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Sourdough Pizza Crust

Sourdough Pizza Crust makes everyone’s favorite food even better. It takes several hours to make the dough, but the vast majority of the time is hands-off.

A closeup shot of a pizza made with sourdough crust. The pizza is on a cutting board.

If you still need to make your sourdough starter, go ahead and use this recipe for Easy Pizza Dough in the meantime.

You can learn How to Make a Sourdough Starter for next time. Then I can show you how to Feed and Maintain Sourdough Starter or How to Keep a Small Sourdough Starter.

Now, for those of you who are ready to make the best pizza of your life, lets see how to do it.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make the best Sourdough Pizza Crust:

three side-by-side images showing the starter and sponge for making sourdough pizza crust.
Start with an active starter. Mix the sponge and allow it to rest for 30-60 minutes before mixing the dough.
a closeup photo showing the texture of sourdough pizza dough
The dough will be quite sticky right after it’s mixed. The texture will change during fermentation.
4 images showing the stages of fermentation for sourdough pizza
Over 3-4 hours of fermentation the dough will become lighter and more elastic.

Once the dough is ready, visit this post to see exactly how to shape pizza dough by hand.

You can bake the pizza in a very hot oven, or you can grill your pizza over charcoal for the best pizza in the world. The lightly charred crust is a thing of beauty!

A timeline for making Sourdough Pizza from scratch:

  • Feed your starter the day before or early in the morning of the day you want to make the dough. You want to make the dough with an active starter.
  • Make the dough in the late morning or early afternoon. The entire process can take up to 5 hours so allow enough time if you plan to use the dough the same day it is made.
  • The dough will ferment for about 3-5 hours over the course of the afternoon. The more active your starter is and the warmer the ambient temperature, the faster the dough will ferment. In cold months allow closer to 5 hours for fermentation.
  • 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake (or grill!) the pizza, begin the process of shaping the dough.
  • If you want to work ahead, you can make the dough, allow it to ferment and then refrigerate for up 2 days. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and go right ahead and shape the pies.
an unbaked pizza crust on a wooden peel dusted with cornmeal
Place the dough onto a wooden pizza peel or the back of a sheet pan heavily dusted with cornmeal. The cornmeal will act as ball-bearings so you can slide the pizza. You’re now ready to top and bake (or grill) your pizza.

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

Since you’ve got your starter fed, peruse the entire list of My Best Sourdough Recipes. Have fun!

a grilled pizza on a cutting board
a closeup shot of the crumb on a slice of sourdough pizza

Hey, since the grill (or oven) is still hot, why not try this light & luscious Dessert Pizza with fresh berries and Greek yogurt drizzle.

You can also use this dough to make Philly Cheesesteak Calzones or Breakfast Calzones with chorizo & eggs.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Sourdough Pizza Crust

Sourdough Pizza Crust

Yield: Two 12" pizzas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 4 hours
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

Sourdough Pizza Crust makes everyone's favorite food even better. It takes several hours to make the dough, but the vast majority of the time is hands-off.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 240ml) warm water
  • 3 cups (15oz, 420g) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

  1. Combine the starter, water and 2 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed with the paddle until the flour is incorporated. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30 -60 minutes.
  2. If using a stand mixer, change to the dough hook. With the mixer running on low, add the salt, olive oil and the remaining the flour. Mix on medium speed until the dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl and gathers on the hook. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead for 5 minutes. If mixing by hand add as much of the flour as you can using a spoon or spatula, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface to finish kneading in the rest of the flour.
  3. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and turn it over to coat the surface. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature.
  4. After 30 minutes uncover the bowl, lift one side of the dough and fold it into the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough then flip the dough over. You're basically turning the dough inside-out to redistribute the yeast and stretch the gluten. Cover the bowl and after 30 minutes repeat the procedure. Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes repeat the procedure again.
  5. Cover the bowl and set aside for another 60 minutes. By the end of 3 hours the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour at room temperature. At this point you can refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days or you can go ahead and make the pizzas.
  6. Dump the dough onto a floured surface, do not knead. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a tight ball by cupping the dough in the palms your hands and moving the dough in a circular motion. This is a soft dough so this step will help make forming and moving the pizza easier. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. If the ball flattens right away and the dough still seems very soft, form the ball again and give it another 20 minutes.
  7. Using the tips of your fingers, gently flatten and press the dough into a disc. Use your fingers to stretch the dough into a 12-14” "round. You can also try to drape the dough over your two fists and pull from the edges to slowly enlarge it to a 12" round. Avoid using a rolling pin because you don't want to deflate all the air bubbles in the dough. Visit this page to see step by step photos of how to shape pizza dough by hand.
  8. Place each crust onto a wooden peel or pizza pan sprinkled heavily with corn meal. Proceed to top and bake or grill the pizza as you like.

Did you make this recipe?

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Kelly

Sunday 21st of February 2021

We LOVE this recipe. We can make it in an afternoon when we know we want pizza. We can start it early and put it in the fridge for a few days.... so many options. I have made it as is many times with slight variation, and it turns out perfectly. We started adding some extra "pizza seasoning herbs" in it and it makes it so good! My husband said there's no reason to go buy pizza anymore now.

Linda Spanfelner

Friday 19th of February 2021

I really only need to make one pizza and was wondering if I can freeze the other dough ball? If so, what are your recommendations fo freezing and how would I then perk it back up for baking?

Eileen Gray

Friday 19th of February 2021

Honestly, I've had mixed success with freezing sourdoughs. Sometimes they tend to come right back to life and other times they are just really sluggish. Personally, I would either make half the recipe or make a second pizza for the freezer. I'm not saying it's not possible. It will depend on your particular starter.

Heather

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

This was my first time ever making pizza dough and it exceeded all expectations. I baked it on my pizza stone preheated to 500F on the BBQ and it was absolutely delicious. Super crispy, cracker-like bottom with soft bubbles throughout. Perfect flavor too. Thank you for sharing!!

Bri

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

Great directions and fantastic crust! We all loved it more than we ever expected!

J

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Numbering appears to repeat 1, 2 several times. First folding step says folding is distributing yeast. Thought this was a sourdough recipe. Done with this recipe.

Linda Lutomski

Sunday 13th of December 2020

Sourdough starter is natural yeast

Eileen Gray

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Ummmm, sourdough does have yeast....