Basic Overnight Pizza Dough

Recipe and photo contributed by Stephanie Deihl Yield:  4 servings (enough for one large or two small pizzas)
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  0 minutes

Basic Overnight Pizza Dough

This easy and flavorful dough was adapted from a recipe by Peter Reinhart that was published in Fine Cooking. It requires an overnight rise, but it can be made up to three days in advance and held in the refrigerator. The uncooked dough can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to a month and thawed overnight in the refrigerator.


11 ounces water, cool to the wrist (about 80° to 85°F)

2½ teaspoons instant yeast

1 pound bread flour

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2½ teaspoons kosher salt

1½ tablespoons olive oil


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the water and yeast. Pour the flour on top of the water-yeast mixture, followed by the sugar and then the salt.
  2. Mix at medium-low speed for about 1 minute, until they just barely come together into a craggy ball. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 5 minutes, and switch to the dough hook attachment. Mix at medium-low speed for 2 to 3 more minutes, stopping once in the middle to scrape dough off the hook and the bottom of the bowl. The mixture should be smooth and tacky when poked with a finger, but shouldn’t leave any residual sticky dough on your finger.  If the dough does stick to your fingers, add a little more flour. If it seems dry, add a little more water and knead for 30 seconds more.
  3. Choose a bowl big enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size. Coat the bowl well with olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl, flipping to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.
  4. If you are making the pizza right away, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand on a floured surface for 1 to 2 hours bring it up to room temperature. If you are freezing the dough for later use, remove it from the bowl, shape into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic, and freeze immediately.

Kitchen Tips

From the Test Kitchen: The time it takes for the dough to come up to room temperature will vary depending on the air temperature. It might take as little as 20 minutes or as much as 2 hours.

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