in the refrigerator, remove it one hour prior to baking.
- Make it Tomorrow (and beyond), Method 2: Mix your dough, cover the bowl with an airtight lid or seal it tightly with plastic wrap, and immediately transfer it to the fridge. When you are ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge 60 to 90 minutes prior to baking, portion it into 4 balls; then transfer as many as you wish to bake to a well-floured board. Transfer the remaining balls to the fridge for up to 3 days (or even longer). When using dough you’ve stored in the refrigerator, remove it 60 to 90 minutes prior to baking.
The refrigerator is your friend: The two quart containers on the left are holding freshly portioned dough; the two quart containers on the right are holding dough after 2 days in the refrigerator. Look at those bubbles!:
Can You Freeze Pizza Dough?
Yes! This has been a game-changer. To freeze pizza dough, make it through step 4 in the recipe below or until after you transfer the portioned rounds to quart containers. At this point, transfer the quart containers to the freezer for as long as 3 months. To thaw, remove a container (or more) and let thaw in the refrigerator for 18 to 24 hours or thaw at room temperature for 4 to 8 hours. Then, proceed with the recipe.
PS: Easy, Homemade Pita Bread Recipe
Four More Pizza Styles to Try
Find ALL the pizza recipes here. Below are links to four different styles of pizza to try.
FAQs & Troubleshooting
Why is my pizza dough too wet?
It is possible that given your environment and the type of flour you are using, you are using too much water relative to the amount of flour. The fix is simple: reduce the amount of water. Ideally, you are measuring with a scale, so you can ensure you are measuring accurately and making meaningful adjustments. Try holding back 50 grams of water and seeing if that helps.
That said, please read above about the importance of using a high-hydration pizza dough in a home oven. If your dough, upon being mixed, is unable to form a sticky dough ball, you likely need to reduce the water. Reference the video for dough texture.
Why is my pizza dough soggy?
There are several culprits here:
- too much sauce, cheese, and/or toppings
- oven not hot enough
- too short of a baking time
- Invest in a Baking Steel. Read why above.
- Try laying the cheese on top of the dough; then the sauce. The cheese might provide some insulation from the sauce, thereby preventing the dough from getting soggy.
- Consider employing a parbake: bake your pizza “naked” for one minute; then continue baking for 4 to 5 minutes more once topped.
- Try using semolina on your peel.
- Before stretching your dough ball into a round, slick it lightly in a bit of olive oil.
- Use a lighter hand when topping.
7 Secrets to Mastering Pizza at Home
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Simple, 4-Ingredient Homemade Pizza Dough
- Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 pizzas
If you love pizza with ballooned and blistered edges and a crisp but pliable crust, this is the pizza dough recipe you’ll come back to again and again. And it’s easy to make—the pizza dough is no-knead, made with 4 simple ingredients, and doesn’t require special flour. Video guidance below.
This is a double recipe of the peasant pizza dough in my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs.
This recipe yields 4 rounds of dough. Recipe can be halved; dough can be refrigerated for up to five days. I refrigerate individual rounds of dough in quart containers.
Dough can be frozen, too. After the first rise and after you transfer the portioned rounds to quart containers, this is your opportunity to freeze. Transfer the quart containers to the freezer for as long as 3 months. To thaw, remove a container (or more) and let thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day or thaw at room temperature for 4 to 8 hours. Then, proceed with the recipe.
Yeast: If you need to use active dry yeast instead of instant, sprinkle it over the lukewarm water and let it stand for about 10 minutes or until it gets foamy before adding to the other ingredients.
Warm place to rise: Here’s a trick for making the perfect warm spot for the dough to rise. Turn the oven on and let it preheat for 1 minute; then shut it off. The temperature will be between 80° F and 100° F. you should be able to place your hand on the oven grates without burning them.
Flour: You can use bread flour and all-purpose flour here but if you live in a humid environment, I would consider using bread flour if you can get your hands on it. If you are in Canada or the UK, also consider using bread flour or consider holding back some of the water (see next paragraph). Reference the video for how the texture of the bread should look; then add water back as needed.
