Sourdough Pizza Crust

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Many have been waiting for Erin to share her sourdough pizza crust method. The wait is over! This is definitely going on my weekend menu. What about you? –Wardee

Pizza and sourdough. Two of our favorite things! How great to combine them into one delicious “gourmet feast” — as my husband and 3 year old like to say. This recipe requires very little hands-on time, is nourishing, and simply delicious. Enjoy!

This recipe is included in our Sourdough A to Z eBook and/or demonstrated on video in our Sourdough eCourse. We’re open for enrollment any time — please join us!

On my sourdough journey, I have come across several helpful websites. Sourdoughhome.com is one of them. Mike Avery has a sourdough pizza crust recipe that works very nicely with the souring-for-hours mentality. Here is a variation of his recipe.

Sourdough Pizza Crust Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of flour (your choice)

Sourdough Pizza Crust Directions

The morning of the evening you’d like your pizza, pour 1 1/2 cups starter,1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or melted coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon salt into a medium sized bowl. Stir. Add to this mixture 1 cup of flour. Mix well. Sprinkle your counter with flour. Place dough mixture on top and begin kneading. Add flour as necessary. Knead dough until all ingredients are happily combined. Remember you are looking for a dough that is soft and not sticky. If you find your dough is too wet, add more flour. If it is too dry, add more water, starter, or whey.

Once your dough is complete, you have a couple of options. First, you could place your dough ball back in the (lightly greased) bowl, cover with a plate, damp cloth or plastic wrap, and leave to “sour” until you are ready to prepare your pizza. Second, you could roll out the dough now, and leave your dough to “sour” as an unbaked crust ready to go. If you choose the latter option, allow your dough ball to rest for half an hour before rolling, and cover the rolled out crust with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Out of plastic wrap? Please do not resort to aluminum foil. Find another creative option. Sadly, speaking from experience.

Once pizza time has arrived, preheat your oven to 450 degrees or hotter for the pre-bake. Feel free to preheat a pizza stone at this time. I have yet to use a preheated pizza stone for this recipe, because I am not sure how to neatly transfer my rolled out dough onto a hot stone. I have seen fun pizza/bread making tools for this purpose, but not in my kitchen! :-) While the oven is preheating, (option #1) roll out your dough. For the pizza you see here, I rolled my dough directly on a greased cookie sheet. Worked just fine. (option #1 and #2) Poke your dough several times with a fork. Pop it in the oven for about 5 minutes. The first time you make your pizza, you may want to keep an eye on it. Do not let it get too dark. This is just the pre-bake. Take the pizza out of the oven. Cool and freeze or brush with olive oil and top for immediate or not so immediate baking.

Bake your decorated sourdough pizza for 10-25 minutes depending on oven temperature, toppings and crust thickness. Enjoy!

A Few Notes

*If you are experiencing a hot day, you could let your dough sit from morning until afternoon for a lunch time pizza treat. If it’s a bit chilly, as it is here these days, I’d be tempted to make up my crust the night before for an afternoon pizza.

*I feed my starter the night before the morning I want to prepare the pizza dough. This ensures that I will have enough happy ready-to-go starter for the recipe and some left-over for future sourdough adventures.

*I usually feed my sourdough starter a ratio close to 1:1 (flour/water). Depending on what I am making, I may use more flour for a thicker starter. For this recipe, I don’t really see it mattering how you feed your starter. As you knead your dough, you will be adding more or less flour to get the right consistency.

*This recipe will work for thick or thin crust. What’s your preference? Roll out your dough accordingly.

*I like to do my second bake directly on the oven rack (I might turn down the heat depending on amount of toppings). This creates a deliciously crispy crust. Because the crust is pre-baked, it slides easily off the cookie sheet and onto the oven rack. Once the pizza is finished, I slide it back onto the cookie sheet for easy cutting.

What Do You Think?

I just know this is going to be a hit for many. In the comments, feel free to add your thoughts or suggestions about this recipe. What sure-fire tips would you add? What are your favorite nourishing and frugal toppings? –Wardee

This post is part of Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet, and Fight Back Friday at FoodRenegade.

