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Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe

Today I’m going to show you how to make my sourdough pizza crust without commercial yeast. I have two versions for you: one that’s super simple and easy, and the other that requires a little more effort, but results in some truly amazing pizza.

Pizza with a sourdough crust on a wooden cutting board cut into pieces.

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I think it’s high time I shared my Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe with y’all!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been testing this recipe multiple times to get it right. I wanted to be able to share a truly lovely sourdough pizza dough recipe.

Now, I’m kind of eclectic in my cooking tastes. A lot of the time I want it to be super easy and no-fuss. Other times I’m willing to put in the effort for a more complicated recipe. 

So I tried out two methods for making this pizza crust: one that was super easy, and one that required more active prep time. 

I had family members try both side by side, and the crust made with more effort was a clear winner. BUT everyone agreed that the easy-to-make crust was really good, just not AS good.

Removing the cooked sourdough pizza from the oven onto a cutting board.

So I decided to include both versions of the recipe so you can decide for yourself which one is right for you!

Here’s a video tutorial in case you learn better that way!

And the written tutorial is below!

Okay, let’s start with the simple recipe.

All of the ingredients needed to make a sourdough pizza crust without yeast on a white countertop.

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Ingredients:

First, here’s everything you’ll need:

  • 100 grams of active sourdough starter – An active starter is one that has been fed 4-12 hours previously, has doubled in volume, is active and bubbly, and passes the float test. This isn’t the time to use your sourdough discard! I have other recipes for that listed at the end of this post. Side note: I keep my starter at 100% hydration, which means I feed it equal weights, not volumes, of water and flour. Make sure to check out my How to Make a Sourdough Starter From Scratch post to learn how to make your own sourdough starter, as well as my Sourdough Starter Troubleshooting post if you have any questions!
  • 250 grams of filtered water – You can bump this up to 270 grams if you like a wetter dough, but I don’t find the extra hydration necessary.
  • 200 grams of organic all-purpose flour: I recommend using a high quality, organic all purpose flour since this is the easiest on your starter. Also, beware of low-quality flour since it may not develop the gluten properly! 
  • 150 grams of organic bread flour: – You can substitute more all purpose flour for the bread flour if that’s all you have on hand, but the results won’t be quite as sublime. Still amazing, but not sublime.
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of sugar: Adding a bit of sugar boosts the fermentation of the dough. It also helps the crust to brown up in the oven! Feel free to substitute honey if you prefer!
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of extra virgin olive oil: This adds a little extra flavor and softness to the dough, though it isn’t strictly necessary. 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (9 grams) of salt: I tested this recipe with a higher amount of salt, but 1½ teaspoons seems just right to me. I use unrefined sea salt, so keep that in mind! Table salt tends to be saltier, so you may want to cut back on the salt if you’re using that.

Placing all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.

How to Make the Simple Sourdough Pizza Crust:

Place all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Kneading the sourdough pizza dough in a stand mixer.

Knead on medium for 15 minutes using the dough hook attachment. Yes, I’m using my paddle attachment because my dough hook bit the dust and I don’t know if I can find the right replacement. Anyway.

The dough should be elastic and clean the sides of the bowl.

Dividing the sourdough pizza crust into two equal balls.

Grease a lidded container by pouring in a little olive oil and spreading it around. I like to use Pyrex lidded containers because then I don’t have waste plastic wrap. 

Divide the dough into two equal pieces. You can weigh the dough if you wish, or just eyeball it. The entire dough should weigh 729 grams, so half of that would be 364.5 grams. But you’ll lose some of the dough on the bowl, beater, and your hands, so each half will end up being more like 350-355 grams.

Form into balls and place in  the prepared containers.

Let the dough rise at room temperature for 4 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator for 12-24 hours to continue to ferment and develop flavor.

Now you can use the dough immediately if you prefer, and it will still be delicious, but it will have the best flavor if you let it do a cold rise in the refrigerator.

And that’s it for the simple method! Let’s move on to the fancier, tastier method.

Placing the water and sourdough starter in a large mixing bowl.

Stretch and Fold Method:

We’ll be using all the same ingredients as the simple method. But this time, we’ll mix them differently.

