The Pizza Dough That Takes Three Days to Make

Pizza Bianco, pre-baking

Don’t let that scare you off.

It does take about three days to make this pizza dough. But most of that time, the dough is just hanging out in the fridge, doing its own thing.

Pizza Bianco, post-baking

This recipe comes from the new “A16 Food + Wine” (Ten Speed Press) cookbook by Nate Appleman, Shelley Lindgren, and Kate Leahy. Yes, it’s the new cookbook from one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants, A16, where I have swooned over many a thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pizza.

Some of you already know I do cookbook reviews for ProjectFoodie. You’ll find my review of the A16 book there, as well as the pizza dough recipe and two recipes for toppings, by clicking here.

The dough comes together in a mixer, then rests and ferments in the fridge for a couple days before it’s ready to use. It couldn’t be simpler. And the result is a dough that’s a breeze to stretch and manipulate, and which culminates in a deeply flavored crust.

Pizza Pomodoro with ricotta, pre-baking

I couldn’t resist documenting in photos my first attempt at this dough recipe. The pizza bianco with its green olives, mozzarella, and garlic is salty, and dreamy-creamy. The pomodoro with ricotta really lets the sweet-tang of the tomatoes shine through.

I’ll definitely be making this dough again. Yup, the dough that takes nearly three days to make. Take a deep breath and go for it.

Piece of pie.

Pizza Pomodoro with ricotta, post-baking

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  • We usually get our pizza doughs from Trader Joes and make the pizzas that night. If we left it in the fridge for 3 days, do you think it would get a deeper flavor?

  • Wow, that looks really good. Did you just bake that in your oven? And does the recipe make a lot of dough or will it be a smalle enough portion for a single guy? :)

  • Very nice recipes. It’s really similar to how I make it, but I use ice-cold water before refrigerating and a smaller amount of yeast.
    Hoping to find doppio zero flour around here but no luck so far.

  • This book is on my short list, and I can’t wait to read it. Your pizzas look fantastic.

  • Jude, if you find that flour locally, let me know. I haven’t made an exhaustive search yet, but I’m thinking it will take a little poking around to find it.

    Singe Guy, yes, I baked those pizzas in my oven, but using a pizza stone. A pizza stone really helps to give it a very crisp crust because it absorbs and retains heat so well.

    In answer to your question and to Nate’s: The recipe makes enough for four individual pizzas. If you read my review on the ProjectFoodie link, you’ll see that I made two pizzas one night, then froze the other two dough balls for another time. I don’t recommend leaving that dough or the Trader Joe’s in the fridge for too long because it may start to ferment too much. I know my friend Kiki has made pizza dough often from scratch. When she has left her dough in the fridge for a couple days as she’s tried to use it up, the dough has risen A LOT, and gotten quite bubbly in texture. But of course, a lot depends on how much yeast is in the dough. With the A16 recipe, because it has a tiny amount of yeast, you probably can leave it in the fridge another day or two beyond the three called for. I’m not sure how much yeast is in the Trader Joe’s dough, so it’s hard to tell what may or may not happen if you leave it in the fridge for a longer time. Nate, you could always experiment and blog about what happens. ;)

  • That looks out of this world-fantastic! Gonna have to try this out. Thanks so much!

  • Nice looking pizzas!

  • wow. wow you are my career role model! after reading your profile–you have written for so many amazing things it’s, well amazing. i want to be a food writer, immensely or work in publishing. people always tell me, oh you’re too specific, and what’s a food writer anyways?–i’m in my final year of undergraduate study, unfortunately not journalism though, history and french. but eh maybe someday i’ll work at Gourmet too. any…career advice? :) anyways…pretty pizza

  • I guess pizza dough is like poi – tastes better after sitting around for a bit!
    I recently made the pizza dough from Cooks illustrated that has a lot of liquid in it, and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Really good. The second time I only let it sit out on my counter for about 8 hrs and it wasn’t nearly as delicious. Same texture, but totally different flavor. Amazing what a little patience will do for bread dough! I’ll definitely have to try this recipe and compare.

    I see that the a16 and the Cooks Illustrated recipes both use all purpose flour. I would have thought that bread flour would be in order here for a chewier, more elastic dough? And could you talk a bit about this magical “00” flour please? Y’mean there’s something even more amazing than King Arthur?

  • Mallory, you don’t necessarily have to study journalism to write about food. I did. But many others did not. Some have gone on to food writing after having worked in restaurants or graduating from culinary school. You definitely need writing skills, and knowledge of food. But studying other topics can strengthen your writing, and knowledge of food can come from your own personal experience and curiosity. I didn’t go to cooking school, but I’ve always loved to cook and bake. I think if you work hard, persevere, and follow your dreams, you can do anything you set your mind to. ;)

  • Wow! We were planning to (finally) try the dough next weekend. Now that I’ve seen your photos, I am not sure I can wait that long. Since your original Twitter on your experiment, I keep getting forgetting to give enough time to make this recipe (the W. Puck one we use – which is great – takes just a few minutes to prepare and then maybe 2-3 hours to rise). So thanks for posting this. I suspect the ricotta tomato will be a family favorite.

  • Indeed, there is other awesome flour besides King Arthur, Rena.
    According to the A16 cookbook, “00” (doppio zero) flour gets its name from the grade of flour. It is considered the finest milled flour. A16 gets its doppio zero imported from Antimo Caputo, a family-run mill in Naples since 1925. (Heavens, no wonder A16’s pizzas taste so good!).

    The book states that “00” flour feels nearly as fine as pastry flour. It is higher in protein than mosts all-purpose flours…It is essential for springy pizza dough and strong pasta dough.”

    The book doesn’t recommend using domestic “00” flours for pizzas or pastas, because they tend to be lower in protein than imported ones. The book says to use all-purpose flour if you cannot find good “00” flour. (And that is what I used when I made the pizza dough.)

    Here are some sources listed in the book for “00” flour: (Lucca Delicatessen in San Francisco)

  • aHA! Thanks for the info. I’m going to make the dough tonight so it’s ready by the end of the week. Maaaan, I need a second fridge!

  • I love the A16 cookbook (and restaurant)! It is one of my goals to cook every recipe in it. This is the last one I made and it was delicious:

  • Pingback: Food Gal » Blog Archiv » San Francisco’s A16 Still Going Strong

  • Pingback: Food Gal » Blog Archiv » Delfina’s Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe and A Great Pizza Stone

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