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting GNOWFGLINS with your purchases.

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Comments

  1. Kylie NZ says

    I love the fact you can freeze the pre-baked pizza crust for an instant week-night dinner! Would you let it defrost before putting toppings on and baking, or do you put it directly into the oven frozen?

    Can’t wait to try this!

  2. says

    I just made a gluten free crust the other night, and once again – it just doesn’t have that same crunch I crave with pizza. I’m not celiac, I just test GF recipes often for clients…so I can’t wait to try yours. The toppings we used were Fatted Calf fennel sausage, tomatoes (San Marzano from can), garlic, mushrooms and first-of-the-season zucchini, oregano, parsley plus Bufala mozzarella and feta. Heaven in a pie:)

  3. says

    I’m so excited – I’ve got my pizza crust ball “souring” for pizza night tomorrow night! Erin, about how long do you usually knead? I used my Bosch mixer and kneaded for about 8 minutes. The dough felt soft and stretchy, so I called it good. :)

  4. Erin says

    Kylie- Thanks for your comment. :-) A couple thoughts for you… You could par-bake the crust, cool, freeze, top with goodies, and refreeze. For a quick meal, place the completed frozen pizza directly in your preheated oven and bake until crust is browned and cheese is melted. You could also have your frozen crust sitting out while you prepare your toppings and preheat the oven. The crust will be partially thawed by the time you are ready to bake it.
    Enjoy!

  5. Erin says

    Karen- Your comment made my mouth water! Just the sound of Fatted Calf fennel sausage… Mercy! :-) I think the splash of olive oil, the pre-bake, and the thinner crust baked on the rack for the second baking all work together for a deliciously crisp crust. I’d love to hear what you put on this one! Thanks for the comment!

  6. Erin says

    Wardee- Look forward to hearing how you like your pizza! I have yet to sour the dough for 24 hours, so I would like to hear if your crust has a strong sour or more mild taste. As far as how long I knead… I’m never very mindful about timing those kinds of things. I know it is not as long as 8 minutes. Maybe 4-5? But, I think stopping when the look and feel of the dough seems right is good enough. Or maybe you will let us know otherwise! :-)

  7. Kirsten says

    Do you use the “Mike’s Way” starter? I’ve done the NT rye starter for loaf bread with mixed results. Perhaps I’m not patient enough… ?

  8. Erin says

    Kirsten- I used Mike Avery’s method (pretty much) for creating our own sourdough starter. Very satisfying, I must say! :-) Are you having a hard time creating a starter, maintaining a starter, or using your starter for baked goods like bread?

  9. says

    Do you think you could just freeze the dough ball after it has ‘soured’ for 8 hours or so? Just wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for a later pizza?

    • says

      Tara – I did that last night with two dough balls. I’ve done it with other pizza dough, so I figured it would work for this. I am looking forward to easy-peasy pizza on the weekend!

  10. Erin says

    Tara- I think that is a great idea and definitely worth a try. Just leave the dough ball out to thaw the day you want to make your pizza, roll, top, and bake! I could save myself a lot of time if I prepared foods that way. Make more, and freeze for later! Thanks for the inspiration! :-)

  11. says

    I decided to make two today after seeing how much starter I had. I think I’ll make one tonight, although I’m going to make more as a focaccia bread than a pizza. The other dough ball will be wrapped and put in the freezer for an already soaked and ready to go pizza or focaccia.
    .-= Tara´s last blog post… Soft Raw Goat Cheese =-.

  12. Karen says

    Erin, thank you for posting your sourdough pizza crust! You know I have been waiting for this! :) I made a double batch over the weekend which made about 3 medium to small pizzas. Everyone enjoyed them and the leftovers were warmed and tasted even better.
    We put sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms on our pizza. So delicious. Thanks for
    sharing! Keep up the good work. Maybe you could share a few pictures of Anchorage
    with us. I live in PA and will never probably get to Alaska.