I find the sweet spot for me to be about 418 grams of water, which is roughly an 82% hydration dough. If this is too high, try using 400 grams of water or even 395 grams of water, which will lower the hydration to 77%.
As noted above, this is a variation of the peasant pizza dough recipe in my cookbook. If you are unfamiliar, the peasant bread dough is a very wet, no-knead dough. The key when handling it, is to use as much flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the board and your hands. That said, you absolutely can start with less water to make the dough more manageable. If you live in a humid environment, if you live abroad, if you are using all-purpose flour or Tipo 00 flour, if you dislike handling wet doughs, consider starting with 400 to 425 grams of water. Add water as needed to get it to the right consistency (reference the video).
To make lukewarm water, use 1 part boiling liquid to 3 parts cold liquid. For 2 cups of lukewarm water, use 1/2 cup boiling, 1 1/2 cups cold water. You don’t have to be so precise, but using this rough ratio will give you perfectly lukewarm water.
Parchment: These rounds are so handy.
Toppings: In the notes below the recipe, find the toppings for a classic Margherita pizza and for a kale, parmesan, and crème fraîche pizza. See above for 6 other favorite pizza recipes.
- 4 cups (512 g) bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for assembly
- 2 to 3 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) instant yeast
- 1.75 to 2 cups (400 to 454 g) lukewarm water, see notes above
- To make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and instant yeast. Add the water. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the water is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough ball. Pour a drop or two of oil over top and rub with your hands to coat.
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
- If you are baking the pizzas right away (as opposed to refrigerating the dough for another day), place a Baking Steel or pizza stone in top third of oven and preheat oven to its hottest setting, 550°F. Be sure the Baking Steel heats for at least 45 minutes once the oven temperature reaches 550ºF.
- Cover a work surface or cutting board liberally with flour — use at least 1/4 cup and more as needed. The dough is very wet, so don’t hesitate to use flour as needed. Turn the dough out onto your floured surface and use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 4 equal portions. With floured hands, roll each portion into a ball, using the pinkie-edges of your hands to pinch the dough underneath each ball. If you are not baking the pizza the same day, transfer each round of dough to a plastic quart container (or something similar), cover, and store in the fridge. (At this point, transfer the vessels to the freezer for up to 3 months. See notes above for thawing.) If you are baking right away, let the balls sit on their tucked-in edges for at least 30 minutes without touching.
- To Make the Pizzas: If using refrigerated dough, pull out a pizza round from the fridge one hour (or even 90 minutes if time permits) before you plan on baking. Dust dough with flour and place on a floured work surface. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. (Update: I now let my dough balls rest in a lidded vessel or a pan covered with plastic wrap to ensure the dough balls do not dry out during the 60-90 minutes at room temperature.) Let rest untouched for 60 to 90 minutes.
- Handling the dough as minimally as possible, shape the dough into a 10″–12″ round. If the dough has proofed sufficiently, you should be able to pick it up and stretch it very easily using the back of your hands. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a pizza peel, and pour a few drops of oil into the center of it. (Note: the oil is optional. It’s especially helpful if you find shaping dough using the backs of your hands tricky.) Transfer the dough round to the parchment-lined baking peel.
- Top pizza as desired or to make the Margherita pizza: spread 2 ounces of tomato sauce over your pizza dough. Top with 3 ounces of mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Shimmy the pizza, parchment paper and all into the oven. To make the kale and crème fraîche pizza: Place the kale in a small bowl, drizzle lightly with olive oil, season with sea salt, and toss with your hands till the kale is coated in oil and salt. Spoon crème fraîche over the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border or so—I use 1 to 2 tablespoons per pizza. Sprinkle with the garlic and a handful of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Top with the kale. Shimmy the pizza, parchment paper and all into the oven.
