Break out your pizza stone! This pizza dough can be prepared either 22, 12 or 6 hours in advance.
My mom got me a pizza stone a while back, and I’ve never used it to make a pizza completely from scratch. It was great for Garlic Naan and for heating up leftover/frozen pizza, but how had I never made my own pizza dough to bake on this beauty?
Deb over at Smitten Kitchen had exactly the recipe that I was looking for. I’ve made this super simple crust twice now, and both times it has been wonderful! It gets nice and crispy on the pizza stone, and looked absolutely beautiful.
I topped my pizza with some jarred pizza sauce, tore some fresh mozzarella over that and drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil over everything. After baking, I scattered fresh basil leaves on top and served it. I can’t wait to try out more topping combinations, too!
My Italian husband was majorly impressed 🙂
Lazy Pizza Dough
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour (bread flour works too)
Slightly heaped 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (for Overnight, All-Day, or Part-Day Schedules respectively, above)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1 1/4 cup water, plus an additional tablespoon or two if needed
In a very large bowl, mix all ingredients with a spoon. The dough will be craggy and rough; this is fine, but if it feels excessively so, add another spoonful or even two of water. (See Note up top about altered water level/flour heaviness.) Cover bowl with plastic and keep at room temperature for approximately 22 (for Overnight schedule), 12 (for All-Day schedule) or 6 (for Part-Day schedule) hours, or until the dough has more than doubled. This takes longer in a chilly room and less in a very warm one, but don’t fret too much over this, as the dough is generally forgiving of a loosened schedule.
About 30 minutes before dough is ready, prepare pizza stone and paddle sprinkling it with cornmeal. You can also use any old baking sheet you have around, however, based on early commenters, the pizza tends to stick to these more, so I now recommend that you prepare it by very lightly, thinly coat it with olive oil or a nonstick cooking spray before sprinkling it with cornmeal. Heat oven to its highest temperature, usually between 500 and 550 degrees F. If you’re using a pizza stone, place it in the oven so that it heats too.
Flour your counter very well. Scrape dough out of bowl onto floured counter; in the time it has risen it should change from that craggy rough ball to something very loose, soft, sticky and stretchy. Flour the top of the dough, and divide dough in half (or more pieces, if you’re making smaller pizzas). Form them into ball-like shapes. Grab first round with floured hands and let the loose, soft dough stretch and fall away from your hands a few times before landing the dough on your prepared baking sheet/paddle. Use floured fingers to press and nudge dough into a roughly round or rectangular shape. Add desired fixings (see below for My Favorite Margherita Pizza) and bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating if it’s baking unevenly, until the top is blistered and the crust is golden. Repeat with remaining dough.
Do ahead: Once risen and formed into ball-like shapes, the dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days, says Lahey. He doesn’t say anything about freezing the dough, but I have done so successfully with others. However, if you don’t mind me being a little pushy here, I honestly feel that by the time the dough is defrosted and ready to use, you could have easily made a fresh one, so I don’t usually bother. When you’re ready to use a refrigerated or defrosted-but-still-cold dough, Lahey says that you should return it to room temperature by leaving it on a counter covered with a damp cloth for 2 to 3 hours before using it.
Whole wheat variation: Feel free to replace up to half the flour with whole wheat without altering any other ingredients.
Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars