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Pizza Dough

4 8-ounce portions

1½ days 20 minutes active

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Though any variety of bread flour will work, we liked King Arthur Flour best. It has a higher protein content, producing crusts with good flavor, nicely crisped surfaces, and a satisfying chew. Making the dough with cool or cold water helps prolong the fermentation process, which provides better flavor. When dividing and fermenting the dough, quart-size plastic bags (coated with cooking spray) are easiest, but well-oiled 1-pint deli containers or bowls work well, too.


8-ounce portions


Don’t shorten the fermentation and room-temperature warming times. The dough requires at least 24 hours in the refrigerator to ferment, then needs to come up to 75°F before shaping.

1½ days

20 minutes active


  • 548

    grams (4 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1

    tablespoon white sugar


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Maria T.
January 21, 2024
My Lengthy Quest For The Perfect Pizza Crust Has Ended Here
I made pizza from this dough recipe last night and it did not fail me. I followed the recipe as written with the listed ingredients and timeline. When I took the dough out of the lightly oiled bowl after bringing the temperature up to 75 degrees I was surprised at the way it felt in my hands. It was almost weightless and so relaxed. I usually make cold fermented dough and it's usually very tight and hard to shape. I always had to cover and rest 10 minuted more than once during the process. This dough shaped into a pizza crust very quickly using my fingertips. I bake my pizzas on a pizza steel. I get good looking results no matter the dough recipe. This crust was crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and had good flavor like good bread. I got 4 balls of dough. I made 2 pizzas and froze 2 balls. when I make more pizza I will thaw them in the fridge and use the lightly oiled bowls and 100 degree water technique to raise the temperature of the dough. That's genius. It was cold yesterday so leaving them on the counter to warm up wouldn't have worked. I couldn't be more pleased with the entire process. I think I can get rid of any pizza recipe books I have aquired for dough recipes because they're taking up valuable real estate and not doing anything for me.
Chris B.
September 6, 2023
Best pizza dough I've ever made
Great flavor. I made it with a 550F oven and a pre-heated baking steel.
Marisa O.
July 31, 2023
Delicious, light, airy, and great dough to work with. Paired with a pizza baking steel in our oven, our pizza dinner was fabulous.
Ethel H.
June 10, 2023
Best thin, crispy crust
This was a very good recipe. The dough was very easy to handle, stretch, and shape. This will be my go to pizza dough from now on.
Julie W.
April 17, 2023
Type of flour
Can I use 00 flour? I just bought some and am anxious to try it.
Gail S.

My dough seems pretty stiff. Just put in the fridge. Hope it softens up over the next few days.

Gail S.

It turned out great. The slow rise in the fridge was what it needed.

James H.

This is absolutely the best pizza dough I have ever made! I have tried countless methods, flours, proofing times, temperatures, etc and this produces the best results. I have had many many people tell me that this is the best they have had. Plan ahead!! Wait the three days and follow the recipe. Don't over think it - just do it.

Michele R.

Any suggestions on how/when to freeze? I would only need one ball at a time. thanks.

Sandra P.

I freeze mine all the time. I take the dough out of the freezer, ideally, the night before and let it rest in the refrigerator until 1 hour before I use it. Turns out perfect.

Susanna B.

Can you freeze some of the dough for future use, and if so, before or after the fermentation in the fridge? Thanks!

Beth M.

On the TV show she said you can freeze it after the first 24 hour fermentation but not after it
has been in the fridge for 72. Leave the frozen dough overnight and it will then be ready to use the next day.

Elizabeth M.

Best pizza dough ever! It freezes well and thaws in fridge or on the counter.

Jennie O.

I now have my dough sitting in the frig and will be making my pizza tonight. I first watched the pizza making demo on TV and have seen it here on 177 Milk Street but I can't seem to locate it again. How can I find it?

Janelle C.

Hi Jennie,

You'll find our collection of videos under the video tab on your browser.

The Milk Street Team

Susan S.

What if you don't have a stand mixer, can you make this in a food processor?

Janelle C.

Hi Susan,

You may want to try our other pizza dough recipe as it utilizes a food processor:

The Milk Street Team

Bern T.

