Instant, no-knead pizza dough (this is not a trick)

Our obsession with not kneading dough hasn't waned since Kristen first wrote about Jim Lahey's classic no-knead dough, newly tweaked for pizza, 5 years ago.

We've since shared No-Knead Sandwich Bread, No-Knead Country Loaf, No-Knead Focaccia, even No-Knead Challah.

What all of those recipes have in common (aside from the not kneading bit) is time. You might not have much work to do in bringing these doughs together, but you will have to wait to use them, because as Lahey once said, "without fermentation the dough won't be that interesting."

Photo by Julia Gartland

Luckily, Patricia Wells didn't get that memo (or chose to ignore it), because the multi-purpose dough recipe she shares in her new book, My Master Recipes, is not only no-knead, it is also instant. Instant!

She flouts no-knead bread convention with a dough that uses instant yeast, comes together in a food processor, and still manages to have an interesting flavor thanks to a scrap you've probably never given a second thought. Wells reveals:

I hate kitchen waste and so have gotten into the habit of saving the liquid that comes with fresh mozzarella. When preparing the dough, I use it in place of water, either all or in part.

That mozzarella-packing water gives the dough a pleasant tangy flavor, and while it won't have the same puffed, chewy texture as Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough, it also doesn't come with an 18-hour wait time—it's ready to use for a rustic pizza immediately. (But if you do have time to let the dough have a short rise, you can then also use it for focaccia or the pinwheel bread recipes found in her book.)

Patricia Wells' Instant No-Knead Dough

By Lindsay-Jean Hard

  • 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water (regular water, the liquid that mozzarella is packaged in, or a mix—see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet (about 2 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt

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Know of a great recipe hiding in the Food52 archives that uses an overlooked kitchen scrap? Tell me about it! Send me an email ( or tell all in the comments: I want to know how you're turning what would otherwise be trash into a dish to treasure! Thank you to Ali Slagle for this one!

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A Domino's Pizza sign stands above the entrance to a Domino's Pizza Group Plc store in Hanwell, London, U.K., on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Domino's Pizza said given continued strong new store performance and positive outlook both for its market and brand, it is increasing its long term target for the U.K. to 1,600 stores. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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