Sourdough pizza crust is a delicious and easy way to make a classic meal even better. The dough is easy to prepare, and the results are always spectacular, plus you get so many health benefits with this crust!
Whether you’re topping your pizza with traditional ingredients or something more unique, a sourdough crust will elevate your dish to new levels.
I have been making this crust for years now and it is my family’s favorite pizza crust.
Sourdough can be overwhelming at first, but I promise it just takes a bit of practice and you will never go back to your regular bread recipes.
If you don’t have a starter, check out why you need a dry sourdough starter!
What is Sourdough Pizza Crust?
This sourdough pizza crust recipe is made with a sourdough starter, which is a mix of flour and water that’s been allowed to ferment.
This fermentation process creates beneficial bacteria and enzymes that give sourdough bread its distinctively tangy flavor and chewy texture.
Sourdough starters can be made at home or purchased from a bakery if you don’t want to make your own sourdough starter.
Once you have a starter, you can use it to make sourdough pizza dough. The dough will need to rise for several hours before it’s ready to be used, so it’s best to plan ahead when making sourdough pizza crust.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Sourdough has a delicious tangy flavor and chewy texture that’s right at home in a pizza crust. You get a flavor that you can’t get when using commercial yeast.
- Sourdough pizza crust can be topped with traditional or unique ingredients to create any kind of pizza you can imagine.
- While this sourdough pizza dough recipe does take quite a while to prepare, most of that time is hands-off.
- This recipe makes four 12-inch pizzas, so it’s perfect for feeding a crowd.
- Sourdough recipes can be intimidating, but this pizza crust is easy and most of the time is spent letting the dough rest or rise in a large mixing bowl.
Tell Me About This Recipe
- Taste – Sourdough is a bit tangier than other pizza doughs, which is a delicious contrast to the rich flavor of pizza toppings. The dough also has a nice chewiness that pairs well with everything from simple tomato sauce to hearty meat toppings.
- Texture – The fermentation process creates beneficial bacteria and enzymes that give sourdough bread its distinctively chewy texture. This makes sourdough pizza crust the perfect vessel for any kind of topping you can imagine.
- Ease of Preparation – While the recipe does take over a day to prepare, most of that time is hands-off. The dough needs to rise for several hours before it’s ready to be used, so it’s best to plan ahead. The difficulty level could be described as “moderate,” but if you’re used to working with sourdough you’ll probably find it quite easy.
- Time – The recipe takes about 2 days to prepare, including the time it takes for the dough to rise. That said, you can make it in a hurry if you need to by keeping your dough in warm area and making a few adjustments.
Ingredients for Sourdough Pizza Crust
- Sourdough starter: The starter acts as your leavening agent, so it’s what gives the pizza dough its rise. You can purchase a starter from a bakery, or you can make your own at home. You can use sourdough discard, but your crust won’t be as fluffy. I prefer to use an active starter that has been fed in the last six hours.
- All-purpose flour: This is the flour you’ll use to make the dough.
- Salt: A little salt helps to bring out the flavor of the dough.
- Warm water: You’ll need water to hydrate the dough and make it pliable.
- Avocado oil: This is optional, but a little oil helps to make the dough more manageable. You can also use a good quality olive oil.
- Garlic: This is also optional, but a few cloves of garlic add a nice flavor to the dough.
- Herbs: Again, this is optional, but some fresh herbs can add a nice flavor to the dough.
How to Make Sourdough Pizza Crust
I am going to give some directions for making the dough below, but know that I have done this all in one day and on short notice.
The directions below allow the dough to rise/ferment slowly.
If you are pressed for time, keep your homemade pizza dough in a warm area and it will rise quickly so you can use it sooner.
If this is your first time making a sourdough pizza recipe, take your time. It’s not hard and it will only be easier the next time you make it!
When starting the day before, follow these instructions to prepare for a pizza dinner the following evening.
- Evening before: Add all of the pizza crust ingredients to a large bowl and combine everything well by mixing it together with your hands. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl or stand mixer to get it all incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the bowl on the counter overnight. Leave it in warm spot that is between 70-80 degrees if you can. This is called the “bulk fermentation” or the first rise.
- The next morning: First thing the next morning, leaving the dough in the bowl, stretch and fold it all the way around the bowl. I like to picture the “four corners” of the bowl and fold those, even though a circle has no corners. It should form a smooth ball. Drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil, cover it with plastic wrap and put the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to make pizzas (up to 12 hours). If you’re rushing this recipe to make it a bit quicker, you can move on without doing this.
