72-Hour Homemade Pizza Dough

The Best Homemade Pizza Recipe With 72-Hour Dough

In Naples, it goes against the grain for pizzaioli (pizza chefs) to create a pizza dough recipe with a 3-day fermentation process…but after rigorous testing, I can’t help but share my 72-hour homemade pizza dough recipe with you. While the waiting game requires patience, the end result is 100% worth it.

This homemade pizza recipe with 72-hour dough is fragrant, has a cloud-like texture, not to mention the perfect crunch and might be just as good as authentic Neapolitan pizza – but I want you to be the judge of that! You’ll love every minute of this pizza experience, and I guarantee it will change how you do pizza nights!

Watch the Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe:

This 72 Hours Pizza Dough Recipe Makes The Best Pizza I Have Ever Made

Side view of the freshly baked 72-hour pizza, highlighting the thick, golden crust and layers of melted mozzarella cheese topped with fresh basil on a textured wooden serving board.

Vincenzo’s Plate Tips

Use Pizza Flour

It is essential to use pizza flour in this recipe due to the protein content, as the dough is made with 65 percent hydration. However, if you cannot find pizza flour, try to find one with a high percentage of protein, between 9 and 15 percent. The higher the protein, the better, as it’s the protein that gives your pizza the right texture.

Use the Baker’s Method

When mixing the ingredients for the 72-hour homemade pizza dough, it’s best to use the baker’s method. The baker’s method involves using one hand to mix the ingredients while the other hand is used to add the ingredients. Once the ingredients are mixed, you can then use both hands to knead, roll, and rotate the dough mixture until it’s thoroughly mixed.

Does it bounce back?

How long it takes to knead, roll, and rotate the dough for your 72-hour homemade pizza will depend on the moisture and protein content, and whether you use your hands or a stand-mixer. The best way to tell when the dough is ready to rest and ferment is by doing the bounce test.

To do this, roll the dough into a smooth ball and gently press two fingers into the top. The indented dough should bounce back immediately, and that’s how you know it’s ready. If it doesn’t bounce back right away, you need to work it more, until it does!

Make the Pizza Dough Balls 4 Hours Before Making Pizza

The dough takes three days to make, as it needs to ferment for 72 hours. However, make the dough balls just 4 hours before you want to cook the pizza. Any longer and the dough can be harder to stretch and work with as it warms up.

Of course, if you’re not planning to use all the dough right away, that’s perfectly fine. You can store the balls in containers in the fridge for up to a week. If you use a pizza storage tray, you won’t need any flour or EVOO. However, if you use Tupperware or a simple container, lightly coat it with EVOO and only store one dough ball per container.

Squeeze the Best from Your Tomatoes

When making sauce for the 72-hour homemade pizza, you don’t want to blend the tomatoes. It’s best to crush them by hand or using a tomato crusher. This is the best way to release the aromas and rustic flavours for the best eating experience.

Detailed view of the homemade pizza highlighting the crunchy texture of the crust achieved through the 72-hour dough fermentation

How to Serve 72-Hour Homemade Pizza

Crafting the perfect homemade pizza with our 72-hour fermented dough is a labour of love and worth every minute. Add toppings of your choice , and consider sprinkling fresh basil on the pizza right after it comes out of the oven. The heat will release the herbs’ fragrances, making your pizza irresistibly aromatic. After baking to golden perfection, slice your pizza with care, and serve hot.

A full view of the freshly baked homemade 72 hours pizza on a rustic wooden board

A full view of the freshly baked pizza topped with vibrant red tomato sauce, melted mozzarella, and fresh green basil.

Best Homemade Pizza Recipe With 72-Hour Dough

Making pizza dough is easier than you might think, but it does require patience! It only requires a handful of ingredients and barely any equipment, as you can use your hands to create a masterpiece matching in flavour to your favourite pizza restaurant, it’s that good. The sauce and toppings are also in your hands - pick your favourites and add, just please make sure there is no pineapple...got it? Do your best to source a high quality mozzarella, it makes all the difference. This recipe requires a 72-hour dough fermentation, so you'll need to plan your pizza night 3 days in advance. I promise, the wait is absolutely worth it for the incredible flavour and texture this process brings to the final product!

