Based on Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough, this recipe creates a crust that’s crispy, bubbly, chewy in the middle, and full of yeasty flavor. Just mix it up in a big bowl about 20 hours before you’d like to slice and serve your pizza, let it do its thing while you go about your day, and then dump it onto the counter, shape it into balls, and stretch it out. If you have the time and energy to plan ahead, it makes for one delicious, pillowy reward. Read on for sexy progress shots and super-easy step-by-step directions.
Makes about 2 pounds
- 3¾ cups bread flour
- ¼ teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1½ cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and oil and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until all of the flour is incorporated. The dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 18 to 20 hours or until it has more than doubled in volume.
Scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface and use a knife or scraper to divide it in half*. Shape each piece of dough by folding its four sides under toward the center, then forming it into a ball. If the dough feels sticky, dust it with flour.
Cover the formed dough balls with a damp kitchen towel and let them rest for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before using. (Or, if you’re not making pizza right away, wrap the balls loosely with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
Stretch out the dough, add desired toppings, and bake.
*If you’re planning to make focaccia or one large, thick-crust baking sheet pizza, simply stretch the dough to fit a heavy-duty, rimmed baking sheet/half sheet pan.