no knead pizza dough

No Kneading Sourdough Pizza Dough

In the world of pizza, there are many versions, but none like this no-knead pizza dough recipe.  They simply are a breed of their own, layered high like Americans and minimally like the Italians.  Either way, I absolutely can’t live without having pizza. With this passion it’s hard to find just what I like, so I make my own.  If my grandkids are coming over, I make pizza, if friends are coming over, I make pizza.

Thanks to Jim Lahey, this No Knead Pizza Dough is fabulously easy.  With a little preparation, you will have pizzeria-style pizza that everyone will enjoy.  For kids, it is the ultimate experience to top their own little pizza, and for the adults, they get to have anchovies if they so desire.

no knead pizza dough


1,000 grams of Bread or AP flour, or white 900 g and 100 g whole wheat

200 grams, of active sourdough

20 grams salt

750 grams of 80-degree water

Olive Oil for the pan


Whisk the water and sourdough together in a large bowl until dissolved. Add the salt, and flour and, using a large spoon, rapidly and vigorously mix everything together until it is just combined. Scrape the edges of the bowl into the dough and cover it with cling wrap. After 20 minutes lift and fold the dough over itself two times until the dough shows signs it is growing: a slight but noticeable expansion is visible. Allow the dough to rest overnight in the bowl for 8-18 hours (the colder the weather, the longer it takes), until the dough has doubled in size and is sweet and yeasty smelling.

In the morning, using a scraper, remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface.  Gently divide it into 6 even pieces.  Taught and fold each dough piece into a round boule, and place on a greased tray to rise until ready to cook. If you are waiting until the next day to make your pizza, place them into the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before making your pizzas. 

Forming your pizza:

A crust that is formed by hand receives the least amount of work, or punishment, of any of the dough-forming methods. While it may not always seem so, this is the most gentle forming method there is. Very little gas is expelled from the dough during the forming process and very little work is put into the dough, resulting in less shrinkage or snap-back in the formed crust. The necessary soft dough characteristics for hand forming are achieved through water absorption. Higher absorption levels provide the softer, more extensible dough characteristics necessary for hand forming.

The main characterizing features of a hand-formed crust are a light, “airy” texture due to the fact that the dough was not degassed to a great extent during the forming process. The crust will have a relatively tender chew due to the gentle stretching of the dough during forming. The internal crumb structure will have relatively large holes scattered throughout the crumb. Overall, the crumb will be very non-uniform. This non-uniformity is at least partially responsible for the unique crispiness and flavor associated with hand-formed pizza crusts. The outer edge of hand-formed pizza crusts will almost always be lighter and higher than that of crusts from other dough-forming methods. Again, this is the result of the dough not being degassed, or the gas not being redistributed, during the forming process. The non-uniformity of hand-formed pizza crusts is what makes these crusts so unique. No two are alike.

Generously flour a clean countertop. You want enough flour to coat the surface of the dough as it stretches so it doesn’t stick to the counter or your hands. Take a ball of pizza dough out and place it on the counter. Use your fingers to create an indent around the edge to create a “crust,” rotating the dough as you go. Press firmly and deeply but your fingertips shouldn’t touch the counter. Gently pick the dough up by the crust. Rotate it through your hands, letting gravity pull it down toward the counter. Place the dough on the back of one hand, with your fingertips curved pointing down to support the dough. Keep that hand stationary. Use the back of your other hand to slide under the dough, lifting and rotating it across your stationary hand.

When the dough is the size you want, transfer it onto a well-floured pizza peel and gently arrange it back into a circle shape.

Add your cheese and toppings. Give the pizza a shake on the peel to make sure it isn’t stuck, then bake on pre-heated baking stone or at 500F for 4-5 mins.

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