Cold Fermented Pizza Dough Recipe

Cold Fermented Pizza Dough Recipe a dough ball after the first rise in a stainless steel bowl covered with a kitchen towel

Making pizza dough at home is so easy and the cold fermented pizza dough recipe is a great start for the perfect homemade pizza dough. While it does take a little planning making your own pizza dough at home is so worth the time and effort.

Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients

  • Flour – You can use bread flour, all purpose flour or 00 flour and get great results with any one of those flours. We prefer to use bread flour because it’s easily available at our local grocery store and it has a higher percentage of protein and gluten.
  • Yeast – Fresh yeast, instant yeast or active dry yeast work equally as well, Just remember to check the date on your instant yeast and allow it to bloom before you and any dry flour or dry ingredients.
  • Olive Oil – Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil to add flavor to the pizza crust.
  • Sugar – Please don’t skip the sugar, its an important because it feeds the yeast giving off carbon dioxide so you get a lighter airy crust.
  • Water – pay close attention to the water, use lukewarm water to activate the yeast, hot water will kill the yeast and ruin your pizza dough
  • Salt – We prefer to use kosher salt or sea salt.
  • Vegetable Oil – use vegetable oil or cooking spray to lightly coat a large bowl where you will put the dough to rise.

I’ve read of some home cooks having great success making pizza with sourdough starter. I haven’t sourdough pizza dough but when I do, you will be the first to know.

If you would like to learn more about different types of dough and cooking methods check out The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Dough.

Pizza Dough Tools Needed

You will need a couple of tools to make homemade pizza dough and many of them are probably already in your kitchen. If you have a stand mixer use the mixer fitted with the dough hook. If you don’t have a stand mixer a large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon and a little elbow grease work just as well.

We have several options at our house to make the perfect pizza and I’m listing them all so you can find one that works for you.

  1. Use a pizza stone in your home oven and cook the pizza directly on the stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone use a pizza pan or baking sheet pan, Drizzle the pan with olive oil before placing the pizza dough on the pan, this will cook or fry the dough on the bottom so you have a crispy crust.
  2. Cook your pizza on a baking stone over a hot grill.
  3. We love pizza so much we bought a outdoor pizza oven and we love it!

Other tools you may use are liquid and dry measuring cups, measuring spoons and a baking steel or pizza peel.

Making Pizza Dough

Begin by measuring warm water and placing it in a small bowl or like a do a liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the water and allow to sit in a warm place for approximately 15 minutes. This allows time for the yeast to bloom.

A stand mixer with flour and salt int he bowl next to a liquid measuring cup with blooming yeast and sugar and a small bowl of olive oil used to make cold fermented pizza dough.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer add one cup of flour and a teaspoon of salt. Add the olive oil to the yeast, sugar and water mixture and add it to the flour in your mixing bowl. Mix on low speed and gradually add the second cup of flour to the mixing bowl.

When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, stop the mixer and remove the dough hook attachment. Move the dough to a floured work surface . Knead the dough with your hands gradually adding flour until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, approximately 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball.

Cold fermented pizza dough recipe in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. The dough has started to move from the sides of the bowl so it is time to take it out and knead in the remaining flour by hand.

Coat a medium sized bowl with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and turn dough to coat it with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm draft free space until doubled in size. Approximately 46-60 minutes.

Cold fermented pizza dough after the first rise.

Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and divide it into two equal pieces. The next step is the cold fermentation. Why do we cold ferment the dough? Cold fermenting the dough allows time for complex flavors to develop and we believe is the best way to make great pizza. Cold fermentation is the secret that pizza restaurants use to get the perfect crust every time. You can cold ferment for as little as 6 hours or as much as 5 days.

Two cold fermented pizza dough balls side by side in plastic containers before covering and being placed in the refrigerator.

Play around with the times and see which timeframe you like best. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or sealed plastic containers and allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator. We prefer 2-3 days, but honestly? We love pizza so much that we can rarely wait that long and we have had great results with allowing to rest overnight.


Cold Fermented Pizza Dough Recipe

  • Author: Julie
  • Prep Time: 2-3 days
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minute
  • Yield: 16 1x



3/4 cup water – lukewarm

1 package dry active yeast

1/8 teaspoon granulated white sugar

3 cups unbleached flour (divided into 1 cup increments)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

vegetable oil or cooking spray for the dough rise bowl


  1. Measure 3/4 cup warm water in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. 
  2. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over the surface of the water and allow the yeast to bloom for 15 minutes.
  3. Add one cup of flour and one tablespoon of salt to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the yeast/sugar/water mixture. 
  5. Pour liquid ingredients into the bowl of the stand mixer and mix on low until combined. Slowly add the second cup of flour. 
  6. When the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, turn the dough onto a floured work surface.
  7. Knead the remaining cup of flour into the dough until the dough is smooth and elastic. 
  8. Spray cooking spray or brush vegetable oil into a medium sized bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. 
  9. Place the bowl in a draft free area and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size. Approximately 45-60 minutes. 
  10. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough. Divide the dough in half and place it in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to five days. 
  11. When you are ready to make pizza remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape the dough using your hands or a rolling pin. 
  12. If using a pizza pan add a little olive oil to the pan before placing the dough on the pan. Top with your favorite toppings and add a second drizzle of olive oil to the top of the pizza. 
  13. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the pizza for 20 minutes on the top rack of the oven. 
  14. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and move the pizza to the middle rack of the oven and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. 


  • The amount of flour needed can vary depending on how moist the dough is. If you live in a tropical area that is humid or if you are making this on a rainy day you may need to add more flour. 
  • Don’t skip the olive oil in the pan, its the trick to a crispy crust.
  • Remember oven temperatures vary, watch your pizza closely and adjust the times as needed. 

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Ready to Make Pizza?

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature in a draft free place covered by a kitchen towel. Once the dough has warmed up a bit, move it to a floured work surface. Begin shaping the dough by flatting it with the heal of your hand. Then begin working outward from the center, moving the dough a quarter turn and keeping it in a round shape. Here is a great video to show you how to shape the dough to get a round pizza.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, Rub one tablespoon olive oil onto the surface of your pizza pan. Place the dough on the pizza pan and smooth it out to the edges. Using a spoon or spatula add your pizza sauce of choice leaving a one inch rim on the outside. Add your favorite toppings and you are ready for the oven. Optional: drizzle olive oil over the top of your pizza.

Place the pizza on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Oven temperatures can vary so keep an eye on the pizza. This will heat up the oil in the pan and give you a crisp crust. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.

How Long Can You Store Cold Fermented Pizza Dough?

This cold fermented pizza dough recipe can be kept in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. If you find you don’t have time to use it, tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to one month. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator and then come to room temperature before baking.

Cold Fermented Pizza Dough Conclusion

We hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as our family and friends do. If you have questions or comments we would love to hear from you because we are always trying to make our content better for you and future readers. Bon Appetit!

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