Do you need a great pizza dough recipe for family pizza night? This recipe is so chewy and delicious that you might just switch to this full-time for your homemade pizza dough needs.
Make Ahead Pizza Dough
This recipe is an overnight recipe is best after 24 hours in the fridge and can last up to 3 days. This is a great make-ahead dough recipe that cuts off a lot of time when it comes to pizza making night.
- All-purpose flour: this is the backbone of the recipe and the gluten develops at the dough rests in the cold fridge. This little trick makes for the most delicious texture of crust!
- Instant yeast: this is what is giving the pizza it’s lift, you can use rapid yeast too
- Olive oil: this improves the text of the dough
- Salt and Sugar: both of these are added for taste and the sugar helps the yeast have a little something to eat so that it works it’s best
How to make pizza crust ahead of time:
- It’s so easy! Mix everything together in a large bowl and knead it just a bit so that a smooth dough forms.
- Put it in a container with a tight fitting lid and stick it in the fridge (you can also portion out the dough ahead of time as the recipe says so you can just grab one crust!)
- Keep in the fridge over night (12 hours) or up to 72 hours.
- Make your favorite pizza as you normally would with your make ahead pizza crust! This recipe makes 6 small or 3 medium pizzas.
How do you know if yeast is still good?
Fill up a small measuring cup with a little warm water. Add ¼ teaspoon of your yeast and a pinch of sugar and lightly stir it together. Wait for 5 minutes. If the yeast is still active, you will see little bubbles along the top of the water and it will start to “foam”. When in doubt, get new yeast.
How hot should the water be when adding it to the yeast?
Hot water will kill the yeast. You do want warm water, just not too hot. Don’t let the water get above 105 degrees F. If the water is much hotter than that you can actually kill the yeast. That doesn’t really apply to this recipe though because you are using cold water!
Can I freeze pizza dough?
Pizza dough freezes really well. Once your pizza dough has been made and divided into balls, spray the dough on all sides with non-stick spray or olive oil and store in a freezer safe bag. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before you use it.
More pizza recipes:
If you’ve tried this make ahead pizza crust recipe or any other recipe on Barbara Bakes, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.
Refrigerator Pizza Dough
- 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon Instant yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 ¾ cups water cold
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- DAY ONE:
- Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer). Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.
- On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.
- NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water. The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.
- Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
- NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.
- NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.
- Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to three days.
- NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil (a few tablespoons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months.The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.
- DAY TWO:
- On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch thick and 5 inches in diameter.
- Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.
- At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible 500° F.
- Flour your hands. Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.
- NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time. During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and re flour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully, then try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches – for a 6 ounces piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.
- Lightly top the pizza with sweet or savory toppings of your choice. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.
- NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly pan.
- Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.
You are going to love how easy this refrigerator pizza crust is to make and you’ll love even more how nice it is to have pizza crust ready and waiting for you anytime you get a pizza craving! Enjoy!