Lazy Weeknight Pizza Dough

February  5, 2019
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This is lazy weeknight pizza dough—it doesn’t promise to be the most authentic, or the best fermented, but thanks to a handful of clever shortcuts, it does promise that you can have a delicious, airy-crumbed, crispy-edged sheet-pan pizza on the table in under an hour. And that you'll be heading back for a second slice before you know it. Wine-cheers to that. —Ella Quittner

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for greasing mixing bowl and hands
  • 3 1/4 cups (413 grams) “Tipo 00” bread flour, plus more for kneading (I like Caputo; note that you can swap regular bread flour if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) packet rapid rise instant yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups water, warmed to about 110°F
  • 1/4 cup medium-bodied white wine, at room temperature (one you like to drink)
  • See last item under Directions for notes about constructing your pizza
  1. Rub a tablespoon or two of oil inside a large bowl. (This is where the dough will proof.)
  2. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Make a well in the center, then add the warm water. Using one clean hand, start to mix with the dry ingredients until a dry, shaggy dough begins to form. Add the wine. Continue to mix until a wet mound forms.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a surface very lightly sprinkled with flour (like, no more than a few tablespoons). Clean and lightly oil your hands. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes by lifting the furthest end of the dough, stretching into the air, and folding forward. Repeat with the nearest end of the dough, pulling up into the air, and folding backward onto the dough ball. Now again with the far end, and so on. (You can add a tiny bit more flour judiciously beneath the dough as absolutely needed, but the less you add, the airier your final crumb will be. A dough scraper is a big help with overly sticky edges.) After about 3 minutes of this, your dough should be more tightly elastic and able to roughly hold a ball shape (it’ll still be tacky, though). Stop here—we don’t want to over-knead, since our proofing period will be short.
  4. Use a dough scraper to transfer the ball to the oiled bowl. Gently flip it over, so the whole ball is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with a dish towel. Set somewhere warm (like, next to—but not right on top of—your preheating oven) to rise for 25 minutes. It will have grown in this time, but won't have fully doubled—and in this case, that's totally fine!
  5. Feel free to put this dough toward your favorite pizza recipe. Here’s how I like to use it: While the dough is proofing, preheat your oven to between 500°F and 525°F. Coat the bottom and sides of an 18x13-inch sheet pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, and gently stretch the dough to fill the pan (the gentler, the better since we’re not really doing a second proof)—stretch it a little bit extra, because it’ll slink back into itself as it sits. Let the stretched dough sit in the pan for about 10 minutes to give it a chance to puff back up a bit. Then, drizzle it with a little more olive oil (you can use what was leftover in your proofing bowl) and sprinkle with salt, and proceed to gently top it. Toppings-wise, figure 1 cup your favorite red sauce or pureed canned tomatoes with a big pinch each of salt and red pepper flakes, and about 12 ounces of sliced, shredded, or grated low-moisture mozzarella. Go crazy with other adornments—some of my favorites are jalapeños sliced into rings with pepperoni or bacon, and slices of yellow onion with mushrooms. I also love to swap some of the mozzarella out for Taleggio. If you’re adding anything more delicate (e.g., spinach, or super thinly sliced garlic, or little dollops of fresh herb pesto), do so midway through the bake time to avoid burning. In terms of cook time, depending on oven temperature, you’ll need somewhere between 12 and 16 minutes. Check in on your pie from time to time and adjust oven temperature as needed—you want crust that’s crisp and golden all around the edges, and cheese that has bubbled up and become dotted with brown spots.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marie
  • Ella Quittner
    Ella Quittner
  • Aaron

9 Reviews

Aaron September 21, 2020
My wife bought some pizza dough at Trader Joe's, but not enough for the family, so I whipped this up as a quick supplement. I'm going to be a bit unfair to the recipe when saying this, because I used bread flour, but the dough turned out to be very similar to the Trader Joe's crust. I would expect it to be better if made with bread flour.

I used half the sugar (1 tsp), so I bloomed the yeast before mixing in the flour and salt because I was not sure how necessary the larger amount of sugar would be for an effective rise.
Marie July 7, 2020
Love this recipe for a quick homemade weeknight pizza. I rarely have wine in the house, so i sub in watered down white wine vinegar for it and it comes out great. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.
LULULAND May 4, 2020
we liked it, made it last night. Though I felt the crust lacked flavor, what can I do to improve it? I added tomato sauce to the pizza after the oil and sprinkle of salt, salted the sauce again. Then added moz cheese, mushrooms, and sliced olives, with a sprinkle of parm. Maybe more salt in the crust?
Woozie July 14, 2019
Could this be mixed in the morning and set to proof in the fridge during the day?
Ella Q. July 14, 2019
That should be fine!
paul February 16, 2019
Hi -- Do you recommend placing the sheet pan on a a pizza stone?
Ella Q. February 17, 2019
Hi Paul,

I’ve never tried that—I’ve only made this with just the sheet pan. Curious to hear how it changes the crust if you try it!
Cris H. February 9, 2019
Loved this!!! So easy to work with, this may become my go-to crust recipe, any night of the week. Thank you!!!
Ella Q. February 10, 2019
So happy to hear you enjoyed it!