Go Back
+ servings
Slow-Rise Pizza dough ready for topping and baking
Print Recipe
4.42 from 24 votes

Slow-Rise Pizza Dough

You have to plan ahead to make this pizza dough (it needs 18 to 20 hours of rise time), but once you get the hang of it, you'll see that it's actually super-easy—and it makes for the perfect chewy, fluffy, flavorful pizza crust. If you're making it for the next day's dinner, start the dough before you go to bed, then ball it up when you get home from work/school/etc. Or, make it over the weekend and freeze the balls in separate zip-top bags or airtight containers for easy weeknight dinners.
Prep Time5 mins
Rise Time18 hrs
Total Time18 hrs 5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: no-knead pizza dough, pizza dough, pizza dough recipe
Makes: 2 balls (enough for two 12-inch pizzas)
Cost: $5


  • Large bowl with lid
  • Sturdy wooden spoon or dough whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • cups bread flour (scooped and leveled)
  • ¼ teaspoon instant (rapid-rise) yeast
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • cups cool 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 an inverted bowl or plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before using. (Or, if you’re not making pizza right away, place the balls in separate zip-top bags or airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.)
  • 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.