Sourdough Pizza Crust

Sourdough bakers are always on the lookout for creative ways to put unfed starter to use. In the case of this pizza crust, the open crumb and distinctive hearty taste of sourdough are well suited to bold toppings and well-aged cheeses.

Prep
10 mins
Bake
16 to 18 mins
Total
4 hrs 56 mins
Yield
one 14" round, or large rectangular thick-crust pizza; or two 12" round thin-crust pizzas.
Sourdough Pizza Crust

Instructions

  1. Stir any liquid on top of your refrigerated starter back into it before measuring 1 cup (241g) into a large mixing bowl. Note: This is a good opportunity to feed the remainder of your starter, if necessary.

  2. Add the warm water, flour, salt, yeast, and Pizza Dough Flavor (if using). Mix to combine, then knead for about 7 minutes in a mixer with the dough hook, until the dough wraps itself around the hook and cleans the side of the bowl.

  3. Place the dough in a greased container, cover and let rise until almost doubled in bulk. Depending on the vitality of your starter, this will take between 2 and 4 hours. For a faster rise, place the dough in a warm spot, or double the yeast.

  4. For two thin-crust pizzas, divide the dough in half, and shape each into a flattened disk. Drizzle two 12" round pizza pans with olive oil, and brush to coat the bottom. Place the dough in the pans, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes. After this rest, gently press the dough toward the edges of the pans. If it starts to shrink back, cover and let rest for 15 minutes before continuing.

  5. For a thicker, large pizza, oil a 14" round pizza pan (an 18" x 13" half-sheet pan will also work). Place the dough in the selected pan and press it out to the edges, again giving it a 15-minute rest before continuing if it starts to snap back.

  6. Cover the pan(s) and let the dough rise until it's as thick as you like.

  7. Towards the end of the rise time, preheat your oven to 450°F.

  8. Sauce and top as you like, but don't add cheese yet. Bake thin-crust pizzas for 5 minutes before removing from the oven and adding cheese. For thick-crust pizza, bake for 10 minutes before removing from the oven and adding cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 5 to 7 more minutes, until the cheese is melted.

  9. Store leftover pizza covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Don’t have any starter? Here’s a recipe for homemade sourdough starter. If you're making it from scratch, you'll need to feed it for 5 to 7 days before it’s ready for baking. Want a head start? Purchase our classic fresh sourdough starter – it’ll be ready for baking about 24 hours after it arrives at your door. Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.

  • 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 more quickly. This is a great "weekend" crust, as you can shape it at 8 a.m., and have pizza for lunch.
  • Another way to bake: Instead of par-baking the crust, consider leaving off the cheese for the first two-thirds of the bake time. This allows liquid from the sauce and toppings to evaporate, concentrating their flavor. Melted cheese can act like a lid, trapping moisture and making dough soggy instead of crisp. After the edges of the pizza begin to brown, remove from the oven, add cheese, and return to the oven to finish baking.