This no-knead pizza dough recipe is quick and easy, and you can adjust it to change the texture of the dough depending on how you like it.
I make this all the time, and I don’t even bother measuring the yeast at this point because the recipe is so forgiving if you don’t get things exact. And let’s be honest, homemade pizza dough is just better than anything you can get at the store.
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Recipe for quick and easy homemade pizza dough.
Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
- 1 stand mixer with a paddle attachment
- 1 liquid measuring cup
- 1 measuring cup for the flour
- 1 Tbsp measuring spoon (optional)
- 1 pizza pan or cookie sheet
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
Make the dough
- Add the yeast to the warm water and whisk or stir it to let it mix and soften for a few minutes.
- Put the flour and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer and mix to combine the salt into the flour.
- When the yeast is softened, add the olive oil to the measuring cup to make 1 1/4 cups of liquid.
- Pour the liquid into the mixer with the paddle moving on a slow speed so that it combines with the flour.
- Add some flour to the mixture if you need to in order to make the dough less sticky.
- Beat the dough for a couple of minutes on low speed, or knead it by hand for a few minutes. For a softer dough, don't mix it for very long.
- You want the dough to form a ball that isn't sticky, but isn't too dry either.
- If it comes off of the beater easily without sticking, and you can press your fingers into it and make an impression without having it stick to your hand, it's probably fine.
- The wetter the dough, the crispier it will be when it bakes. Check the tips below to get more information on changing the texture of the dough.
- Rub some olive oil on the dough ball and turn it so that it's covered with oil.
- Put the dough in a bowl or leave it in the bowl of the stand mixer and cover it with a dishcloth to let it rise.
- Let it rise to about double its size, about 1-2 hours depending on how warm it is.
- Punch the dough down and let it rise again.
- The longer the dough sits out, the more flavor will develop.
Assemble and bake the pizza
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Oil a pizza pan or cookie sheet, then put the risen dough in the pan and press it into shape using your fingers with olive oil on them.
- If the dough springs back and won't spread out, let it rest for a few minutes so that the gluten can relax, then keep shaping it.
- When the dough is shaped, you can either bake it for 5 minutes then add the toppings, or add the toppings before baking it.
- Bake the pizza for 18-20 minutes at 400F.
- Remove it from the pan to cool for a few minutes, then slice it and serve.
Tips for the pizza dough recipe.
This recipe is pretty basic, but depending on how you adjust the proportions of the ingredients and the rise time, you can make it the way that you like it.
Because of the oil in this recipe, this dough is fairly soft instead of being thin and crispy. Changing the balance of the olive oil will make the dough more or less soft, so you can use less if you like a crispier crust.
The salt in this recipe is a small amount that’s just there to control the yeast a little. You can eliminate it completely if you want the yeast to go crazy and give you a softer dough after it’s baked.
More flour will give you a tougher dough, more oil will give you a softer dough.
What yeast to use.
I use whatever yeast I have on hand, it doesn’t matter too much since I let this dough sit out to rise for so long.
I also don’t measure the yeast, I just pour it into the palm of my hand to get approximately two tablespoons full. The more yeast you use, the faster the dough will rise, but when it sits out longer it might rise and collapse if it rises too quickly.
The quick rise isn’t really a big deal for this recipe, though. It might affect the final texture of the dough by making it a little thinner when it bakes, but it will still work no matter how controlled the rise is.
The colder it is, the slower the dough will rise, but that’s fine. You could probably put the dough in the fridge if you wanted to make it in the morning then use it that evening.
Adding flavorings to the dough.
If you want to add some ingredients like herbs or grated cheese, do that after the first rise. You can knead them into the dough before putting it back in the bowl for the second rise.
Since this dough doesn’t require a lot of kneading to begin with, it can take a little kneading after the first rise if you want to add things to the dough. Let it rise once so that the ingredients that you add won’t interfere with the rising process the first time.
As an alternate to adding them to the dough itself, you can sprinkle them on the surface of the pizza as an added topping.
You can knead some oregano or basil into the crust, or add some grated parmesan cheese for some added flavor.
How long to let the dough rise.
The longer the dough sits out, the more flavorful it will be because it will start to do the sourdough thing of attracting wild yeast. Since yeast is a living organism that is in the air around us, it will be attracted to the dough as it sits out and it will give the dough some additional flavor.
I had a friend whose father owned a pizzeria, and he used to make the dough then let it sit out overnight so that the flavor would develop. Don’t worry about letting it sit out for too long.
This recipe doesn’t have much salt in it, so the yeast can do its thing without worrying about too much salt killing it. This will let it rise in a less-controlled way, so you might be able to punch the dough down a few times before using it.
I personally prefer a softer pizza crust, so the combination of less salt and more yeast will end up giving you the breadier texture.
You don’t want to completely ignore the salt because it helps the gluten develop, but if you leave it out entirely it’s not going to make a huge difference. If you do leave it out, you can also develop the gluten by kneading the dough by hand instead of just using the mixer.
The less kneading or mixing the dough has had, the rougher the dough will look when it’s rising. If you knead the bread or mix it for longer you’ll be developing the gluten more, and that will make the dough ball smoother as it rises. The pizza that I made for this article didn’t get much mixing at all, so it was pretty rough-looking, and it gave me a soft crust when it was baked.
If I wanted a chewier crust, I would have kneaded it longer to develop the gluten in the crust.
Putting the dough in the pan.
When you put the dough in the pan, make sure that you oil the pan beforehand. That will help keep the crust from sticking to the pan.
Press the dough into the pan with the flat of your hand, spreading it toward the edge of the pan as you press on it.
As you press it toward the edge of the pan, it will tend to spring back and pull away from the edge. That’s the gluten in the dough tightening up, and that can make it difficult to spread the dough out. If that happens, stop working the dough and let it rest for a few minutes, then start again. That will give the gluten a chance to relax and it will be easier to work with.
When I put the dough in the pan, I usually make a pretty deep edge on the crust, like a deep dish pizza. I don’t expect that to stay, I expect it to spring back a little toward the center of the pan. If the edge is taller to begin with, it will end up being the right height when it pulls back.
Finished pizza crust.
Minimal mixing will give you a crust that’s softer and has smaller holes inside it because without a strong gluten network, there won’t be a big network of gluten strands to capture the gases when the crust bakes.
Pressing the dough up against the edge of the pan will give you a larger edge on the finished pizza, so you’ll have a fatter crust around the edge.
For a smaller outer edge, press the crust flat and don’t create any edge up against the side of the pan.
Freezing and the specifics.
If you want to make a double batch of the dough you can do that, then cut it in half after it rises and wrap the extra dough in plastic wrap to use later. You can freeze this dough for a few weeks, then let it defrost in the fridge and use it when you need it.
When I made this dough it was about 60F, 39% humidity, and I’m at 158 feet above sea level. If you’re located in a different climate you might need to adjust the baking time or the proportions of water and flour.