Equipment

  • Stand mixer equipped with a bowl and dough hook attachments
  • Large-sized bowls
  • 2 medium-sized bowl for the sauce and semolina
  • Damp cloth
  • Kitchen scale
  • Dough scraper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Large-sized pizza tray (optional) or large-sized airtight containers
  • Tomato crusher
  • Ladle
  • Wooden pizza peel
  • Pizza spatula
  • An oven (any kind) that reaches 350°C/ (662°F)
  • Pizza cutter

Ingredients
  

For the Pizza Dough:

  • 1 kg 35 oz pizza flour
  • 650 ml 2.7 cups cold water
  • 8.4 g 2 Tsp dry yeast
  • 30 g 5 Tsp salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil EVOO
  • 340 g 1 cup semolina to stretch the dough ( plus extra)

For the Pizza Sauce and Toppings:

  • 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes San Marzano if you can source)
  • 1 ball fresh Fior di latte or Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Pecorino Romano cheese grated
  • A handful of fresh basil

Instructions
 

For the Pizza Dough:

    Day 1:

    • Mix a handful of pizza flour to the bowl with 650 ml of cold water. Then, add the yeast to the cold water and mix thoroughly to activate it. ,
    • In a large bowl, loosen the flour, form a well in the centre, and add salt.
    • Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix with one hand. Continue to add water and begin kneading in the bowl until all liquid is absorbed and the dough begins to form, which should take about 20 minutes.
    • Transfer the dough to a clean surface to knead further. The dough will be pretty sticky - don’t panic! Keep working on it, pushing it forward and back with the palms of your hands, picking it up to rotate it. Repeat until the dough starts to become smooth.
    • Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth for 30 minutes. After this time, remove the dough from the bowl and knead briefly for another 5-10 minutes.
    • Next, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) over the dough and in the bowl. Knead for 1-2 minutes to incorporate the oil. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and seal with plastic wrap
    • Allow the dough to rest outside of the fridge for 2 hours, then refrigerate overnight.

    Day 2:

    • The next morning, remove the dough from the fridge, knead to reinforce for 10 minutes. Then, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and wrap it in plastic to prevent drying.
    • Let it rest outside the fridge for 2 hours, then refrigerate for one more day.

    Day 3:

    • Remove the dough from the fridge; it should have expanded and feel soft.
    • Gently remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean surface.
    • Divide it into six 270g pieces using a dough cutter and kitchen scale.
    • Shape each piece into smooth, tight balls, then place them in a pizza tray or airtight containers to prevent air exposure. Let them rise for 4 hours until they're ready to stretch.

    For the Pizza Sauce and Toppings:

    • In a bowl, use the tomato crusher to gently crush the whole peeled tomatoes, creating a rustic-style sauce.
    • Add a pinch of salt, stir and set aside.
    • Cut the mozzarella, and any other ingredients you intend to use.

    Stretching the Dough:

    • Prepare a bowl of semolina flour- to lightly coat the dough balls. Sprinkle a small amount on top of each ball before removing them from the pizza tray.
    • One by one, using a dough scraper, place each dough ball in the bowl of semolina. Press each ball gently into the semolina on both sides, avoiding the edges to help form the crust.
    • Remove the dough ball from the semolina and gently shake off any excess flour.
    • For easier stretching, invert a large mixing bowl and drape the dough over it, pulling down evenly to create a round shape.
    • Flip the dough and stretch the other side to ensure an even circle. Place the stretched dough on a wooden pizza peel, rough side up, ready for toppings.

    Making the Pizza:

    • Make sure the oven is heated to 350°C/662°F.
    • Use a ladle to add sauce to the pizza and gently spread it around with the bottom of this utensil. Sprinkle Pecorino Romano cheese and place 6-8 basil leaves on the sauce. Add mozzarella on top of the basil to protect it from burning and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
    • Give the pizza peel a gentle shake to ensure the dough isn't stuck, and drop it into the oven.
    • Bake the pizza for 3 minutes, rotating every 30 seconds to ensure even cooking. After the initial 3 minutes, rotate every 5 seconds if necessary, until the crust is crispy, which might take an additional 25 seconds.
    • Slice the pizza while it’s hot and serve immediately.

    Video

    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!

    A homemade 72 hours pizza fresh out of the oven

    If you loved this 72-Hour Homemade Pizza Dough recipe, you have to try making ‘Contemporary Neapolitan Pizza Dough Like a World-Class Chef.

    You must also try ‘Nonna’s yummy Fried Pizza.

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