Pizza crust makes or breaks your pizza. Read on to learn how to prepare this easy no-knead pizza dough, no mixer required just your hands and time.
I didn’t eat pizza until I was in my early twenties!
All throughout my childhood, I had an aversion to anything with tomato sauce.
Much to my Mom’s chagrin, I wouldn’t even taste her much-loved Filipino spaghetti.
To the uninitiated, the sauce of Filipino spaghetti includes tomato ketchup AND banana ketchup! And until now, since I‘m not fond of ketchup, I still don’t eat up my Mom’s spaghetti.
But I did learn to appreciate tomatoes, raw or otherwise, when I got older.
This brings us to pizza!
We probably have homemade pizza once a month and I usually prepare a sourdough pizza crust due to my current obsession with sourdough.
But sometimes, an easy, no-knead pizza dough, that doesn’t rely on the strength of my sourdough starter, is what I need.
For me, good pizza dough (or any bread) needs time to develop its flavors. So don’t expect to have ready pizza dough in 2 hours. You might want to try another pizza dough recipe. This one needs less time, but more kneading.
For this no-knead pizza dough, time develops the gluten, not vigorous kneading.
So plan ahead. You need to prepare the pizza dough at least A DAY BEFORE you want pizza.
But if you are in a rush and have tortillas on hand, make tortilla pizzas!
Some notes on no-knead pizza dough
Stretch and Fold – optional step
I did say we’re making a no-knead pizza dough, but you can (and I suggest you do) work in 2 sets of stretch and folds to further strengthen the gluten in the dough. It is easily done and will require a mere minute of your time. If you can’t be bothered, then leave the dough to do its magic.
To make stretch and folds, wet your hands, place your hand under the dough, gently grab a bit, pull up and fold over, pushing it down on top of the dough. Then rotate your bowl a quarter to the left and repeat. Repeat until you’ve done it at least 4 times. I always give it a couple more stretch and folds to be sure.
I learned about this from Ken Forkish in his book Flour, Water, Salt & Yeast & Josey Baker in his book Josey Baker Bread. Great readings if you ever get interested in bread making!
Flour of choice
We have flour for pizza readily available in the Swiss supermarkets, so I buy that for my pizza dough. If I don’t have any on hand, I use light whole wheat flour (Halbweissmehl) to have a nice bite and because the all-purpose flour (Weissmehl) here yields a too-soft dough for my liking.
I now prepare my bread ingredients by weight. A kitchen scale yields the precise amounts of the ingredients needed. Measuring by volume can vary and therefore the results might vary.
It will be difficult for me to convert to cups as the weight of the type of flour per cup varies as well.
Just buy one; it won’t cause even the tiniest dent in your pocket. Also, fewer kitchen utensils to clean, as you don’t need your measuring cups!
Let’s learn about no-knead pizza dough:
I based my no-knead pizza on the recipe from Jamie of My Baking Addiction, but adjusted to our taste. And the process was based on Ken Forkish’s methods.
I give you 3 formulas, depending on the number of pizzas you want to produce. I could not finish one pizza, but Tobi, my husband, eats the rest, so 2 pizzas are good for us. If Becca, our little girl, is in the mood, she can eat one small slice.
In any case, leftovers are good! Reheat in the oven, toaster oven or on the stove-top in a frying pan, NOT in the microwave!!
I got sidetracked, sorry, here are the formulas.
|2 pizzas||3 pizzas||4 pizzas|
|Bread or pizza flour||260 g||390 g||520 g|
|Lukewarm water (32°C/90°F)||195 g||292 g||390 g|
|yeast||scant 1/4 tsp||1/4 tsp||heaping 1/4 tsp|
|fine sea salt||5 g||8 g||10 g|
|granulated sugar||1 tsp||1.5 tsp||2 tsp|
|olive oil||4 tsp||2 tbsp||8 tsp|
In a clear medium mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Mix well.
Make a well in the middle and pour in the water and olive oil.
If you don’t know how much water your flour can take, I would suggest holding back a tablespoon or two of water first and only add if the mixture seems too dry.
Mix with a spatula until you get a shaggy dough. Cover with cling wrap and set aside.
If you have decided to stretch and fold your dough, set a timer for 30 minutes, then do your first set of stretch and folds. Cover again and set aside for another 30 minutes, then do another set of stretch and folds.
Cover and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 12 hours for the first rise. I usually leave the dough for around 18 – 24 hours for bulk fermentation.
The bulk fermentation can also be referred to as the first rise.
After the first rise (and at least 2 hours before you want to bake the pizzas) remove from the refrigerator. You should see bubbles all over the dough.
Turn out the dough into a floured surface and divide the dough into the number of pizzas you want. Form each piece into a tight ball and set in an oiled baking pan. Cover with cling wrap and leave on the countertop for its second rise.
I skipped this step as I wanted to make one big pizza in the baking pan. I did a few more stretch and folds to make a ball. Then let the dough rest for 2 hours.
The no-knead pizza dough can be frozen!
Freezing the dough: Alternatively, you can freeze extra dough for future use. Right after the first rise and when the dough is shaped into balls, wrap the pizza dough balls in cling wrap and place in a freezer-safe bag. The dough will continue to rise in the freezer (although only minimally.)
When ready to bake, transfer the frozen dough to the refrigerator the night before and take out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before baking.
Time to bake!
To bake the pizza: Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
Stretch out the pizza dough as thinly as you want on a baking pan. Flour or wet your hands if the dough sticks.
(I know, mine looks horrible, but it turned out great once baked!)
Top with desired toppings and bake for 20-25 minutes.
A close up from the side to see the beauty of the crust!
To pin for future reference: