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Pizza, the universal comfort food. From the busy streets of New York to the quaint alleys of Italy, every slice tells a story. But today, we aren’t just talking about any ordinary pizza. We’re diving deep into the tasty world of sourdough pizza crusts, where the tang meets crunch in a the best of ways.

Why Sourdough?

Sourdough is not just a type of bread; it’s a journey. This ancient baking method brings with it a depth of flavor that’s simply unparalleled. When it comes to pizza, the slightly tangy, chewy crust it produces is just irresistible. The natural fermentation process not only imparts a unique taste but also offers various health benefits, including easier digestion. My love for sourdough began in San Francisco. If you have ever been walking the streets in San Francisco, I’m sure you can close your eyes and smell the fresh bread baking at the Boudin Bakery. Their bread is the best sourdough I have ever tasted and the aroma travels for blocks. Every once in a while I get lucky and find some of their bread at Costco. Once you have their bread, it will feel like every other “sourdough” bread you get at the grocery store tastes more like white bread. Yes, it’s true, eating Boudin Sourdough Bread turns you into a bread snob instantly.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff.

How to Make Sourdough Pizza Crust From Scratch

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. The Mix: In a large mixing bowl, combine your sourdough starter, water, and olive oil. Gradually add in the flour and salt, mixing continuously until a dough begins to form.
  2. Kneading Time: Transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Knead gently for about 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic.
  3. Rest and Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, ensuring it’s entirely coated in oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for 8-10 hours (or overnight) in a warm place.
  4. Shape It: After the resting period, preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven now. Divide the dough into two portions. On a floured surface, roll out one portion to your desired thickness.
  5. Topping Time: Add your favorite pizza sauce, toppings, and cheese.
  6. Bake to Perfection: Place the pizza on your preheated stone or a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
  7. Cool and Slice: Remove from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Topping Ideas:

Sure, classic toppings are always great, but why not get creative? How about some figs, prosciutto, and goat cheese? Or roasted garlic, wild mushrooms, and truffle oil? The tang of the sourdough can beautifully complement both sweet and savory toppings. I like to make this Caesar salad to go on the side.

A Sourdough Pizza Crust Is a Game Changer

Making a sourdough pizza crust might sound like a challenge, but it’s more of an adventure. The process, while requiring a bit of patience, is well worth it. So the next time you’re craving a slice, give this recipe a try. Dive in, experiment, and most importantly, enjoy every bite!

Sourdough Starter
Best step by step recipe for making Sourdough starter from scratch at home! With your own starter you'll be baking bread, pizzas & more!
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Sourdough starter from scratch recipe in a glass jar with sourdough pizzas in the background
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Frequently Asked Questions About Sourdough Pizza Crust

Why use sourdough instead of regular yeast for pizza crust?

Sourdough utilizes natural fermentation, leading to the development of unique flavors that can’t be achieved with commercial yeast. The tangy notes in the crust provide an exquisite contrast to savory or sweet toppings. Additionally, the longer fermentation process of sourdough breaks down gluten, making it easier for some people to digest. Sourdough also offers probiotic benefits and increases the nutritional content of the pizza crust. Using sourdough isn’t merely a choice; it’s an experience, enhancing the culinary depth of your pizza.

My dough isn’t rising. What might be the issue?

Several factors could influence the rising of your dough. First, ensure your sourdough starter is active and bubbly when you use it. The environment plays a vital role, too; dough requires a warm setting to rise effectively. If your kitchen is cold, place the dough in an oven (turned off) with a bowl of hot water. Also, remember that sourdough takes longer to rise than regular yeast, so patience is key. If all else fails, it might be time to feed your starter and ensure it’s at its peak activity before using it.

Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?

Absolutely! Whole wheat flour creates a nuttier flavor and adds nutritional value to your pizza crust. When using whole wheat, keep in mind that it absorbs more water than all-purpose flour. You might need to adjust the water content slightly to achieve the desired dough consistency. Begin by substituting half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat and adjust based on your preference. This will also produce a denser crust, so if you’re aiming for a light and airy texture, a mix of both flours might be optimal.

How long can I store my pizza dough in the refrigerator?

Sourdough pizza dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Storing it in the fridge allows for slow fermentation, which can further enhance the flavor profile. Before using, let the dough come to room temperature for about 1-2 hours. If you plan to store it longer, consider freezing the dough. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then allow it to come to room temperature.

Can I freeze the sourdough pizza crust after baking?

Yes, you can! After baking the crust without toppings, allow it to cool completely. Place a piece of parchment paper between each crust if stacking multiple crusts, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag. This method ensures the crust retains its freshness and flavor. When you’re ready to enjoy, simply add your toppings to the frozen crust and bake. The crust can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Why is my crust too tough or chewy?

If your crust turns out tougher or chewier than desired, it could be due to over-kneading the dough or using too much flour. Remember, the dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky. Another reason might be baking at a lower temperature than recommended. A high temperature ensures a crisp outer layer and soft interior. Additionally, make sure to give your dough adequate resting time, as this relaxes the gluten strands and contributes to a better texture.

Can I use my sourdough discard for this recipe?

Certainly! Sourdough discard adds flavor to the pizza crust, although it might not contribute much to the rise since it’s not as active as a freshly fed starter. If using discard, you might consider adding a small amount of commercial yeast to ensure a good rise. The exact amount depends on your desired crust thickness and the activity level of your discard.

What’s the best way to get a crispy crust on the bottom?

