Want to make incredible pizza from scratch at home? Try this incredibly easy and delicious homemade pizza dough with a thin, crispy crust and fat, chewy edges. You don't even need a mixer or use elbow grease to make it as it is a no knead dough. Your dough also gets a long ferment which develops its flavour and makes it easier to digest! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader and I am SO excited to share this with you as I've been testing this for weeks!
Look at that puffy crust!
Long fermentation is key so start this at least 2 days ahead: Longer dough ferment is better for your tummy. This is because glutens are eaten up during the longer fermentation process and the dough is able to be digested better and it will develop a better flavour (i.e. less yeasty tasting). The 2 days may seem like a very long amount of time but it's not active time and you don't need to do much to the dough at all.
Is the long ferment absolutely necessary? I want to eat my pizza tonight No it isn't, it will still work without the second long rest but if you have the time to wait, you'll be rewarded with a great flavoured dough and a lovely puffy crust.
High temperature makes for amazing pizza: I cook my pizzas at 300C/572F which is the highest my home oven will go to. Pizza ovens go as high as 426C/800F and will cook a pizza within 3 minutes but most home ovens won't get to that heat.
Oiling or flouring your hands: If you oil your hands very lightly it will make your dough easier to handle. However it does change the texture of the crust and makes it crunchier and crispier. For the softer Neapolitan style dough just add flour instead of oil to avoid the dough sticking.
Your first pizza may not be perfect. It took me about 3 pizzas before I got the technique right to get the puffy edge. By the eighth pizza I could do it easily with confidence. Practice makes perfect (and what delicious practice it is!).
A note about working with flour: All flours are different, even from bag to bag. You may need to add a little more flour to work with this. The more experienced you get, the wetter the dough you can work with. Don't be shy with using flour so that this doesn't stick though.
Can you make a sourdough pizza? Yes! Thanks to Dear Reader Nancy who experimented with her sourdough starter. Just replace the yeast with 50g/1.7ozs of sourdough starter. Thank you Nancy!
Can you make the pizza dough in the Thermomix? Yes you can! Please see this recipe here for Thermomix Pizza.
Toppings: Margarita is the most classic topping which is tomato pizza sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil at the end. Or try a spicy version with red onion, tomato pizza sauce, mozzarella, hot pepperoni and pitted black olives. You can also do a Bianca or "white" pizza aka one without tomato sauce. You can add cheese and thinly sliced potato and rosemary. Another favourite bianca pizza is mozzarella, onion, mortadella with roasted pistachio drizzle and basil.
Pizza stone or stainless steel metal tray? Both allow you to cook the pizzas at high temperatures and it's up to you which one you use and depends on what you have. Pizza stones tend to give you a crispier base because they heat up well and retain the heat. However more often people have metal baking trays. You can still heat up a metal tray in the oven and it will heat up quickly and retain heat for a few minutes if you want a crispy base (metal trays will also lose heat quicker than stone).
Crispy base or soft base? Some people love a crispy bottomed pizza, others prefer a softer Neapolitan style base. You can achieve both using this dough by just changing two things.
Coarse polenta or cornmeal
a) To get a crispy bottomed pizza: Brush oil on a metal tray and then sprinkle with coarse polenta or cornmeal (see above, not fine polenta or cornmeal). This will crisp up the base beautifully.
Cornmeal crusted pizza
b) To get a softer pizza base: Don't add oil and dust metal tray with flour, not cornmeal. I like a soft Neapolitan style pizza so I don't preheat my metal tray and just construct my pizza on the metal tray.
Frying Pan Pizza Stone Hack If you don't have a pizza stone you can heat up your non stick frying pan on the stovetop to medium high heat (8 out of 10 heat) and use that in the oven. Just make sure that your frying pan has a metal handle not plastic because plastic will melt in the oven. Also reduce the cooking temperature to 240C/464F. However using your non stick pan on high heat will affect the non stick coating.
Today I am also going to share a little cleaning tip. The reason why is because it's important for this recipe but also because I got so many messages about it from people happy about their newly cleaned oven when I put it on my Instagram stories.
Because you are baking this pizza at the highest that your oven will go, anything baked in at the bottom of the oven will smoke and possibly set off your fire alarm. My oven has been getting a major workout lately so it needed a clean. This tip came from my friend Ivy and it's a great oven cleaning tip because oven cleaning products are toxic especially to smaller critters like your pets.
To clean your oven without using traditional oven cleaners, soak a dishwashing tablet in some hot water in a bowl. It won't fully dissolve but the hot water will soften it. Pour the water and tablet on the baked-on grease at the bottom of the oven and leave for 20 minutes.