  13. Erin says

    Karen- Thanks for your kind comment! So glad you and your family enjoyed the pizza. Your topping choices sound delicious.
    And I would love to share pics of AK sometime. We do feel very blessed to be living here. We’ll be driving through PA this summer and are looking forward to the road trip! :-)

  14. Erin says

    I made pizza tonight and thought I’d do a little report back. :-) Well, I forgot to prebake the crust, and I thought all hope for a crisp crust was lost. Not so! I baked it for awhile on a greased cookie sheet at about 400 degrees and moved it onto the oven rack for the final minutes of baking. Crispy and delicious!
    I also made a kind of pizza new to me. No sauce. I missed the sauciness, but this turned out pretty good. On half of the pizza I spread kefir cheese and topped it with smoked salmon, sauteed broccoli, green onion, and fresh chopped dill. The second half I spread with olive oil and topped it with smoked salmon, broccoli, green onion, mozzarella cheese and the dill. The recipe that inspired this idea included a hard boiled egg and used cream cheese for the base. Delicious, and best of all, I used what I had in the house! :-)

    • says

      Erin – That sounds really good. I was wondering about no sauce, because there’s one person in my family who doesn’t like soggy bread – which sauce usually does to the crust, even with a crisp crust. I like the idea to brush with olive oil and will try that next!

      I have really enjoyed your crust! The second time I did what you suggested and baked right on the oven rack and it worked great. Very crisp, very delicious, and best of all – no mess. :)

  15. Charis says

    I was hoping to make calzones with this recipe later in the week. Any recommendations on baking this recipe into a calzone instead of pizza? Will pre-baking the dough make it too firm and crispy to then remold into the pockets needed for calzones? Thanks!!

  16. Molly says

    Made the pizza crust and the Basic Sourdough Bread today. The bread did not rise, very much a fail. BUT, the pizza crust was highly successful. I topped it with basil pesto, sausage, red onion, red & green tomatoes, and a little 3-cheese blend I had. All toppings local & organic–we know the farmers that raised everything I put on there–and we scarfed it down!! Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

  17. Kelli says

    Erin,I have a pizza stone, but not the fancy paddle thing that you push it onto the stone with. I am just afraid it wouldn’t want to come off! So what I do is preheat my stone, and roll my dough out on parchment paper. Then I use a baking sheet turned upside down to push my pizza onto the stone with, parchment paper and all. Sometimes I remove the parchment paper after the crust has had time to crisp up some.

    Wardee, are you going to show us how you do your big batch cooking with sourdough? I would like to know how you do this, because once I am already in the kitchen dealing with flour, I might as well cook in quantity.

  18. Erin says

    Kelli- Sounds like a great idea. Using a greased cookie sheet has never given me a problem. The other day I let my dough sour on a greased pizza stone. After the 5 minute prebake, I took my spatula and released the dough from the stone before piling on my toppings. That worked, too. Thanks for the tip! :-)

  19. Carol Kintigh says

    Do you put the pizza on the lowest rack in the oven? I wasn’t sure which rack to put it on.

    I cooked my pizza at 450 degrees for five minutes, added the toppings, and cooked for 20 more minutes. It tasted yummy; however, the crust was not crispy all the way through. The dough seemed to be crisp on the edge, on top and on bottom, but seemed raw in the middle between the top and bottom of the crust (not the middle of the pizza). I used a 12 inch round aluminum pizza pan. Should I have used a larger pan so that it would be thinner, and then maybe the crust wouldn’t have been raw in the middle?

    Thanks for all the great recipes! I’m a beginner to all of this and am having a blast!!!

  20. Carrie says

    I just noticed that this recipe is different than the one in the ecourse. Is there any reason for that? Wondering which one to go with… assuming the ecourse one is more recent. :) Thanks!!

  21. Erin says

    Hi Carrie- Go with the e-course one. I decreased the amount of sourdough just a bit to prevent possible over-souring. Both work, though. :-)

  22. says

    As far as using a hot stone. We roll out and “decorate” our pizza dough on parchment paper, then together (you need a second set of hands) move the parchment to the stone and put it in. Also, because our oven doesn’t get very hot, we usually use our propane grill outside… with the two outside burners on and the middle two off so it doesn’t break the stone.

