Sourdough Pizza Crust

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dairy free
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 14" round, or large rectangular thick-crust pizza; or two 12" round thin-crust pizzas.

Recipe photo

Sourdough pizza crust? Well, why not? For one thing, this crust can go from quite sour to "can't even tell it's sourdough," depending on how recently you've fed your starter. And even if you want very little (or no) tang, the vigor of the starter enhances the pizza dough's rise. Even the merest hint of tang comes across as rich flavor, which marries beautifully with the usual pizza toppings of tomato, cheese, veggies, and meat.

We've been looking for ways to use the "extra" cup of starter, the one you're directed to discard with each feeding; this is another good solution for you thrifty bakers who hate to throw anything away.

Read our blog about this pizza crust, with additional photos, at Flourish.

New to sourdough? Find the help you need for all your sourdough baking at our Sourdough Essentials page.

Sourdough Pizza Crust

star rating (107) rate this recipe »
dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 14" round, or large rectangular thick-crust pizza; or two 12" round thin-crust pizzas.
Published: 01/01/2010



see this recipe's blog »

1) Stir any liquid into the sourdough starter, and spoon 1 cup starter into a mixing bowl.

2) Add the hot water, flour, salt, yeast, and Pizza Dough Flavor. Mix to combine, then knead till smooth and slightly sticky, about 7 minutes at medium speed using a stand mixer with dough hook. Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased container, and allow it to rise till it's just about doubled in bulk. This might take 2 to 4 hours; it might take more. A lot depends on how vigorous your starter is. For a faster rise, place the dough somewhere warm (or increase the yeast). To slow it down, put it somewhere cool.

3) For two thinner-crust pizzas, divide the dough in half, shaping each half into a flattened disk. Drizzle two 12" round pizza pans with olive oil, tilting the pans to coat the bottom. Place half the dough in each pan. Cover, and let rest for 15 minutes. Gently press the dough towards the edges of the pans; when it starts to shrink back, cover it, and let it rest again, for about 15 minutes. Finish pressing the dough to the edges of the pans.

4) For a thicker-crust pizza, drizzle olive oil into a jelly roll pan (10" x 15") or half-sheet pan (18" x 13"), or similar sized pan; or a 14" round pizza pan, tilting the pan to coat with the oil. Shape the dough into a flattened disk or oval. Place it in the pan, cover it, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Push the dough towards the edges of the pan; when it starts to fight back, cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes. Finish pushing it to the edges of the pan.

5) Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it's as thick as you like. For thin-crust pizza made from fairly fresh starter, this may only be an hour or so. For thick-crust, using an old, little-used starter, this may take most of the day. There are no hard-and-fast rules here; it all depends on the vigor of your starter, and how you like your crust. Once you make it a couple of times, you'll figure out what time frame works for you.

6) Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450°F.

7) For a thicker crust, pre-bake the crust for about 8 minutes before topping. Top, then bake till toppings are hot and cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. For thin crusts, bake for 4 to 5 minutes, then top and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or till toppings are as done as you like.

8) Remove from the oven, and loosen the edges of the pizza with a table knife or heatproof spatula. Carefully lift it onto a cooling rack; you can serve it right from the pan, if desired, but a cooling rack helps keep its bottom crisp. Serve hot.

Yield: one 14" round, or rectangular thick-crust pizza; or two 12" round thin-crust pizzas.