Don gloves and take a scrubber rough side down and use the dishwashing tablet rough side down and scrub using the tablet and dishwasher. This also works on any oven window grease and another reader used it on the racks and her microwave too! Clean it up well, removing the grains from the tablet with your sponge and sponging the whole oven a few times. Your oven will now sparkle and you don't need to worry about little ones!
I learnt about the fire alarm the hard way. I actually set it off quite often and being very short (5 feet tall) it's not easy to turn off quickly. I'd like to save everyone that stress because I feel like we're all operating at a high level of unseen stress.
It's why people are so quick to temper and why our emotions are so high. Usually you have a bad day, you know the kind where you say to the universe "I can't take any more" and then it's followed by a great one but I feel like it has been a series of blah days. It's like we are operating at maximum capacity and there is no more capacity for anything else.
Now we have to find joy in things like clean ovens and shiny taps. Things that were boring are now amazing and after cleaning my oven all I could do was look at my oven like a proud mother and wonder what have we become? The day only got better when I had my pizza!
So tell me Dear Reader, what is on your favourite pizza? And are you team crispy base or soft base? Puffy edge or no edge? Thin crust or thick crust?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
THE BEST No Knead Pizza Dough!
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 17 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 25 minutes plus 36 hours resting (ideally)
Cooking time: 8 minutes per pizza
Makes: 4x26cm/10inch pizzas
Note: start this at least 2 days before you want to eat your pizza
Makes 4 pizzas
- 500g/1.1lbs flour (all purpose, plain or bread) plus 75g/2.7ozs extra for dusting and rolling
- 1 teaspoon/3.5g/0.12oz instant dried yeast
- 350ml/11.8flozs. water
- 1.5 teaspoons/9g/0.3oz salt
- 1-2 tablespoons oil (optional, for crispy pizza)
- 4 tablespoons polenta (not finely ground) (optional, for crispy pizza)
- I mix a 50/50 blend of my favourite pasta sauce and tomato paste. I use around 1/4 cup or 60ml/2ozs. sauce per pizza
- Lorraine: mozzarella, red onion slices, spicy salami, black olives, super hot chilli
- Mr NQN: mozzarella, 3 slices mortadella, onion, pistachio drizzle (25g/1oz roasted pistachios blended up and mixed with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt) and fresh basil
Step 1 - Dissolve the salt in the water. Mix the flour and yeast in a large bowl and then add the water and stir to combine with a silicon spatula (just stir until it comes together but make sure there aren't any clumps of flour).
Mix together with a silicon spatula until it becomes a cohesive mixture
Shape into a ball
Step 2 - Flour your hands with the extra flour. Scrape the dough mixture and shape into a ball with your floured hands and place back into the bowl. Cover and allow to prove at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
Covered dough, ready for first prove
The next day the dough all puffed up
Step 3 - The next day flour your hands and punch down the dough and shape into a ball again and cut into quarters. Dust the quarters with a bit more flour and re-flour your hands and smooth the balls so that the dough is smooth on top. Place in four separate containers with lids. You can keep this in the fridge for up to 5 days and you can cook it from there. Allow for at least 24 hours for this second ferment. I mean you can bake it without this second ferment but you will get better results with this long, second ferment.
Step 4 - Take the boxes of pizza dough out of the fridge 2 hours before you want to bake it. Heat your oven to maximum heat (mine is 300C/572F). Get your metal pizza trays ready (instructions for pizza stone are at the end). Add cornmeal and oil (if you want it crispy) or just flour (if you want it soft) to the metal tray and flour your hands and stretch the dough out a little. Make the centre thinner, it should almost be translucent but don't try to get the whole thing to stretch all the way to the edge of the tray yet.
Step 5 - Rest the dough for 5 minutes and then gently stretch out with your floured fingertips to the edges making sure that there's enough cornmeal or flour underneath the pizza to stop it sticking to the tray. Spread with pizza sauce and add your toppings. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until toppings are cooked through.
If using a pizza stone and a pizza paddle: Place your pizza stone in the cold oven on the lowest rack (do not put a cold pizza stone in a hot oven as it may crack with an extreme temperature change) and preheat to 300C/572F. If you are making a thicker crust pizza, cook it at 200C/400F to give the crust time to cook through without burning toppings. Sprinkle a surface generously with cornmeal and stretch out your dough, resting it for 5 minutes if you need to (see instructions on stretching the dough in steps 4 and 5 above). Add your toppings. Use a pizza paddle to place in the oven on the pizza stone and cook until toppings are cooked through. It will take around 6-8 minutes or so depending on how many toppings you use. Do not cut your pizza on the stone.
There is also the option to stretch out the dough on a silpat if you don't have a pizza paddle because that will make the pizza easier to move to the oven and pizza stone (it's almost impossible to lift it onto the hot pizza stone without a pizza paddle). Parchment also works but it tends to blacken and burn. You should cook your pizzas at 240C/464F if you are using silpats or parchment.