- When you’re ready to make the pizzas: An hour before you plan to bake the pizzas, take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and cover it with a damp tea towel. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
- Bake Pizzas: Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450°F. Once it’s hot, pop your cast iron skillet into the oven to heat it up. Form the 4 pieces of dough into pizza circles by stretching and patting them out with your hands until they’re thin. If the dough sticks, put it on a lightly floured surface and on top of the dough or drizzle a little olive oil on your counter. You can also use a rolling pin if you prefer, but I find it’s easier to just use my hands.
- Pull your skillet out and set it on your gas stove with the burner on. Immediately put one of the prepared crust inside the skillet so it can start to cook the bottom of it. This gets it super crispy! While it’s still on the stove, add your toppings: sauce, veggies, meat, and cheese. Then put it right in the oven directly from the stovetop. Cook the pizza for about 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to turn bubbly and golden brown.
Repeat the process with the next 3 pizzas until they’re all finished.
Sourdough Pizza Making Tips
If you’re new to making pizza, here are a few tips to help you out:
- Make sure the dough is room temperature: If it’s too cold, it will be difficult to work with and it won’t want to roll out. If it’s too hot, it will be sticky and difficult to shape.
- Do not overwork the dough: When you’re stretching and patting it out, be careful not to overdo it. The dough should be thin, but not see-through. If you’re having trouble handling the dough, using damp or wet hands can be helpful.
- Use your favorite pasta sauce as pizza sauce. You can add a small amount of sugar or honey to sweeten it up a bit – just a tiny bit will do!
- Do not over-top your pizza: A little goes a long way. Too many toppings will weigh down the dough and make it soggy.
- Use a Hot Oven: This is the key to getting the bottom of the crust crispy and still having a chewy crust in the center.
Sourdough Pizza Crust Toppings
Wondering what to put on your sourdough pizza? Here are a few of our favorite toppings:
- Veggies: mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes, etc.
- Cheese: fresh mozzarella or parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use an electric stove and a cast iron pan for this recipe, just make sure to keep your electric burner hot so your stovetop doesn’t crack.
If you don’t have a cast iron, use a pizza stone and do this entire system in the oven. Put your dough on the hot stone, add your toppings and cheese, and finish in the oven as you would any other pizza.
Yes! You want the skillet nice and hot so it can crisp up the bottom of your crust.
Leftover pizza can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the oven or in the microwave.
This sourdough pizza crust recipe is easy to make and yields a delicious, crispy crust. It’s the perfect base for all your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe
Sourdough Pizza Crust
- 1 large bowl
- 1 pizza pan or stone or cast iron
- ½ cup sourdough starter (100 grams)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or avocado oil
- 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (500 grams)
- 1⅓ cups +2 tablespoons warm water (350 grams)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 jar pizza sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
Day 1 Evening:
- Add pizza crust ingredients to a large bowl including the seasonings, mix with your hands, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave the bowl on the counter overnight.
Day 2 Morning:
- Leave the dough in the bowl and do a stretch and fold all the way around the bowl. I like to picture the “four corners” of the bowl and fold those, even though a circle has no corners.Cover and put the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to make pizzas (up to 12 hours).
Day 2 Evening: 1 hour of prep prior to baking
- Allow the dough to come to room temperature- 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
- Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and allow them to rest for 30 minutes.
- Heat your oven to 450°F. Heat your cast iron skillet in the oven once it is hot.
- While they heat, form your dough into pizza circles.
- Pull your skillet out and set it on your gas stove (This is tricky on a smooth top stove. I always worried about the heat from the skillet cracking the glass, so if you do this make sure your burner is on and warm prior to placing the skillet on it.) with the burner on. Immediately put a crust inside the skillet so it can start to cook the bottom of the crust.
- This gets it super crispy.
- Add your toppings while it is cooking on the stove. Once your sauce, toppings, and cheese are on… pop it into the stove to cook the toppings.This takes around 5-7 minutes.
- Repeat with the next pizzas.
- If you don’t have a cast iron, use a pizza stone and do this entire system in the oven. Put your dough on the hot stone, add your toppings and cheese, and finish in the oven as you would any other pizza.
- I have done this all in one day and on short notice. The directions allow the dough to rise/ferment slowly. If you are pressed for time, keep your dough in a warm area and it will rise quickly so you can use it sooner.