- Bake pizza until top is blistered, about 5 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Shower basil over the pizza Margherita. Cut and serve. Discard parchment paper.
- 2 ounces tomato sauce, such as this one
- 3 ounces fresh mozzarella (if using buffalo mozzarella, drain before using)
- olive oil
- flaky sea salt
- fresh basil
Kale & Creme Fraiche Pizza:
- extra-virgin olive oil
- a couple handfuls of baby kale
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic
- Sea salt, such as Maldon
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup
- Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Pizza
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: pizza, neapolitan, no-knead dough, kale, easy, simple
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
490 Comments on “Simple, 4-Ingredient Homemade Pizza Dough”
Amazing pizza dough. First time I was able to make pizza at home and there was no uncooked layer in the crust. I had to add a dribble or too of water more than recommended but that might have been user error.
Great to hear, Devin! Thanks so much for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thanks so much for this recipe! I don’t always manage to plan ahead and sometimes you just don’t want to wait 24 hours for good pizza dough. I made it last night and it was fantastic- light, chewy, delicious!
Happy February, Alexandra
So wonderful to hear this, Alexandra 🙂 🙂 🙂 And I hear you…sometimes there is just no time to plan ahead. Thank you for writing 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕
This is the recipe for the best pizza I’ve ever made. No need to try the new pizza place in town or look for any other pizza dough recipe!
So great to hear this, Nellie! Thanks so much for writing 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕
I made this pizza dough and it was delicious! Thank you! I need more practice with shaping the dough. How do I prevent a rip/hole when stretching the dough? It is difficult to shape the dough to 10-12 inches without ripping it. Thanks! Becky VW
Hi Rebecca! Great to hear. A few thoughts: First, yes, shaping does take practice. I like to hold the edge of the dough with two hands and let gravity do its work — the weight of the dough will stretch it out as you move your hands along the edge of the dough.
Another thought: were you working with cold, refrigerator dough? Or did you make the dough the same day? I ask only because your dough will be stronger after some time in the fridge — it will develop more gluten.
Do not recommend. Poor gluten development led to an easy tearing dough. Had to trash.
Stick with the babish recipes.
Yum, this recipe looks so good! I was wondering if you have tried to make it with gluten free flour? I would love to know and if you had good results. Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon!
Hi Ali! I have not. Gluten-free baking is very tricky. Here is my one gluten-free bread recipe, which might be a good reference: Gluten-Free Peasant Bread Recipe
HI! Do you know what the active dry yeast equivalent would be as an alternative to instant? and would the recipe change at all otherwise with that?
Use the same amount! And you’ll want to sprinkle it over the lukewarm water and let it stand for 15-20 minutes to activate it. Then proceed with the recipe.
Hi! I made this dough yesterday and felt it was relatively easy to make. I didn’t have the tall containers you had, so I put the dough in my typical plastic rectangle food storage containers and popped them in the fridge over night. They don’t look to have grown or bubbled AT ALL and now I am concerned to bake with them today. Is this okay if they didn’t change at all in the fridge? Thanks!
It should be OK… I’m probably too late here. Did the first rise go OK? As in, did the dough rise and nearly double in volume?
We used KAF bread flour, barely stretched the dough, and only did the three hour rise/prep, but this was easy and delicious, especially with margherita toppings. Our new go-to! Thanks!!!
Great to hear, Emily! Thanks so much for writing and for sharing your notes 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕
All of the info you shared was so valuable and helpful. I never felt confident about working with such a wet dough, but it was great once I leaned into it! And I made some substitutions (some I had to – my active yeast never bloomed, so I had to use the rapid rise I had), and it still came out great. I ended up using a blend of flours – 2/3 all purpose, and 1/3 whole wheat – and the flavor was good!
Also, I’ve always gone against advice and rolled my pizza dough to make it easy, but the wetter dough actually made using my hands easier.
Anyway – thanks for your tutorials and this recipe – super fun and tasty!
