Sourdough Pizza Crust

With Laura’s Pizza Research Extravaganza going on right now, this seems like the perfect time to share my recipe for sourdough pizza crust.

We’ve gotten rather hooked on sourdough pizza crust in the past few months. I’m not sure that it is historically accurate (i.e. I don’t think that pizza arrived in this country until AFTER the California 49ers immortalized sourdough as THE food for gold miners.) This recipe is pretty flexible but it does require sourdough starter and a little advance planning:

BK’s Sourdough Pizza Crust

Make a sponge with:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 t. yeast

When the sponge is bubbly and frothy, mix in 1 T. olive oil and knead in an additional 4 to 4 1/2 c. bread flour.

Let this dough sit for several hours. It will rise slowly. If it doubles in size before you’re ready to use it, punch it down and let it rise again. If the dough is too sticky to handle easily, flour your hands thoroughly and take a little extra time to work the dough slowly.

Spread the dough out onto 4 large pizza stones or pans. This dough makes a nice thin crust that bakes up nicely.

Yes, I know that four pizzas is a lot of pizza. That’s my standard pizza meal these days with 4 teen guys and a husband living in my house. Keep in mind that you can make half this much OR you can freeze half for later.

If you don’t let the crust rise all day because you don’t have time, it will still turn out fine. Sometimes I will make this recipe with about 1/4 t. yeast instead of a whole teaspoon of it. When it’s time for it to rise, I stick the ball of dough in a plastic bag, seal it, and throw it in the fridge. After 3-5 days in the fridge, the dough gets very sour. I bring the dough back up to room temperature and spread it onto pizza stones when it’s time to make pizza.

The slower the dough rises and the longer it takes for the gluten fibers to develop, the more sour the taste and the better the texture.

Add the toppings of your choice and you’re on your way to pizza heaven.


17 thoughts on “Sourdough Pizza Crust

  1. Okay, this has inspired me to try (again!) to make my own sourdough starter. The last one ended badly because I misunderstood some important instructions. This time around, it seems to be doing a lot better, and I should be ready to make some sourdough bread/crusts in a couple of days.

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  10. FYI for those using whole wheat: I used whole wheat flour for the sponge. Then I only needed 3 cups all-purpose flour to finish. Thanks for this recipe!

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  14. Excited to try the recipe, but just wondered at which stage would I freeze? Roll out the dough and freeze as pizza bases, or after knock down and then would I take it out freezer and let it warm up and rise again? I’ve never frozen dough before so interested in the theory of how that works please (would like to do it for breads as well). Many thanks! I have made your sourdough bread too and loved it – now moving on to pizza!

    • Hi Lara, if you have the room, the very easiest thing will be to roll out the pizza dough and freeze it that way. You can even par-bake it (that means bake it about halfway before freezing.) It take quite a bit of time to pull out a LUMP of dough, let it thaw and warm to a workable temperature, and then roll it out. It’s possible and I’ve done it. I far prefer freezing it flat….and flat and par-baked is even better! Then you really can take it out of the freezer and load it up with pizza toppings and slide it into the oven all in about ten minutes of time.

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