Place the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add the sourdough starter on top, and give it a mix with a spatula.

Adding the remaining ingredients except for the salt.

Now add the remaining ingredients except for the salt.

Mixing to form a shaggy dough.

Autolyse: 

Use the spatula to mix everything together until there are no more dry bits of flour and you have a shaggy dough. Cover and allow to autolyse or rest for 1 hour.

Adding the salt to the sourdough pizza dough.

After the hour, sprinkle the salt on top of the dough.

Pinching the salt into the dough.

Using wet hands, pinch the dough around the salt to start to incorporate it.

Performing the first stretch and fold sequence to develop the gluten in the sourdough pizza crust.

Stretch and Fold Sequence:

Now it’s time to perform the first stretch and fold sequence. Think of the dough as having 4 corners. It’s round I know, but just imagine for a second. Grab the edge of the dough from one of the corners, pull it up…

Performing the first stretch and fold sequence to develop the gluten in the sourdough pizza crust.

…and stretch and fold it over to the other side. Repeat with the remaining 3 corners of the dough.

Cover bowl, and allow to rest for 30 to 45 minutes.

You’re going to repeat this stretch and fold, rest sequence 4-5 more times, for a total of 5-6 stretch and fold sequences. This should take about 2 to 2.5 hours or so.

The dough will start out sticky, and eventually become more elastic. If the dough doesn’t seem elastic enough, you can add in another stretch and fold sequence.

Placing the sourdough pizza dough in greased lidded containers.

Bulk Fermentation:

After you’ve performed the final stretch and fold, form the dough into 2 balls. Place in greased lidded containers.

I just reused the large bowl I kneaded the dough in because I hate extra dishes. However, this obviously takes up way too much room in your fridge. So take that into account when selecting your proofing container.

Allow the dough balls to rise at room temperature for 1 hour, and then either use immediately or transfer them to the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

Again, the cold ferment will really boost the flavor and texture of the pizza crust.

Placing a pizza stone in an oven to preheat for baking the sourdough pizza crust.

How to Shape and Bake:

The following instructions apply to both the machine kneaded method and the stretch and fold method.

Okay, when you’re getting close to being ready to make your pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm up and rise for 2-3 hours.

45 minutes before you’re planning on baking your pizza, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat it to…really hot.

My oven only goes up to about 490 Fahrenheit, so that’s what I turn it up to. But if your home oven goes up to 500, 550 degrees F, do that!

Note: You could also use a baking steel or heavy duty baking sheet to cook the pizza. I only have experience with the pizza stone, though. So you might have to adjust the cooking time if you go that route! 

Dusting a piece of parchment paper with flour in preparation for shaping the sourdough pizza crust.

When the dough has had a chance to warm up, it’s time to shape it into pizza crusts. Dust a square of parchment paper generously with flour.

Shaping the sourdough pizza dough on a sheet of floured parchment paper.

Plop a dough ball onto the floured surface, and then turn it over so both sides are coated in flour. Now begin to stretch the dough out in a circle.

I recommend using your hands instead of a rolling pin.

Work from the center and push the dough out, leaving the edges of the dough alone if you like that puffy edge crust.

Stamping the edge of the dough.

Another technique that my sister told me about involves pushing your fingers all around the edge of the crust to kind of stake out that puffy edge.

Then you can work from the middle and you won’t de-puff the edge crust.

Shaping the dough after it's had a chance to rest.

Now you’ll probably only be able to partially roll out the dough on your first attempt. When it doesn’t want to stretch out any more, let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes and then come back to it.

The gluten should have relaxed enough for you to shape the dough more. Repeat the stretching and resting until you’ve got the dough to the size you like.

Spreading the pizza sauce on the prepared dough.

Now it’s time to top your pizza! 

The main thing to remember with homemade pizza is DO NOT OVER-TOP IT. The crust will have a hard time getting done under a giant load of toppings. Go easy on the sauce – use less than you think you should!

Speaking of sauce, I have a great recipe for easy homemade pizza sauce!

Making a Neapolitan pizza with fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil.

There are endless flavor combinations when it comes to sourdough pizza. I’m simple and enjoy pepperoni, red tomato sauce, and black olives. Fresh mozzarella, red sauce, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil is a classic that’s hard to mess up.

