|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 38g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Sourdough is the mother of all doughs. Way before the addition of yeast into baked goods, a simple mix of water and flour was the base of all bread. Naturally found bacteria in the wheat develops when water is added, and when left long enough to ferment, the dough achieves its remarkably delicious tang. Thus, sourdough pizza is the original pizza; no yeast, milk, or sugar added. Our easy sourdough pizza is a nod to the olden methods in which a piece of scrap dough was rolled thin so it would cook as fast as possible, then topped with whatever was available, and thrown in the oven.
The quantities for our tasty dough are in a 1-2-3 ratio: one part sourdough starter—which you need to have ready for this recipe—two parts water, and three parts flour. It's easily scaled up or down. This dough is pretty soft; if you like it firmer, start with 100 grams of water and add more as you see fit. Different flours can absorb different amounts of water, so your flour may need more or less water to achieve the intended consistency.
Sourdough is better than yeasted pizza dough, not just for flavor, but also for the benefits that fermented foods give to your gut microbiome. Also, the slower natural yeasts in a sourdough starter help the dough last longer in the refrigerator, meaning you can make a larger batch of dough and have a stock of refrigerated oven-ready pizza dough for up to a week. Be mindful that once made, this dough needs at least 24 hours of refrigeration before baking.
"This dough is easy to work with and results in a wonderfully chewy, light, and airy texture with a subtle hint of sourdough tang. It holds up well to toppings and doesn't get soggy. I fed my starter the night before and used it the next morning to make the dough." —Danielle Centoni
180 grams (1 1/3 cups) bread flour
120 grams (1/2 cup) water
60 grams (1/4 cup) sourdough starter
5 grams (1 teaspoon) sea salt
15 grams (1 tablespoon) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the containers
Steps to Make It
Make and Ferment the Dough
Gather the ingredients.
Thoroughly combine the flour, water, starter, salt, and the oil in a medium bowl (preferably a glass bowl that will allow peeking to check on the fermentation activity). The dough will look rough and shaggy and feel soft and sticky.
Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic bag and rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Moisten your hand with a little water, scoop your hand underneath the dough, and gently grasp one side of the lump. Lightly stretch the dough in your hand away from the main mass, then fold it over. Repeat this motion on different sides of the dough three or four more times. Don't overwork it, as the goal is to keep as much air in it as possible.
Flip the whole mass of dough such that the seams of your folds face down against the bottom of the bowl. You should notice that the shaggy dough becomes considerably smoother. If the dough still looks as shaggy as before, fold the dough again.
Rest the dough for another 20 minutes, then stretch and fold again as you did the first time.
Cover once more and ferment at room temperature for at least 4 hours. Your dough will probably not rise significantly, but you should see bubbles forming on the surface and underneath. If you do not see bubbles, give the dough more time to ferment until you do.
After 4 hours of fermentation, lightly flour a work surface. Invert the bowl above the floured area and wait for the dough to release itself from the bowl. Divide the dough in half.
Using the same stretch and fold technique (minus the wet hands), shape the pieces into rounds.
Lightly coat the inside of 2 round 1-pint storage containers (preferably with lids) with the olive oil. Place a dough ball seam-side down into each one. Cover with lids or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using. Dough that is kept in the refrigerator for longer will continue to develop flavor and has a shelf life of a week.
Make the Pizza
To make the pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a well-floured surface. Coat the dough lightly all over with flour as well. With your hands, gently flatten and stretch the dough into a thin circle about 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Don't overpress it, as keeping as much air in is what will give the dough a delicious and chewy texture.
Add sauce and toppings as desired and bake according to your preferred method, or simply bake in a 450 F to 500 F oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until crispy. Serve immediately.
Flavorful Toppings for Your Pizza Crust
Here are a few easy suggestions to top your pizza crust:
- Pesto, tomatoes, and Parmesan: Spread prepared pesto on the unbaked crust. Add slices of fresh tomatoes and sprinkle with a handful of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 F until crispy.
- Pears and brie: Top your crust with slices of pears and brie cheese. Bake at 450 F until crispy. Garnish with fresh arugula and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella: Spread prepared tomato sauce (pasta sauce is fine as well) on the unbaked crust, and add slices of fresh mozzarella. Garnish with fresh basil. Bake at 450 F until crispy.
- Asiago and prosciutto: Top your pizza with slices of Asiago cheese and bake at 450 F until crispy. Once cooked, add generous amounts of prosciutto, a dash of freshly ground pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
What Is Sourdough Starter?
Sourdough starter is a homemade dough made simply out of water and flour. The mixture ferments without the addition of commercially packaged yeast and instead uses wild yeast—that is, the yeast present everywhere, such as in your kitchen, the surrounding environment, and in your body.
Mix water and flour, let it sit and ferment, and you'll have your own sourdough starter to add into pizza dough, breads, biscuits, pancakes, rolls, pretzels, or anywhere you'd like the wonderful tang of sourdough.
If the pizza dough seems very wet while folding for the first time, cover the dough and leave it for another 20 minutes; this will help the flour absorb the water. The dough could also have too much water in the mixture, or the water was too cold (which will require more proofing time), or the dough needs to be mixed together a little more.
- Dimidi, Eirini et al. “Fermented Foods: Definitions and Characteristics, Impact on the Gut Microbiota and Effects on Gastrointestinal Health and Disease.” Nutrients vol. 11, no.8, 5 Aug. 2019, p. 1806. doi:10.3390/nu11081806