How to knead dough easily without a stand mixer

How to knead dough easily without a stand mixer

Hand-made pizza dough vs. no-knead pizza dough.

You don’t have a stand mixer? Never mind. In this article we will explain to you how to get a perfect hand-made pizza dough.

For centuries, man have kneaded bread dough without tools other than his own hands and the strength of his arms. Now, let’s look at a couple of simple methods to knead bread and pizza dough at home. You can do it with your hands and arms or, if you are feeling lazy, with a no-knead technique.

What exactly is no-knead dough?

No-knead dough is, unsurprisingly, a method that doesn’t involve handling dough.

Gluten chains start forming as the flour gets wet and proteins combine helped by mechanical energy supplied by hand or machine kneading. In the no-knead mixture, dough is folded at intervals during long resting periods allowing the time to develop the gluten.

The difference between hand-made and no-knead dough.

  • Hand-made dough needs fewer steps than no-knead dough.
  • No-knead needs no physical effort.
  • Hand-made dough is far simpler for the amateur pizza maker.

Kneading dough by hand

Ingredients for 7/8 PIZZAS of 250 g each.

Total time: 16-20 hours

  • 1 kg Italian “00” flour
  • 600 ml water
  • 4 g yeast
  • 20 g salt
  • 20 ml extra virgin olive oil


  1. Put the flour into a large bowl where you will knead dough (it will be less messy than on a pastry board).

  2. Dissolve the yeast in 550ml of water, stir salt in the remaining water.
  3. Gradually add the water with the yeast and knead with your hands until combined.

  4. Add the water with the salt and keep kneading.

  5. Add the olive oil and continue kneading until the dough feels smooth.

  6. Turn the dough out onto a pastry board.

  7. Leave it to rise for 12 to 16 hours then divide it into 250g balls and let them rest for 4 hours.

Tips for hand kneading.

  • When hand kneading in the bowl, push the dough from the bottom upwards alternating between hands, then roll it back and repeat.
  • If you knead on a pastry board, push the dough from top to bottom away from you.


Ingredients for pan pizza

Total time: 20/24 hours

  • 1 Kg Italian “00” flour
  • 750 ml water
  • 4 g yeast
  • 20 g salt
  • 20 ml extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a plastic bowl preferably with lid, dissolve yeast in water.
  2. Add the flour and stir with a fork.
  3. Add the salt.
  4. Add the olive oil and continue mixing with the fork.

  5. Cover the bowl with the lid and let the dough rest for half an hour.

  6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold it 2/3 of the way over the rest of the dough then pick up the opposite side and stretch it over the first fold. Repeat the process and place back the dough into the bowl then leave it to rest for half an hour.

  7. Take the dough and repeat process as described in step 6.
  8. Repeat 2/3 times until the dough springs back and doesn’t tear. Cover and let it rest in the fridge overnight.
  9. After about 12 hours, divide the dough into two parts and fold them both again making sure to seal them with the palm of your hands. Then place the doughs into two tall plastic containers with lid and leave them to rest at room temperature.
  10. Grease two pans, put the doughs into them, gently stretch them towards the edges and corners of the pans and bake.


  • At step 10, you can turn the doughs out onto a pastry board and then transfer them into the pans.
  • Folding helps develop gluten structure and trigger fermentation.
  • That’s a high hydration dough, so wet hands when working it.
  • Lightly flour the work surface to keep dough from sticking.