BTW, I like to add some basil while the pizza is baking, and then add more once it’s done cooking. 

Trimming the parchment paper with scissors so it doesn't burn.

Trim the edges of the parchment paper. If you don’t do this, the parchment paper might burn under the intense heat of the oven.

Now in my experience, you do see an improvement in texture if you use cornmeal instead of parchment paper to transfer the crust to the pizza stone. However, it makes a terrible mess in your oven. So to me the reduction in texture is worth it.

Transferring the topped sourdough pizza crust onto a pizza peel to transfer to the oven.

Okay, now transfer your pizza creation to a pizza peel (or flat sheet pan or wooden cutting board), and then into the blazing hot oven it goes!

Now the amount of time it will take for your pizza to cook will depend on how hot your oven is, how thick you rolled out the crust, and how many toppings you chose to layer on (ahem).

Removing the cooked sourdough pizza from the oven onto a cutting board.

I usually cook my sourdough pizza for around 15 minutes at 490 – 500Fish.

Keep in mind that sourdough can take longer to cook than conventional pizza dough. If you go longer, the center part of the crust will have a better chance at cooking all the way through. But if you go a shorter amount of time, the edge crust will be softer.

The simple method and stretch and fold method of mixing the sourdough pizza dough side by side for comparison.

Now look at the difference between the two kneading methods. The machine kneaded crust is on the left, and the stretch and fold crust is on the right.

As you can see, the machine kneaded crust is definitely flatter with fewer large air holes. The stretch-and-fold kneaded crust is more light and airy.

So I leave it to you to decide which method will work best for your lifestyle and cooking style!

I highly encourage you to try the stretch-and-fold method at least once. The crust it produces is wonderful.

A sourdough pizza crust topped with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tomatoes, and a red sauce.

FAQ:

Here are some commonly asked questions about sourdough pizza crust:

Why is My Sourdough Pizza Crust Tough?

If you’re encountering a tough sourdough pizza crust, it could be for a couple reasons. If your starter isn’t very strong and active, it won’t raise the dough, and thus it won’t light and airy. Also, if you bake your pizza too long it can make for a tough crust. Finally, if you don’t add any sugar or oil to the dough, it may not be as soft. 

Is Sourdough Pizza Crust Better for You?

This is a matter of opinion, but I believe that sourdough is easier to digest, therefore it’s easier on your body. I think I can tell the difference in how I feel eating unfermented bread vs sourdough.

What Does Sourdough Pizza Crust Taste Like?

If you follow my recipe carefully, it will basically taste like regular pizza crust, but enhanced. Once you try sourdough pizza crust, you won’t look at regular pizza crust the same way. Now if you want a more tangy, sour flavor, you can use a more mature starter. 

Taking a slice of sourdough pizza.

So that’s my sourdough pizza recipe!

Now if you’re looking for another fun sourdough project, make sure to check out my other sourdough recipes!

Sourdough Starter Discard Recipes:

Sourdough Bread Recipes:

Other Sourdough Projects:


Recipe Card

Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe

Make a delicious sourdough pizza with this simple dough recipe!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Fermented, Pizza, Sourdough
Prep Time 20 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 hours 15 minutes
Servings 2 pizzas
Calories 97 kcal
Author Erica Kastner

Ingredients

  • 100 grams active sourdough starter see note
  • 250 grams warm filtered water (no more than 100° F)
  • 200 grams organic all-purpose flour
  • 150 grams organic bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (10 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (10 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt. (9 grams)

Instructions

For the Machine Kneaded Method:

  1. Place all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead on medium using the dough hook for 15 minutes. The dough should be elastic and clean the sides of the bowl.

    Placing all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Grease 2 lidded containers. Divide the dough in half. You can weigh the dough if you wish, or just eyeball it (see note). Form into balls and place in the prepared containers.

    Dividing the sourdough pizza crust into two equal balls.
  3. Allow to rise at room temperature for 4 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator for 12-24 hours to continue to ferment and develop flavor (see note).

