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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. Meanwhile, if you're baking the pizza in the oven preheat to 500F. If you have a pizza stone preheat that too. If you're grilling the pizza, light the grill.
  8. 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.
  9. Place each crust onto a wooden peel or pizza pan sprinkled heavily with corn meal. Proceed to top and bake/grill or as you like.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Lynne

Monday 6th of June 2022

This has got to be one of the biggest failure of pizza dough that I've ever made. I followed the recipe and instructions weighing all my ingredients, and after adding the 3rd cup of flour (I used type 00), the dough was very wet and goopy. I knew that it wasn't right, so I added more flour a tablespoon at a time to get it to pull away from the bowl. After adding about another 1/2 c flour, it at least was clinging to the dough hook, so I let it knead for the 5 min. When I poured (yes, poured) it out of the bowl, it resembled muffin batter. It held a very loose shape, but I could not touch it without it sticking to everything - the counter, my hands, and the scraper. I kept adding flour and using the scraper to try to get it to hold a ball shape. I probably added another 1/2 cup of flour, but started to get worried about another 1 cup of flour, so I dumped it into the oiled bowl and tried to turn it over. I tried to pull the dough over itself at the intervals, it was very sticky and gooey, and it would basically just ooze back to the sides. After the 3 hours, I knew that there was no way that this would be able to be shaped into pizza dough, so I covered it and put it into the fridge. In the morning, it looked a lot better, and it was very cold, so it held it's shape, but when I tried to cut it, it was still very sticky. I decided to just keep adding flour until I could handle it, and I got it to a point of being able to shape the balls if I floured my hands. I make Neapolitan pizza all the time, and I have an outdoor pizza oven. I usually make 250g dough balls, these were weighing over 400g, so I split the dough into 3 300g balls - one being a little over. I put a lot of flour in the proofing box and sprinkled more on top to let them rest for the 20m. It definitely didn't look ready, so I let the dough rise again for over an hour. When I stretched the first one (with a lot of flour), it got holes in it. On the 2nd one, I was more careful. I was able to stretch the 3 pizzas, they were about 10" round. The crust was very crisp. I wish I knew what I did wrong, I'd be scared to try it again.

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 7th of June 2022

Most likely it has to do with the condition of your starter. I make this dough all the time and it works like a dream for me. Make sure your starter is at 100% hydration and that it is well-fed and lively. Also, might be obvious, but I assume you were using bread flour, not ap flour.

Rose

Saturday 16th of April 2022

Can this dough be frozen?

Eileen Gray

Sunday 17th of April 2022

I have frozen this dough.

Jamie

Saturday 5th of February 2022

I tried this recipe for the first time, but doubled it for my large family and cooked it over a wood burning stove on a cast iron skillet. It was AMAZING! Very easy, flavorful, perfect texture. Definitely my go to pizza crust recipe from now on.

Cheryl Taylor

Monday 17th of January 2022

Please send me The recipe for sourdough granola. thank you

Eileen Gray

Monday 17th of January 2022

The recipe is on the website.

CynthiaAnn Blaha

Saturday 8th of January 2022

This is an excellent pizza crust recipe. Mine looked just like the photo…light, airy, chewing and delicious!

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