    Thanks for the recipe… can’t wait to try it!

  23. shannon says

    We loved this! It was my third sourdough creation and I was surprised that it rised quite a bit while it was soaking. I used spelt flour and plan to make this weekly.

    • Erin says

      Hi Shannon- Glad you enjoy the pizza dough! It makes great calzones and bread sticks, too! Thanks for letting us know! :-)

  24. Mary says

    You asked where I was going from the sourdough English muffins…I guess here. I will be making pizza dough in the morning! Wish me luck! ;) I know it will be great because I trust you and the fine people who share here. ;)
    Thanks;)
    Mary

  25. Erin says

    Awww… Thanks Mary! :-) Remember, if you want a thicker crust, roll it out and cover it to sour. If you want a thinner crust, sour as a dough ball and roll and prebake before topping and baking again. Enjoy, and let us know how it goes! :-)

  26. Mary says

    So how terrible do you think it will taste if I didn’t add salt…because as I am cleaning up I see I am putting away my sea salt that I never used! Aaaaahhhh! I do not have enough starter to do another batch, do you think it will make a BIG difference?
    Afraid,
    Mary

  27. Erin says

    Hi Mary- Not a problem. Sprinkle some salt on the dough after you roll it out if you are concerned. I believe all will be well! :-)

  28. Mary says

    That’s what I figured, so that is what I did and they are eating it right now. My dairy free pizza pre crust is baking as we speak! They all love it!!! <3
    Mary

    • Erin says

      Hi Toni- It’s not necessary. I do it to assure a crispy, non-doughy, non-soggy crust. I’ve done it without pre-baking, though, and it was still delicious. I think the trick to a crispy crust is to slide the pizza directly onto the oven rack a few minutes before taking it out. Enjoy!

      • Toni Legates says

        Thanks so much Erin for your quick answer. I just received 25 lbs of fresh sprouted whole spelt flour and I’ve got a wonderful active sourdough going that I can’t wait to try out. I do really like the idea of being able to par bake a crust and have it ready in my freezer for dinner on busy days. I’ve also started making a water kefir soda that is so wonderful! I’ve never had anything so tasty and good for me at the same time.I’ve had a life long struggle with candida that is finally healed to the point that I can eat many things I could only dream of before. I’m so excited to start baking again. Thank you all for your wonderful post on healthy eating. I’m learning so much about cultured foods. These foods are changing my life for the better and I can’t say enough good things about this blog! Thanks again.
        Toni

        • Erin says

          Hi Toni- How absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing. Wardee does a fabulous job with this blog, and I feel privileged to be a part of it in my small way. One thing I’d like to mention concerning your flour… If it’s sprouted, there is no need to sour it. The sprouting has already taken care of the anti-nutrients. Feel free to bake with it as you would normal flour! Let us know if you have any other questions! :-)

    • Erin says

      Hi Mindy- My guess is that it will work fine with a cold starter. But, I think I would only suggest it in a pinch. Feels better to think of this recipe (most recipes, actually) using a starter that has been fed the night before or maybe 8 hours before… Unlike bread, you aren’t looking for a large rise. You also feed it enough flour until you get the right consistency, and you do let it sit for several hours… so, for those reasons, your cold starter will probably work. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try! :-)

      • says

        Actually, the starter I had ready was active, I just wasn’t positive that this was what the recipe required. Several of the pizza crust recipes I had looked at called for cold starter. Anyway, I went with my instincts and prepared it with active starter…wonderful! This is my new favorite crust. Thanks so much, Erin!

  29. Angela says

    I loved this recipe! I usually don’t pre cook the crust though. It comes out great. I have done it and removed it to freeze though, and that reheated well. Much better then those store bought ones looked. I love having company over for lunch to do a make your own pizza. It’s so easy entertaining by just doing up a big batch the night before, and putting it in the fridge until needed.

