How to Make 24 Hour Pizza Dough

One of the most important things to know about making your own pizza dough is how fermentation works and why it matters so much. Fermenting a batch of dough together over a number of days helps create huge flavor and a good rise. It also makes it easier to work with, reducing the chances of dough sticking to the countertop, peel, or stone. Grab your stand mixer and favorite kitchen apron because things are about to get doughy!

Rise of the Dough

Egypt Bread

Fermentation is an ancient practice, most likely discovered by a drunken Egyptian. The theory is that, after running out of water, an Egyptian baker used beer to bake their bread, introducing yeast to the dough, and proper dough to the world! Yeast digests the carbohydrates in the dough, expelling gas as they’re doing it. This paired with the strengthening of the gluten proteins in the dough, leads to the kind of pizza dough texture we’re used to: firm dough, with light airy pockets throughout.

Fresh Dough vs. Fermented Dough

To put it simply, fermentation is the process of using yeast to age dough. Using this process properly will give your dough the capability to rise like it should during the baking process. Fermentation also plays a huge part in developing good flavor and texture in your dough.

When you take a freshly made batch of dough and turn it into pizza, the dough hasn’t had any time to rest and begin fermentation.

Flour, Water, Yeast, Salt

Yeast and flour

You can use our Pizzacraft 00 Pizza Flour base, or make your own! When I make pizza dough I always try to keep it simple. Flour, water, yeast and salt are my four go-to ingredients. I’ve seen plenty of dough recipes containing oil, sugar, malt, and other ingredients that taste great, but personally I’ve always felt that simple is best when it comes to pizza. Keeping with this idea, we’re going to explore this method of fermentation using a simple dough recipe. Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe:


4 to 4 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour (updated on 7/17/17)
2 cups lukewarm water
1 packet active yeast
2 ½ tsp. kosher salt

First, mix all of the ingredients; it should be sticky and rough. A mixer comes in handy here if you have one, but you can definitely work the dough by hand. Wait 10 minutes for the water to absorb, and then knead the dough by hand for 10-12 minutes on a silicone rolling mat (or 8-10 minutes in a mixer). Put the dough in a clean bowl with a lid or kitchen towel over the top and place in the fridge for 24 hours or longer.

24 Hour Dough

After 24 hours, remove dough and separate into desired size for your pizza using a dough scraper. Cover with cling wrap (cover, do not wrap them up, to allow the dough to rise a bit more if it wants to) and let sit for an additional 2 hours. If your dough always forms unwanted bubbles while cooking, try lightly piercing it with a fork or a dough docker before adding toppings to deflate any air bubbles that occur during baking. Then you’re ready to make fresh, homemade pizza.

24 Hour Dough separated

24 Hour Dough in balls

Depending on the activity of the yeast, the temperature of your fridge, length of fermenting time, and your personal preferences, you can get a range of different textures and flavors out of your dough! Be sure to experiment (it's fun!) and let us know what your optimal result looks and tastes like in the comments.

24 Hour Dough final Pizza

Check out how to make whole wheat dough.

Check out some of our other pizza tips: 

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I’ve found through much trial and error it’s best to mix the warm water and yeast together adding about a tablespoon of sugar, honey or real maple syrup works well to. This done first and left to sit activates (wakes up) the yeast and it begins to bubble as yeast feeds off sugars. I also add 2tbsp of oil (I like black truffle oil and it adds a subtle unique flavor). Also a dough docker is a must to keep the bubbles at bay when cooking. Love my Pizzaria Pronto!


Hi Robert! Thanks for the reminder of digital scales! We’ll do out best to do that.

Thanks for the great question Ed. It’s actually really relevant to fermentation. Bubbles are pockets of moisture in the dough that are turning to steam under heat. That steam wants to go somewhere so it pushes up through the dough.

Two solutions:
1. Cold dough bubbles more than room temp dough. Let it warm up for a bit!
2. Longer second stage fermentation time (at least 2 hours) allows moisture to be absorbed and reduces your chance of bubbling.

Cool tip about using a wooden spoon. Haven’t tried that yet. Thanks for sharing!

ed kadyszewski

a question and a comment:
question: what is the reason pizza doughs bubble up while cooking? Sometimes I get them, sometimes I don’t.
comment: I like your recipe but get very good results mixing the ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon and instead of any kneeding, just turning the dough several in the mixing bowl with a dough scraper during the first 2 hours of rising.

Robert Lee

Please provide metric (SI) measurements in grams where possible as some of us prefer to use our digital scales.

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