For a super crispy bottom, using a pizza stone is ideal. The stone retains heat, ensuring an even and high temperature on the dough’s surface. Preheat the pizza stone in the oven for at least 30 minutes before baking your pizza. If you don’t have a stone, an inverted baking sheet can work as a substitute. Another tip is to brush the bottom of the pizza with a thin layer of olive oil before baking, which helps in achieving that golden, crispy texture.

How do I know when my sourdough starter is ready for baking?

Your sourdough starter is ready for baking when it’s bubbly, has a pleasant tangy aroma, and doubles in volume within 4 to 6 hours of feeding. An easy test is the “float test.” Take a small spoonful of your starter and drop it into a glass of water. If it floats, it’s ready to go! Active bubbles indicate that there’s enough yeast activity to give your pizza crust a good rise.

Can I make a thicker, pan-style pizza with this recipe?

Yes, you can! For a thicker crust, simply let the rolled-out dough rise for an additional 30 minutes to an hour before adding toppings. This gives the dough a second rise, making it puffier. Also, use a deep-dish or cast-iron pan, greased well, to achieve that characteristic pan-pizza crust. Remember, baking times might vary slightly for a thicker crust, so keep an eye on it to avoid overbaking.

My crust is too sour. How can I reduce the tanginess?

The tanginess of your crust largely depends on the maturity of your sourdough starter. If you find the flavor too sour, you can make a few adjustments: use a younger sourdough starter (one that has been fed more recently), reduce the fermentation time of the dough, or mix in a bit of commercial yeast with the dough which can reduce the fermentation time and consequently the sour flavor.

Can I add other flavors or herbs to the pizza crust?

Absolutely! You can get creative with your sourdough pizza crust. Consider adding dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano directly to the dough for a flavorful twist. Grated parmesan or garlic powder can also add a delightful depth of flavor. Just remember to mix these additions in thoroughly to ensure even distribution throughout the crust.

How can I get those beautiful air bubbles in my sourdough pizza crust?

Those delightful air bubbles come from a well-fermented dough and a high oven temperature. Make sure your sourdough starter is active and bubbly. When shaping your pizza, be gentle and avoid pressing out all the air. Lastly, ensure your oven is preheated to a high temperature. The quick burst of heat will cause the trapped air to expand, creating those sought-after bubbles.

What if I don’t have a pizza stone?

While a pizza stone does wonders for achieving a crispy crust, it’s not the only option. An inverted baking sheet can act as a makeshift stone. Cast iron skillets or pans are also great alternatives. Preheat your chosen utensil in the oven just as you would with a pizza stone. The key is ensuring a hot surface for your dough to begin baking on immediately.

Is there any way to speed up the fermentation process?

While sourdough benefits from a slow fermentation, you can slightly speed up the process by placing your dough in a warmer environment. Think of spots like a warm (but turned off) oven, on top of the refrigerator, or even inside a microwave with a cup of hot water. A bit of commercial yeast can also be added to the dough to expedite the rising process. However, remember that speeding up fermentation may alter the flavor profile a bit.

Can I make sourdough pizza crust gluten-free?

Making gluten-free sourdough pizza crust requires a different approach. You’d need to use gluten-free grains like rice, buckwheat, or sorghum and cultivate a gluten-free sourdough starter. The texture and taste will differ from traditional sourdough, but the process of fermentation and the delightful tang will still be present. Ensure you follow a gluten-free sourdough pizza crust recipe for best results.


sourdough pizza crust pizza on a marble table

Sourdough Pizza Crust

A delicious pizza crust that is slightly tangy, a little chewy, and full of the air bubbles that we've known to love in our sourdough bread. With only a few ingredients you will have the perfect pizza crust to use now or store for family pizza night.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Resting Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 19 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 236 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus a bit more for dusting
  • ¾ cup water room temperature
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine your sourdough starter, water, and olive oil. Gradually add in the flour and salt, mixing continuously until a dough begins to form.
  • Transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Knead gently for about 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, ensuring it's entirely coated in oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for 8-10 hours (or overnight) in a warm place.
  • After the resting period, preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven now. Divide the dough into two portions. On a floured surface, roll out one portion to your desired thickness.
  • Add your favorite pizza sauce, toppings, and cheese.
  • Place the pizza on your preheated stone or a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

Can I freeze the sourdough pizza crust after baking?

Yes, you can! After baking the crust without toppings, allow it to cool completely. Place a piece of parchment paper between each crust if stacking multiple crusts, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag. This method ensures the crust retains its freshness and flavor. When you’re ready to enjoy, simply add your toppings to the frozen crust and bake. The crust can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Why is my crust too tough or chewy?

If your crust turns out tougher or chewier than desired, it could be due to over-kneading the dough or using too much flour. Remember, the dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky. Another reason might be baking at a lower temperature than recommended. A high temperature ensures a crisp outer layer and soft interior. Additionally, make sure to give your dough adequate resting time, as this relaxes the gluten strands and contributes to a better texture.

Can I make a thicker, pan-style pizza with this recipe?

Yes, you can! For a thicker crust, simply let the rolled-out dough rise for an additional 30 minutes to an hour before adding toppings. This gives the dough a second rise, making it puffier. Also, use a deep-dish or cast-iron pan, greased well, to achieve that characteristic pan-pizza crust. Remember, baking times might vary slightly for a thicker crust, so keep an eye on it to avoid overbaking.

Nutrition

Serving: 145gCalories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 6gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1167mgPotassium: 50mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.1gCalcium: 9mgIron: 2mg
Keyword 5 ingredient, pizza
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