  30. Lisa says

    Hi Wardeh and Erin! I notice that the recipe calls for adding salt before setting the dough to sour. I typically don’t add spices/salt to souring dough because of the antiseptic/antibacterial qualities of salt and some spices. I was afraid the enzyme and bacterial activity would be inhibited. Am I wrong in thinking this way? Is it really not a concern? Thank you!

    • Lisa says

      I forgot to add that I made a double batch of this crust this morning. I made it gluten free with sorghum and arrowroot (my starter is predominantly buckwheat). This made a beautiful dough using your exact measurements of flour. It was slightly sticky, but GF dough typically is. It still had a lovely elasticity and was easy to work with. I pressed it out gently on my seasoned pizza stones to sour. We haven’t eaten it yet, but I’m quite sure we’ll love it. Easy to work with is nearly as big a deal in my book as the taste! Thanks for another great, nourishing, easy recipe.

  31. Bebe says

    Hi Erin,
    I have been looking forward to making sourdough pizza for a long while but have been reluctant to start ONE more thing when I was already struggling keeping up with all the other things I have going on. From they busyness of four teenagers at home to carpooling school plus sports seasons, to kombucha and vegetable ferments, to chickens and farm runs, to my own stumbling health (adrenal/thyroid and all that can entail) I am having to accept limitations that are uncomfortable.
    But.
    I did finally open my Camaldoli Italian heirloom sourdough starter and get it started, just a few days ago, and in looking for ideas of what to do with my throwaway portion twice a day I thought I might start with pancakes… until I saw your post. Ah yes, sourdough pizza crust, my long lost love.
    So, I mixed up your recipe and had every intention of making one smallish pizza tonight as a sampler for the family (7 of us here, one pizza is an appetizer!) but then… Kate, over at Modern Alternative Mama, posted today with a recipe for soaked tortillas and I had an epiphany!
    Your dough makes great tortillas. Super easy to work with. I used coconut flour for the rolling part because I am fairly sensitive to untreated gluten flours. I used spelt flour and coconut oil for the dough. If I can eat these with reacting I will be a happy woman…

    • Erin VL says

      Hi Bebe- So glad you are making the sourdough pizza crust work for you! There are several delicious sourdough recipes on Wardeh’s site, but I encourage you to also check out the Sourdough E-book. Tasty sourdough recipes galore… including one for sourdough tortillas! Thanks for your comment and for sharing your enthusiasm! Made me smile!

    • says

      DeAnna — You would use additional flour, during the part of the recipe where it tells you to add more until you get the right dough consistency.

  32. Frances says

    I love this pizza crust….I have made several other GF/CF crusts and they were hardly edible…I am excited I finally have one that I enjoy and it so easy…..Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Erin VL says

      Yeah Frances! I am so glad this pizza crust works for you! Thanks for your comment, and enjoy your pizza! :-)

  33. Nancy says

    I roll my dough out on oiled parchment paper and that slides on and off of the pizza stone easily, especially using a pizza peel (giant spatula), though the oven temp. must not be over 450 to use parchment paper. I’ve not used sourdough before though, look forward to working with it.

    • Erin VL says

      Hi Nancy- Glad you are finding a method that works for you! We still enjoy this crust and eat homemade pizza every couple of weeks if not more. Our favorite toppings at the moment are sauteed onion, crispy bacon, and kale. Yum! Enjoy… :-)

  34. says

    Try using parchment paper to roll your pizza dough out onto and bake on the pizza stone with the parchment paper underneath the crust. Be sure to trim the edges of the paper close to the edge of the dough as it tends to burn otherwise. I use parchment under my gf sourdough crust because it’s far too delicate to move around after rolling out. I use a 500 degree oven with the stone preheated and while I pre-bake the gf crust, I don’t the regular crust.

  35. Jenny Renner says

    This is a great recipe, and I love the par-baking option. I doubled the recipe and made 4, 9×13-sized pizzas, each diugh ball weighing 12 ounces. Next time, I’m going to par-bake and freeze for later use. This is such a great way to use up lots if starter!

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