The best pizza needs the best pizza dough. This yeasty pizza dough recipe is soft and chewy with a crispy edge and requires very little kneading!
I am so excited to share this with you. I made the best ever pizza dough this week. It’s soft and slightly chewy with a crunchy edge. And it works so well with my recipes for Dill Pickle Pizza and Garlic Pizza (both made with the garlic pizza sauce, too).
Obviously, you can do whatever you want with this dough – top it with classics like pepperoni and sausage, or some apple pie filling for an apple pie pizza!
However, there are a few tips to keep in mind when making your own pizza dough.
Use a Thermometer
Most of us use active dry yeast, the kind in the little packets. It requires a very specific temperature to grow and ferment. When you put the yeast in the water at the beginning of the recipe, it does two things.
One, it tests your yeast to make sure it isn’t too old. You’ll want to look at the surface after a few minutes. It should be frothy/bubbly. If not, it’s too old.
Two, it helps the yeast dissolve and get dispersed evenly throughout the dough. It’s easy to replace the water and yeast if the yeast is too old or died in water that’s too hot. It’s harder to replace the whole batch of dough 18 hours later when it hasn’t gotten a proper rise and your pizza turns into a thin, dense brick.
Keep your water between 105 – 115°F. A thermometer is by far one of the most useful kitchen tools. If you don’t have one, I strongly recommend getting one. They’re cheap, and you’ll never wonder if your food is under or overcooked again. I have this one.
You really, really want a proper rise on this dough. Because it has less yeast, it takes longer to rise and ferment. If you start working with it early, before it has had time to form strands of gluten, it wont have the right texture.
No knead recipes need a longer proof to really get that dough nice and airy, since you wont be physically moving the air bubbles and kneading as you would with a traditional recipe.
Keep lots of extra flour around
Pizza dough can get pretty sticky. Keep your hands and work surfaces nicely floured to avoid frustration.
Don’t open the oven more than needed
Here’s something that seems obvious but is easy to forget. Every time you open the oven door, it loses temperature. Assuming none of us keep our houses at 500°F (oof), your oven’s temperature can drop as much as 50 degrees with a single opening of the door.
In the recipe, I say to move the pizza from the bottom rack to the top rack halfway through cooking. You’ll want to do this quickly, then keep an eye on it through the window on the oven door. Don’t open it to check it every few minutes, as this will add to your cook time.
In all, bread baking is a science. I recommend keeping all of these things in mind as you make this recipe. I know you’ll turn out with an amazing pizza in the end!
What is your favorite pizza topping? Anything you’d like to see me make with it?
In the meantime, check out my other pizza recipes here.
Until next time. X
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Best Ever Pizza Dough
- 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cup water heated to 105 – 115°F
- 4 cups All Purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- In a small bowl, heat the water to 105-115°F.
- Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for 10 minutes. The surface should look bubbly and frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the water and yeast mixture.
- Mix until a sticky dough forms. If it appears dry and crumbly, add 1 Tbsp of water until it is sticky and mixed well.
- Place the dough in a clean bowl and brush a sheet of plastic wrap with olive oil.
- Place the oiled wrap directly on the top of the dough, but don’t fasten it. It will move as the dough rises. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm kitchen for 18 hours.
- Gently punch down the center of the dough and turn out onto a heavily floured work surface.
- Knead for about 1 minute, then divide the dough in half.
- Roll out into a 10 – 12″ circle and place on an oiled sheet pan or pizza stone. You can either roll the edges for a thicker crust or keep as is.
- Brush the center of the pizza with olive oil, leaving about 1″ for the crust. Set aside to rise for 10 minutes.
- Continue topping as desired, then bake in a 500°F oven for 5 minutes on the bottom rack. Transfer to the top rack and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the top is dry and crispy and the bottom is a golden brown. Use a fork to gently lift the crust to check doneness.
- Serve warm!
- small bowl
- mixing bowl
- plastic wrap
- pastry brush
- clean towel
- sheet pan or pizza stone
If you like a shiny golden brown crust, brush it with a beaten egg and – pro tip: sprinkle some seasonings of your choice. I like parmesan cheese, garlic powder and rosemary!
See post for additional tips.
- Prep Time: 18 hours 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian American
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: slow rise pizza dough, pizza dough, no knead pizza
Recipe adapted from Christina’s Cucina.