Wonderful to read all of this, Rose! Thanks so much for writing and for sharing your notes. Wet sticky doughs definitely take some getting used to, but they are worth it in the end. Glad you found the experience both fun and tasty 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕
Great recipe! Have been making pizza dough for years using NYT recipe and then cooking directly on grill grates. Super delicious. Wanted to get a baking steel for indoors during winter and first use of this dough recipe was awesome results and super easy to make/work with. Purchased a cheaper steel from Steelmade that is great. This high hydration recipe is perfect for the steel and very easy to stretch if you follow the tips here. It wouldn’t work as well to transfer pretopped for the grill but I will continue to use for indoor use!
Great to hear, Cassie! I find the steel surface makes all the difference — glad you are having success as well! And I think you’re right: this dough is a little too fragile/wet for grilling, but I think if you were up for experimenting next summer, you could use the same recipe but hold back some of the water to lower the hydration/make it easier to work with. Thanks for writing!
Oh dear, I keep making this and making this and making this….
So great to hear this, Sharon 🙂 : ) :). Thanks for writing.
Ali, Can’t thank you enough for sharing this pizza dough recipe (and all of your tips!).
Purchased a pizza steel more than a year ago and used their recipe and instructions. It was a disaster. Retired the steel to a cupboard. Came across your pizza recipe (when I was making your Peasant Bread for the hundredth time.). Tried your recipe, pulled out the steel, followed your instructions and had fabulous results! Easy, fun and the best homemade pizza ever. You are one talented lady! Thank you.
So nice to hear this, Bobbie! Thanks so much for writing and thank you for your kind words, too … means a lot 💕💕💕💕 I’m so glad your Steel is back in action. I find it makes such a difference for pizza. Also: yay re peasant bread!
So, I was making the overnight focaccia recipe for a group hang that got canceled last minute and was hoping to turn it into pizza dough. Is the first rise absolutely critical? (I feel like that is a hard yes, but hey – I’m new to baking!) It’s been in the fridge for 24+hrs, it’s probably a no go but thought I’d see if it might work?! I’ve made both recipes in the past which is why I knew they were so similar – still getting the hang of my forming my pizza dough, but really have enjoyed the results – the crème fraiche/kale pizza was SO YUM, thanks for sharing.
And while I am here, a couple more ?s: I ALWAYS have to add more water – I assume that’s bc I am not using instant yeast – any suggestions there? I also wanted to see if I should be using a pinch more ADY for these recipes?
Yes, the first rise for the focaccia (and all breads) is critical.
So glad you liked the creme fraiche + kale pizza … that’s my fave!
Regarding the water: Are you using a scale to measure? Where are you located. The water amount is not affected by the amount of yeast.
Apologies if this has already been answered but can you freeze the dough and if yes when should I do it
Yes! Freeze the dough after you ball it up and transfer it to quart containers.
Thank you so much!
Is this before or after you let it rise?
Sorry ignore my question below I just saw it in your recipe thank you! 🙈🙌
I love your peasant bread, and have made it several times. I want to try this recipe but would like to make only half the amount. Will it work to halve the recipe?
Yes! Go for it.
This recipe was awesome, I can say that it’s a little bit of a learning curve working with a more wet dough. But practice makes perfect right? My only question is do I place the rack on the very highest slot in the oven, which puts mine at about 3 inches away from the burner, or do I put it on the second highest about 5 inches away from the burner. I did not get the charred crust like in the pictures so I may have been putting it on the wrong slot. It still turned out great but not charred. Thank you for your time.
Definitely takes practice getting used to a wet dough — so glad you liked it!
I do put my Steel on the very top rack, but that is a personal preference. I find I get the most charring when it’s way up top.
Regarding the charring, I think it’s a combination of factors: ideally, the charred spots are air pockets that bubble up and blister because the dough is so thin in those spots. You will get more of these with practice, as it requires gentle handling of the dough. Sometimes, the charred spots are due to residual flour left on the dough, which might look visually appealing, but which doesn’t actually taste that good.