For the Stretch and Fold Method:

  1. Place the water in a large mixing bowl. Add the sourdough starter on top, and give it a mix with a spatula.
    Placing the water and sourdough starter in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Now add the remaining ingredients except for the salt. Use the spatula to mix everything together until there are no more dry bits of flour and you have a shaggy dough. Cover and allow to autolyse or rest for 1 hour.
    Mixing to form a shaggy dough.
  3. After the hour, sprinkle the salt on top of the dough. Using wet hands, pinch the dough around the salt to start to incorporate it.
    Adding the salt to the sourdough pizza dough.
  4. Now it’s time to perform the first stretch and fold sequence. Think of the dough as having 4 corners. Grab the edge of the dough from one of the corners, pull it up, and stretch and fold it over to the other side. Repeat with the remaining 3 corners of the dough.

    Performing the first stretch and fold sequence to develop the gluten in the sourdough pizza crust.
  5. Cover the dough back up, and allow to rest for 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. You’re going to repeat this stretch and fold, rest sequence 4-5 more times, for a total of 5-6 stretch and fold sequences. This should take about 2 to 2.5 hours or so. The dough will start out sticky, and eventually become more elastic. If the dough doesn’t seem elastic enough, you can add in another stretch and fold sequence.

  7. After you’ve performed the final stretch and fold, form the dough into 2 balls. Place in greased lidded containers. Allow the dough balls to rise at room temperature for 1 hour, and then either use immediately or transfer them to the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

    Placing the sourdough pizza dough in greased lidded containers.

Forming the Pizza Crusts (both methods)

  1. When you’re getting close to being ready to make your pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm up and rise for 2-3 hours.

  2. 45 minutes before you’re planning on baking your pizza, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat it to…really hot. My oven only goes up to about 490°F, so that’s what I turn it up to. But if your oven goes up to 500, 550 degrees F, do that!

    Placing a pizza stone in an oven to preheat for baking the sourdough pizza crust.
  3. When the dough has had a chance to warm up, it’s time to shape it into pizza crusts. Dust a square of parchment paper generously with flour. Plop a dough ball onto the flour, and then turn over so both sides are coated in flour. Now begin to stretch the dough out in a circle.
    Dusting a piece of parchment paper with flour in preparation for shaping the sourdough pizza crust.
  4. Work from the center and push the dough out, leaving the edges of the dough alone if you like that puffy edge crust.

  5. When the dough doesn’t want to stretch out any more, let it relax for 5-10 minutes and then come back to it. The gluten should have relaxed enough for you to shape the dough more. Repeat the stretching and resting until you’ve got the dough to the size you like.

    Stamping the edge of the dough.
  6. Top your pizza as desired.

    Spreading the pizza sauce on the prepared dough.
  7. The main thing to remember with homemade pizza is DO NOT OVER-TOP IT. The crust will have a hard time getting done under a giant load of toppings. Go easy on the sauce - use less than you think you should!
    Making a Neapolitan pizza with fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil.
  8. Trim the edges of the parchment paper. If you don’t do this, the parchment paper might burn under the intense heat of the oven.
    Trimming the parchment paper with scissors so it doesn't burn.
  9. Transfer your pizza creation to pizza peel, and then into the blazing hot oven it goes! The amount of time it will take for your pizza to cook will depend on how hot your oven is, how thick you rolled out the crust, and how many toppings you chose to layer on.

    Transferring the topped sourdough pizza crust onto a pizza peel to transfer to the oven.
  10. I usually cook my sourdough pizza for around 15 minutes at 490 - 500 (see note).

    Removing the cooked sourdough pizza from the oven onto a cutting board.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying!

    Taking a slice of sourdough pizza.

Recipe Notes

  • The entire dough should weigh 729, so half of that would be 364.5 grams. But you’ll lose some of the dough on the bowl, beater, and your hands, so each half will end up being more like 350-355 grams.
  • Now you can use the dough immediately if you prefer, and it will still be delicious, but it will have the best flavor if you let it do a cold rise in the refrigerator.
  • Keep in mind that sourdough can take longer to cook than conventional pizza dough. If you go longer, the center part of the crust will have a better chance at cooking all the way through. But if you go a shorter amount of time, the edge crust will be softer.
  • Calories calculated as the crust only. Calculated for 1/8 of a pizza. 
Recipe Rating




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