Take your slice game to the next level with sourdough pizza dough! A pretty hands-off recipe, all you need are basic ingredients and time. With just a few minutes of active time - mixing, stretching and folding, and rolling - plus some patience - you'll have enough dough for two large pizzas. We've got lots of tips in the post below, and recommend freezing half the batch to use later. You'll thank yourself if you do!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Flour: use up to 50% whole wheat flour for a more flavourful and fibre-rich dough. For ancient grains, try this spelt sourdough pizza instead.
- Bread flour: if you like a really chewy crust, you can use all or part bread flour here. Both ways are great.
- Starter: this should be 100% hydration, active starter. Use a levain instead of starter if preferred.
- Sugar: substitute honey, maple syrup, and even coconut sugar if preferred.
Mix (1 hour): In the evening, mix the dough. Do the stretches and folds every 20 minutes over the course of an hour.
Place the dough into a draft-free place to rise, covered, overnight.
Refrigerate the dough during the day before shaping. About an hour and a half before you want to eat, shape and roll out your dough. Top, bake, and serve.
Step 1: whisk the starter into the water, then add the oil.
Step 2: add the dry ingredients and mix into a shaggy dough.
Step 3: do three rounds of stretches and folds.
Step 4: the dough should be smooth and form a nice round ball.
Step 5: let the dough ferment until doubled in size. Divide the dough into two pieces.
Step 6: press into a rectangle, then roll into a spiral. Roll up again from the other direction.
Step 7: flip the dough seam-side down and rotate to form a ball with surface tension.
Step 8: stretch or roll out into your desired shape, rise again, and bake.
- Make naan pizza: this is very similar to our sourdough naan (the naan is actually adapted from the pizza dough recipe) so if you'd like, you can also make naan pizzas. Fry the dough in a pan then do a quick bake just to melt the cheese or heat the toppings.
- Rest the dough: resting the dough for a few minutes after shaping into a ball allows the gluten to relax and makes it easier to stretch into a pizza shape.
- Make it without an oven: you can make the pizza in a barbecue as long as you're still using a pizza stone. We don't recommend cooking it directly on the oven rack.
Refrigerating the Dough
We've included the tip about refrigerating the dough for a couple reasons. One, it really is easier to work with when cold. More importantly, though, many of you will probably be mixing this in the evening before bed, like we usually do. That means you have risen dough at 8AM and you're not planning on eating pizza for about twelve hours.
So if that's the case, simply tightly cover your dough and pop it in the fridge until you're ready to roll it out. The rising/resting time after rolling is plenty of time to bring it back to room temperature before baking, and the flavour improves with some refrigeration time anyway.
If your starter is ready in the morning and you want to mix the dough during the day, make it as instructed. Then, as soon as the dough has risen to almost double in size, refrigerate for up to 16 hours.
While the refrigeration time isn't mandatory, it makes for a better tasting and easier to work with sourdough pizza dough. This step is highly recommended.
Freezing the Dough
The dough can be frozen for up to a month in an airtight container. We like to have one half in the freezer so we're only making pizza dough twice a month to eat once a week.
If you are freezing the dough, make sure you thaw it in the refrigerator (just take it out of the freezer the night before) rather than at room temperature. At room temp, the outside of the dough thaws too quickly compared to the middle - and the yeasts activate again - so you might have a dough explosion even though the middle is still frozen.
Is sourdough good for pizza dough?
Sourdough is perfect for pizza dough, and makes a chewy, particularly flavourful dough that works perfectly for pizza. Since you don't need any special tools, it's also great for sourdough beginners.
Is sourdough traditional in pizza?
Sourdough or wild yeast has been used in bread baking for centuries and pizza is no exception. Commercial yeast has only been widely available for about 100 years, so all pizza would have been made with sourdough in some form.
Does sourdough pizza need yeast?
A proper sourdough pizza doesn't need yeast. For no-yeast pizza dough, you should use 100% sourdough starter with no added commercial yeast.
If you make this Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe or any other sourdough bread recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Sourdough Pizza Crust
- Mixing bowl
- Tea towel
- Pastry scraper
- Rolling Pin
- Parchment paper
- 2 baking sheets
- Digital kitchen scale
- 350 grams water room temperature
- 100 grams active sourdough starter or levain
- 40 grams olive oil
- 500 grams all-purpose white flour
- 15 grams sugar
- 9 grams sea salt
Day One: Mix the Dough
- Add the water, starter, and olive oil to a large mixing bowl, and whisk until well combined. Stir in the flour, sugar, and salt with a wooden spoon, until you have a shaggy dough.
- Cover and set aside to allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
- Over the next hour, do three rounds of stretched and folds (one every 20 minutes). This can be spread out over more time if you prefer, but give the dough a minimum of 20 minutes to rest between each stretch.
- After the stretches are finished, your dough should look like a smooth ball and have formed some surface tension. Cover it with a damp tea towel or plate and set it in a draft free place to rise until doubled in size, 6-8 hours.
Day Two: Shape and Bake
- Once the dough has risen, refrigerate for at least four hours if possible. This will make the dough much easier to shape.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut it into two approximately equal pieces, then shape both, or place one half of the dough into an airtight container to freeze.
- Flatten your piece of dough slightly, then roll it into a log from the short end. Turn the log 90°, place it so that the seam faces up, and then roll it into a log again, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Now place the rolled up dough seam side down, onto a clean surface. Lightly flour the top of it and then use your hands to rotate the dough into a ball, forming surface tension on the top.
- Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rest for 10 minutes before stretching or rolling.
- Place your dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and lightly flour the top of it. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to about 1-1.5cm (about ¾ in.), or stretch gently with your hands to shape. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and let it rise again until slightly puffy, 1 - 1.5 hours.
- Prep any toppings and preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C), with a pizza stone inside if you have one. If not, place the dough onto a regular baking sheet before adding the toppings.
- Top your pizza, and once the oven is preheated, slide it onto the preheated pizza stone (or slide the pan into the oven, middle rack) and bake for 12-15 minutes*. The crust should be golden and crisp when it’s ready. Serve immediately.