I worry less these days about getting charred bits on top because sometimes this causes the cheese to overcook. As long as my cheese is melted and everything up top is looking good, and as long as the bottom looks evenly browned, I’m satisfied!
Hi! I’m not sure what I did wrong, I weighed the ingredients (I have to say, the weighted measurement of the salt seemed way more than 2 teaspoons and the flour less than 4 cups, but I know weights are more exact that volume measurements, so I went with it). Initial rise was great. I sectioned into 4 balls, they were SMALL. I got a slight rise in the fridge overnight in 2 qt containers. When I went to shape the dough it was a disaster. Fragile, and such a small amount of dough in each ball that it was as if I were making personal pizzas. The crust never really cooked (stayed pale, barely rose during baking).
All in all a huge fail for me. But not sure where I went wrong?
So bummed to hear this! OK, questions:
• What type of salt are you using?
• What type of flour are you using?
I’m surprised the dough balls seemed so small! The balls should roughly be 245 grams each, which is only slightly smaller than the “industry” standard, which is about 250 grams.
I don’t know where things might have gone wrong. It sounds as though the dough over-fermented, but this rarely happens with this yeasted recipe — it’s more of an issue with sourdough. Did you place the dough in a warm place to rise? Sometimes if the rising environment is too warm, it can cause the dough to over-ferment, which means it will basically lose all of its power during that initial rise and won’t recover in the fridge. How many hours was the first rise?
My dough is looking great so far, done the first proof. Quick question, have you ever used a cast iron pizza pan? If so, how would it compare to the steel? I have stone and cast iron pizza pans already so not sure if it’s worth the investment.
Hi Lauren! I use my cast iron skillet when I make skillet pizzas, and it works great, but requires a little more finesse to get the crust nice and golden — I could it both in the oven and on the stovetop. The Steel is really great for making Neopolitan-style or thin-crust or New York Style pizzas that are baked free-form. Steel conducts heat better than stone and iron, so it transfers heat to the dough faster and will help your oven act closer to a pizza oven than any other material. That said, I would definitely experiment with your stone and cast iron pizza pans first. If you are happy with the crust, just keep using them!
Prepping a batch for dinner tonight. I have made this many times and my pizza is always perfect! I used to make the sourdough version, but have converted to this one to save time and it might be better?
Great to hear this, Robby! I love when easier recipes/methods also taste better. Thanks for writing!
How do you manage this so the parchment paper doesn’t burn?
Hi Adam! The parchment does darken a bit, but it never catches fire. You can also remove it after 1-2 minutes of cooking if you wish.
Had pizza made with this dough this weekend at a friend’s house, and I can’t wait to make it at home this week. One question, though my entire family loves pizza, my kids also love calzones. Do you think this recipe will work well for calzones? Since its such a wet dough, will it tear when stretching over the fillings to shape the calzone? I did help making the pizzas so am familiar with the texture of the dough, but concerned that it is so tender it tear rip as I shape. Thank you!
Hi Tess! I think it will work great for calzones. I would consider holding back some of the water at the start — 50 grams or so to make the dough slightly more manageable. And that’s it! Use flour as needed when stretching the dough out, and you should be good to go. Good luck!
Excellent, thank you! Can’t wait to make a double batch – one for my son’s birthday party calzones, and one for pizzas the day after 🙂 Thanks for the quick response!
Si fun, Tess! Happy Birthday to your son 🙂 🙂 🙂
I consider myself somewhat of a pizza enthusiast, and this is the only dough recipe I will be using from here on out. It’s delicious!!! fluffy yet crispy, great flavor and pretty easy to make. I added Italian breadcrumbs and some seasoning to the bottom of the dough before cooking to give it a bit more texture. Yum! Thank you
Great to hear, Haley! Italian breadcrumbs + seasoning sound delicious. Thanks so much for writing!
