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Make-Ahead Pizza Dough

Yield: Yields 2 lb. dough, enough for 8 cracker-thin crusts, 4 Neapolitan-style crusts, or 1 Sicilian-style crust plus 2 cracker-thin crusts or 1 Neapolitan-style crust

Olive oil keeps this dough tender, and a little sugar encourages browning and boosts the flavor. You can double or triple this recipe.


  • 1-3/4 cups lukewarm water (about 100°F)
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dry yeast (fast-rising or active dry)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 19 oz. (4-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour


  • Pour the water into a 3-quart bowl or large, lidded plastic food container. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the oil, salt, yeast, and sugar. Don’t worry about dissolving all of the ingredients; just stir well to combine. Don’t bother “proofing” the yeast, either—it shouldn’t fail if used before its expiration date.
  • Add the flour and mix until uniformly moist. The dough will be quite wet; no kneading is necessary.
  • Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap or partially cover the plastic container (leave the lid open a crack to let gases escape). Let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature. The dough will fully expand and may even begin to collapse within this time.
  • Do not punch down this dough—it will collapse on its own and later shrink while it chills in the refrigerator; it will never regain its height, and that’s OK.
  • Refrigerate the dough, loosely covered, for at least 3 hours before using.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. After 2 days, tightly cover the dough in its bowl with plastic wrap to keep the surface of the dough from drying out. You can also freeze the dough in well-wrapped 1/2-lb. balls for up to 3 weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Whole-wheat dough variation: Substitute 5 oz. (1 cup) whole-wheat flour for the same weight of unbleached all-purpose flour, and add 2 Tbs. additional water.

Cornmeal dough variation: Substitute 5 oz. (1 cup) stone-ground yellow cornmeal for the same weight of unbleached all-purpose flour, and add 1 Tbs. additional olive oil.


Rate or Review


  • BBQ Judge 72882 | 02/03/2018

    Outstanding. Very easy and is great in a cast iron pan.

  • eakJ | 01/12/2018

    We tried various recipes and this is the best tasting no-knead recipe

  • MWyman | 12/09/2017

    Wonderful recipe. I use the corn meal to make par-bake pizza crusts for my freezer - one recipe makes 12 very thin crust pizzas (roll out on 9" parchment disks with saran wrap on top to prevent sticking, then peel off saran wrap for the next one...) I then bake at high heat on my stone until the dough is set but not browned, then out to cool, stack, and freeze. When the house is full, these can be thawed in minutes, dressed any way, and returned to a hot stove for finishing. Kids and houseguests always like them.

  • lralston79 | 12/20/2015

    recipes are like GPS, they make you question what you you know. don't cook Sicilian pizza for 20 minutes on 500. it will be burnt and you will be sad.

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