Be aware of some sourdough dynamics here. The less-used your starter, the more liquid on top, the more sour it's likely to be; using a starter that hasn't been fed for weeks will yield a pizza crust that rises slowly, and tastes quite tangy. This type of crust is handy when you want to make dough in the morning, and have pizza ready for dinner. On the other hand, a starter that's fed regularly will yield a less-sour crust, one that will rise much more quickly. This is a great "weekend" crust, as you can shape it at 8 a.m., and have pizza for lunch.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1/12th Servings Per Batch: 12 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130 Calories from Fat: 5 Total Fat: 0.5g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 290mg Total Carbohydrate: 26g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 1g Protein: 5g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 05/06/2015
  • Linda from Monticello, FL
  • This was the first thing I made with my sour dough starter (after following the directions and feeding it, etc.) This was amazing! I didn't have the pizza crust seasoning, so I just left it out. This recipe produced a great crispy crust, especially with the pizza that did not have sauce on it. I made one with a sundried tomato paste "sauce" and topped it with italian turkey sausage, sauteed onion and mushrooms with mozzarella. The other crust had a parmesan blend cheese with chopped ham, and after it came out of the oven, I topped it with arugula tossed with lemon juice, thyme, salt & pepper and olive oil, and sliced pear. Amazing! Thanks for your helpful website and the recipes.
  • star rating 04/04/2015
  • Anonymous from Lyme NH
  • Made this into 3 odd-shaped pizzas for the grill today! This was our first time with outdooring grilling here in Lyme NH. We topped with turkey sausage and leftover vodka tomato sauce. What a glorious way to start our grilling season! We love it tangy and that is what we got. Nice chewy bite.
  • star rating 03/12/2015
  • kay43026 from KAF Community
  • Wonderful crust! I've got a 'dough proof' mode on my oven so I had pizza...start to about 2 hours. I've made it into 2 thinner crusts and on larger, thicker crust. Both ways produced a crispy outer crust and nice and 'bready' inside. Definitely will be putting this sour dough crust in my pizza dough rotation!
  • 03/08/2015
  • Kathy from Los Angeles
  • Texture was great. I would like a little more flavor in the crust. I allowed an overnight rise in refrigerator. Would another day improve flavor?
    Yes, that's fine. You can keep the crust in the fridge 2-3 days before using if you like a stronger sour flavor. ~ MJ @ KAF
  • star rating 03/02/2015
  • Lady of Shallots from KAF Community
  • Pizza is a weekend staple in our household, and we are always in search of the perfect pizza crust. This has become our go-to. The mild tang adds a background flavor to any pizza that seems to magically complement any topping. I always add the pizza dough flavoring (makes for a nice cheese-flavored crispy bottom), and usually a tablespoon of pizza seasoning as well. A note on the rise if you're after a thick crust - I make it first thing in the morning and after kneading put it straight into whichever pan I'm using, then let it rise all day, if I want a thick crust. Yes, it can take all day (but it's worth it!).
  • star rating 02/28/2015
  • Cindy from Canada
  • I've put a neutral rating for now as I found the dough to be really dry - are the ratios off? My dough hook stopped moving after 4 mins and I had to take it out because I didn't want to fry the motor. Can someone shed light on the texture and consistency it's supposed to have?
    Cindy, before you begin making the recipe, your sourdough starter should resemble a wet pancake batter--a bit glossy on top but still thick and viscous in the body of the starter. Once you add it into the rest of the ingredients, the dough should come together and have a soft, tender consistency--almost like a marshmellow. If your dough is more stiff than this, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is properly hydrated. This is common with sourdough recipes because everyone's starter takes on a mind (and consistency of its own). Your starter may just be more stiff than usual. Simply adding additional water will compensate for this. For pictures to guide your dough-making endeavors, take a look at our blog on sourdough pizza crust. It's called "Save that sourdough! Turning unfed starter into yummy pizza crust." Hopefully this gives you some visual tools to help you along your way to making a tasty, tangy crust. Good luck and happy baking! --Kye@KAF
  • star rating 02/27/2015
  • Sue from Sunapee
  • This is the only pizza dough I ever make anymore. It's wonderful.
  • star rating 02/09/2015
  • mrmoran from KAF Community
  • Terrific flavor. I'm always looking for good ways to use otherwise-discarded starter, and this is my favorite thus far. I used today's discard from a well-fed starter, and the dough handled beautifully and rose quickly (closer to two hours than four). I just have to work on my pizza-shaping technique so that it does justice to this crust's great flavor!
  • star rating 02/01/2015
  • Sonja from Ontario
  • Such a tasty recipe. I didn't realize the amount of time needed for the rise so put the dough in the fridge for 24 hours and started at step 4. It came out beautifully - lovely depth of flavour with a great chew and crispiness. Will definitely make this again. Great use of leftover discard!
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