Hello Ali, I’m in pizza depression. I make your Peasant Bread and it’s not only a hit, easy to make but now a regular in my home. So I thought this pizza dough recipe would be the same. I followed all the directions to the letter and baked it on a steel but the crust came out very chewy. I plan to make this pizza until I get it right but why so chewy? I did cut the water back by an 1/8 of a cup per your suggestion and I used KAF bread salt. Please help because otherwise the flavor of the crust was great.
Ali, please disregard my previous post. I figured out why my crust was way too chewy. First I need to use the regular amount of water. Second, I noticed the dough balls were cracked on top because I didn’t coat them in oil. And third, I was in a hurry and didn’t let my dough balls rise for an hour. I’m pretty sure all this combined created the perfect storm for overly chewy pizza. I am passionate about bread and especially pizza and I will be making this recipe again. And I have your book o order and can’t wait to get it. I rarely buy cookbooks, but I just had to have this one. Thank you Ali for all your smarts about cooking and baking.
Hi Barbara! Thanks for commenting and following up. Great to hear the peasant bread was a success. It does sound as though using the right amount of water and letting the dough proof longer will make a difference.
Questions: do you live in a dry environment? ‘m mostly curious about when the dough balls began cracking — was that in the fridge or during a room temperature proof? And are you using a scale to measure? I
I hope the next attempt is more successful! Thank you for your kind words 🙂 🙂 🙂
I never ever rate anything. I had to rate this pizza dough recipe. I did not make the topping (I made my own) I made only the dough. OMG take it from a true Italian, this dough recipe is the absolute best! I can’t wait to make it again. It is light & airy, fluffy, crunchy, tasty and the best is I didn’t have to knead it. It was amazing! And boy did I stuff myself tonight. Thank you for a great recipe!
So great to hear this, Cheryl 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to write and rate it. So glad you loved it 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕
This is the pizza dough recipe I’ve been searching for! So perfect, I’ll only use this recipe from now on.
So great to hear this, Jordan 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hi! Okay, I’m trying to hack this recipe because the shorter rise time is more manageable for me than your Jim Lahey version (which i love!) I’ve made this version 4-5 times, but most times the dough has still been SO wet and, though bubbly and lovely, VERY difficult to shape and not tear after overnighting in the fridge. Like, it tears every time. It still tastes marvelous, but your videos demonstrate a different consistency dough than mine. I am using a scale and bread KA bread flour. Do I need to add more flour before putting into containers overnight? Or more flour when shaping? How do do I get these girls to be a little more hearty to the touch? Thank you!!
Hi Alison! I think you just need to start with less water. Great to hear you are using a scale. Next time, I would hold back 50-75 grams of water. Another thing you can do is this: after you mix the dough (with less water), let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Then use wet hands to stretch and fold the dough: grab a side and pull up and toward the center. Turn the bowl and repeat 8 times or so. You should notice a difference in the texture of the dough after you complete all of the folds. Then proceed. This will make your dough a little stronger. Let me know how those girls behave when they’re a little less hydrated 🙂 🙂 🙂
Wonderful suggestions! Thank you so much! I both decreased the water and did the stretch and fold and my dough was much less fragile and still tasted amazing! You are such a great teacher:) Cheers!
Great to hear, Alison 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for writing.
Oh Ali, thank you, it turned out fabulous !!!!!!!!! My people love pizza and now I’m confident I can do this at home.
Great to hear, Eva!! Thanks for writing 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕
Can you use Gluten Free flour?
Not as a 1:1 swap. I would google gluten-free pizza crust… you probably need an egg or two for stability.
Love your pizza dough! I have now purchased the baking steel and now need the peel – do you recommend The wood or steel?
Yay! Great to hear all of this. I have both a wood and steel peel, and I am partial to wooden peels.
I’m 80 & didn’t realize The baking steel is so heavy – do you store in your in oven.?
Hi Carole! I have two ovens, so often I do simply just leave mine/store mine in the oven. If that works for you as well, go for it!