24 to 48 hour Pizza Dough

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| Servings: Makes 3 regular or 5 thin-crust dough balls


  • Bulk fermentation 2 hours
  • Divide, shape and cover dough 10 minutes
  • Second fermentation 16 to 48 hours refrigerated
  • Sample Schedule Mix the dough at 7p, shape into dough balls at 9p, cover and refrigerate, make pizza the next evening (optimal) or the day after that (still very good).


  • Water 350 grams (1 ½ cups)
  • Fine sea Salt 13 grams (Scant 2 ½ teaspoon)
  • Instant dried yeast 1.5 grams (¾ of ½ teaspoon)
  • White four, preferably 00 – 500 grams (4 cups)


  1. Measure and Combine the Ingredients. Using your digital scale, measure 350 grams of 90° to 95°F (32° to 35°C) water into a 6-quart dough tub. Measure 13 grams of fine sea salt, add it to the water, and stir or swish around in the tub until it’s dissolved. Measure 1.5 grams (¾ of ½ teaspoon) of instant dried yeast. Add the yeast to the water, let it rest there for a minute to hydrate, then swish it around until dissolved. Add 500 grams of flour (preferably 00) to the water-salt-yeast mixture.
  2. Mix the Dough. Mix by hand, first by stirring your hand around inside the dough tub to integrate the flour, water, salt, and yeast into a single mass of dough. Then use the pincer method (see page 86) to cut the dough in sections with your hand, alternating with folding the dough to develop it back into a unified mass. Continue for just 30 seconds to 1 minute. The target dough temperature at the end of the mix is 8o°F (27°C); use your probe thermometer to check it.
  3. Knead and First Rise. Let the dough rest for zo minutes, then knead it on a work surface with a very light dusting of flour for about 3o seconds to 1 minute. The skin of the dough should be very smooth. Place the dough ball seam side down in the lightly oiled dough tub. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Hold the dough for 2 hours at room temperature (assuming 70° to 74°F/21° to 23°C) for the first rise.
  4. Shape. Divide the dough and shape it into dough balls. Moderately flour a work surface about 2 feet wide. With floured hands, gently ease the dough out of the tub. With your hands still floured, pick up the dough and ease it back down onto the work surface in a somewhat even shape. Dust the entire top of the dough with flour, then cut it into 3 or 5 equal-sized pieces, depending on the style of pizza. Use your scale to get evenly sized dough balls. Shape each piece of dough into a medium-tight round following the instructions on pages 88 to 91, working gently and being careful not to tear the dough. There is no floor time for these dough balls before going into the refrigerator.
  5. Second Fermentation. Put the dough balls on one or two lightly floured dinner plates, leaving space between them to allow for expansion. Lightly flour the tops, tightly cover with plastic wrap, and put them into the refrigerator. Refrigerate until ready to make pizza, either the next evening (ideal) or the day after (still good).
  6. Make Pizza. Remove the dough balls from the fridge 60 to 90 minutes before making pizza.

Source: The Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish