No-knead pizza dough recipe

Love homemade pizza dough, but hate kneading – we hear you! We’ve found an easy-peasy no-knead pizza dough recipe that will take your homemade pizzas to a whole new level. With a little patience you’ll be eating restaurant quality at home.

Baker extraordinaire Jim Lahey has built an empire in New York around his delicious dough creations. His no-knead bread recipes are so popular they’ve been published in the New York Times and they continue to be some of their most popular recipes.

A note from Jim

“While I'm not picky about the flour—either bread flour or all-purpose is fine—what does concern me is how the dough is handled. Treat it gently so the dough holds its character, its texture. When you get around to shaping the disk for a pie, go easy as you stretch it to allow it to retain a bit of bumpiness (I think of it as blistering), so not all of the gas is smashed out of the fermented dough. I prefer to hold off on shaping the ball until just before topping it. If it's going to sit for a while—more than a couple of minutes—cover it with a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. I offer you two approaches for shaping. The simpler one, executed completely on the work surface, is slower than the second, where you lift the disk in the air and stretch it by rotating it on your knuckles. Lifting it into the air to shape it is more fun, too.”

Check out Jim’s video for more tips on his no-knead pizza dough recipe.

Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough

  • 500g all-purpose flour (about 3 and 3/4 cups), plus more for shaping the dough
  • 1g (1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 16g (2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
  • 350g (1 and 1/2 cups) water
In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend flour, yeast, and salt. Add water and, mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or your hands.

Cover bowl with glad wrap or tea towel and allow it to rise at room temperature (about 22°C) or in a hot water cupboard for 18 hours or until it has more than doubled. It will take longer in a colder room and less time in a very warm one.

Flour a work surface and scrape out the dough. Divide it into 4 equal parts and shape them: For each portion, start with the right side of the dough and pull it toward the centre; then do the same with the left, then the top, then the bottom. (The order doesn’t matter; what you want is four folds.) Shape each portion into a round and turn seam side down. Mould dough into a neat circular mound. The mounds should not be sticky; if they are, dust with more flour.
Shaping the base
Take a ball of dough and generously dust with flour, also making sure to flour your work surface and hands at the same time. Gently press down and stretch the ball of dough out to your desired size (depending on if you like a thin or thick base), about 25-30 cms. Don’t worry too much about the shape and how round it is. Make sure you don’t over handle the dough; you want to keep some of the gas bubbles. Flour the pizza paddle or flat (unrimed) baking sheet and lay the dough in the centre. Your pizza is ready to be topped.
Cooking time
Top with your favourite toppings and bake in a fan forced oven on a pizza stone for 10-12 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
Storing raw dough
If you don’t intend to use the dough right away, wrap the balls individually in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature by leaving them out on the counter, covered in a damp cloth, for 2 to 3 hours before needed.

Tip: This dough freezes well! Use one or two then freeze the rest for later. To defrost place at room temperature (about 22°C) or in a hot water cupboard for a couple of hours or until it has more than doubled.

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