Super helpful to see this. Heard Chris mention using a FP tp make pizza dough on NPR yesterday and was looking for just this!! TY.

Bern T.

Super helpful to see this. Heard Chris mention using a FP tp make pizza dough on NPR yesterday and was looking for just this!! TY.

Glen M.

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Jane D.

I have made this dough 3 times and all three times my dough does not relax after combining the dry ingredients with the water. I have made sure the water is 65 degrees. I have followed the directions precisely. I let it even go longer to see it was just stubborn. Never would relax. I put it into the frig and after 24 hrs it has not resisen. I had purchased new yeast and a new bag of King Aurther bread flour. The result is the same. Any suggestions?

Janelle C.

Hi Jane,

Have you tried letting the dough rise on the counter instead of the fridge? You might just need a warmer spot.

The Milk Street Team

Casey T.

Hello, heard your segment today -9/4/20. There was a call in that talked about Pizza dough. I believe you mentioned that a great ingredient was powdered buttermilk. I don't see it in this recipe? Is it in another? Just curious. Thanks!

Kyle V.

I've tried to make this recipe many times and it never works. I get the dough to 75 degrees but every time I try to form the pizza it does not want to relax. It shrinks back into a small disc and when I try to stretch it it just makes holes in the dough. Is is possible I am not kneading it enough before it goes into the fridge?

Juli L.

I made this exactly as written, except instead of putting the dough in plastic bags I put the balls into 2-cup plastic deli containers with lids. Set in refrigerator for 72 hours, took out and put in my sous vide and set the water for 100 degrees. I kept them there until the dough was 75 degrees, which did take about 30 minutes, and then made the pizza. It was absolutely smashing. I will never use another recipe!! I have used MANY others, but this was the BEST. Thanks so much for this!!

Emilie B.

The tip about waiting until dough is 75 degrees to shape it is a game changer. What a difference in the ease of shaping. Love this recipe.

Sandra S.

This is a great and easy recipe, but I don’t think I have ever made pizza dough without some olive oil in the recipe. Would it be okay to add some?

Lynn C.

Hi Sanda -

Most Neapolitan pizza in Italy rarely contains olive oil in the dough (though is sometimes drizzled with oil after baking). Since this dough is so hydrated we found we didn't need it here either.

The Milk Street Team

Jennifer B.

This is, hands down, the best pizza dough I have ever made. I am nearly 65 and I have made many different recipes. Where were you before!!!!!!

Sarah G.

Is it really necessary to heat four little bowls in water? Why can’t the dough simply come to room temperature on the counter?

Lynn C.

Hi Sarah -

I checked in with the recipe developer, Diane Unger, and she said that you can leave it on the counter at room temperature to come to 70 degrees but that this will take about 4 hours.

The Milk Street Team

Cristine H.

I have regular yeast, not instant yeast. Can I use it? If so, how? I've read in other recipes that mixing it with the liquid ingredients first and letting it sit a bit is all it needs.

Lynn C.

Hi Cristine -

The results may vary but overall, *yes* – you can use the yeasts interchangeably. *Active Dry Yeast* and *Instant* can be substituted for one another 1:1. Active dry yeast is a little bit slower off the mark than instant, as far as dough rising goes; but in a long (2- to 3-hour) rise, the active dry yeast catches up. If a recipe using instant yeast calls for the dough to “double in size, about 1 hour,” you may want to mentally add 15 to 20 minutes to this time if you're using active dry yeast. When dough is rising though, judge it by how much it's risen, not how long it takes; cold weather, low barometric pressure, how often you bake, and a host of other factors affect dough rising times, so use them as a guide, not an unbreakable rule.

Also, yes, as you mentioned you will need to prove the yeast before using it. Active dry yeast has dead yeast cells on the outside of the granules (rapid rise does not) so these have to slough off before the yeast can be activated.

The Milk Street Team

Elisabeth B.

The amount of salt seems small for the amount of flour. I’m used to using about 2 percent of the flour amount, which would be almost 11g. One teaspoon of table salt seems to be about 7g. For this first attempt, I ended up using 2 teaspoons of kosher salt (7g). For future reference, should I use more? Thanks.