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Simple Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe: A Step-By-Step Guide

In our home, family pizza nights are a weekly tradition. We make homemade pizza, and the kids get to watch a movie while they eat. We started making our own pizza crust with sourdough discard and now we will never go back! Pizza crust may sound intimidating to make, but trust me it’s so easy and so much better than anything you can buy. Sourdough pizza crust has a really good flavor and chewy texture that is hard to beat. In this post I’ll show you step-by-step instructions on how to make perfect sourdough pizza crust from scratch for your next pizza night.

A side view of pepperoni pizza on homemade sourdough pizza crust

Getting Started with Your Sourdough Starter

To make your own sourdough pizza crust, you will need your own sourdough starter. If you don’t already have one, it’s so easy to create your own! I created my own in 2022 from this recipe on farmhouse on boone. I think once you start baking with sourdough you will never want to buy bread again!  Besides making sourdough pizza nearly every week, I also love making homemade bread, crackers and tortillas with my sourdough starter discard. 

Why Sourdough?

Alright, so why sourdough? Besides being incredibly trendy right now, (#inmysourdoughera) sourdough is an “old school” way of making bread that dates back thousands of years. It’s how people made bread before commercial yeast. Sourdough uses a natural fermentation process, where a mixture of flour and water captures wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria from the environment. This natural fermentation creates a delicious tangy flavor with some great health benefits that are hard to ignore. Sourdough is really the best (I’m biased). 

Close up view of bubbly sourdough starter in a glass jar

A Few Benefits of Sourdough:

  1. Better Digestibility: The natural fermentation process in sourdough breaks down complex carbohydrates and proteins, making them easier to digest. Many people with mild gluten sensitivities can still have sourdough bread.
  2. Lower Glycemic Index: Sourdough bread typically has a lower glycemic index than bread made with commercial yeast. This means it has a slower and more stable impact on blood sugar levels, making it a better choice for people who need to manage their blood sugar.
  3. Bio Available Nutrients: Fermentation in sourdough bread increases the availability of certain nutrients, such as B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are more easily absorbed by the body, contributing to better overall health.
  4. Longer Shelf Life: Sourdough’s natural acidity, created by lactic acid bacteria, acts as a natural preservative. This results in a longer shelf life for sourdough bread compared to homemade bread that uses commercial yeast. The same acidity and low water activity in sourdough create helps to prevent molds and bacteria.
  5. That Bomb Sourdough Flavor: Sourdough’s unique tangy flavor is one of the main reasons that people love sourdough. Sourdough takes sandwiches, toast, and, of course, pizza to a new level. The chewy crust is hard to resist. 
  6. Reduced Phytates: Phytates are compounds that can inhibit the absorption of certain minerals in the body. Sourdough fermentation reduces the phytate content in bread, making it more nutrient-friendly.
  7. No Yeast Here: Another super cool thing about sourdough is that it relies on naturally occurring wild yeast and bacteria to rise. This means you don’t need to use commercial yeast, making it a more natural and healthier version of bread without any processed or artificial ingredients.
fresh sourdough pizza dough with tomato sauce on top

Ingredients for The Best Sourdough Pizza Crust

Sourdough pizza crust only requires a few simple ingredients:

  • 400g Flour (About 2 1/2 Cups). I like to use all purpose flour, or whole wheat. You could also use bread flour or a mix. Use your favorite! 
  • 280g Water (About 1 – 1 1/2 Cup)
  • 80 grams Sourdough Discard (about 1/3 cup)* 
  • 8g Salt (About 1 1/4 Tsp) (we love Redmonds unrefined mineral salt)

*This recipe also works with active sourdough starter, so not to worry if you have recently fed your starter

Close up view of two hands pressing outward on homemade sourdough pizza crust dough

Other Things You Might Need

There a few other kitchen tools that will help make your sourdough pizza dough a success:

How To Make Sourdough Pizza Crust

You will need to plan at least one day ahead before you want to make your sourdough pizza. 

Homemade sourdough pizza crush spread out on parchment paper

The Night Before:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. You can use your hands, or a large spoon. The dough will be a little bit sticky, that’s ok. 

2. Wait 20 minutes, then perform one set of stretch and folds* with the dough. It helps to wet your hands so that the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. 

3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and leave to bulk ferment overnight at room temperature. 

*Stretch and folds are where you pull the side of the dough up and over itself. Repeat on all sides. 

The Next Morning

1. In the morning, perform one more set of stretch and folds on your pizza dough. Then, recover the bowl and place in the fridge for 4-24 hours. You can also put your dough in an airtight container. 

Homemade sourdough pizza crust in a large glass bowl

30 Minutes Before You Plan to Make Pizza

1. After the cold proof, lay out two large pieces of parchment paper, and sprinkle them with flour.

2. Take your pizza dough out of the fridge, and split it into two even (ish) dough balls on the prepared parchment paper. 

Two balls of homemade sourdough pizza dough

3. Form each into a tight ball, cover with a tea towel, and allow them to rest for 30 minutes. 

Shaping The Dough / Pizza Time

1. Preheat the oven to 500. (You want your pizza dough to cook quickly at a very high temperature for best results!)

2. Take one dough ball, and with lots of flour on your hands*, gently press out the dough into an 8-10 inch circle. Leave a thicker edge on the outside of the dough for your crust.** If you decide to bake on a pizza stone or cast iron it may be easiest to form the dough directly on those surfaces. If you are using a baking sheet, shape the dough right on the piece of parchment paper. 

Two hands pressing outward on a ball of homemade sourdough pizza crust

3. Add your favorite pizza toppings on top of the dough! 

4. If baking on a sheet pan, slide the parchment paper directly onto the pan.   

5. Bake for 12-18 minutes (The time here really depends on your oven, how thick you made your crust, and your desired level of crispy). I personally like a nice crispy crust, so I cook my pizza on the longer side. I find that some practice is needed to perfect your pizza crust in your oven. You want your crust to be starting to brown on the edges. 

6. Slice into pieces with a pizza cutter, and enjoy! 

*You can also use a rolling pin for this, especially if you are trying to get make a thin crust pizza. I prefer to use my hands! 

**If you find the dough keeps springing back to the middle, wait another 10 minutes for the dough to rest a little more. 

homemade pepperoni pizza on sourdough pizza crust with a slice missing

Tips For Success

This sourdough pizza crust recipe is pretty foolproof, but with all things sourdough practice makes perfect! Here are a few other tips for great pizza. 

  1. The fresher the ingredients, the better the pizza. Experiment with homemade pizza sauce, fresh graded cheese, and high quality toppings. 
  2. Use lots of flour when forming your pizza dough. This will help prevent sticking to the counter or parchment paper. 
  3. Experiment with cooking times. Every oven is different, so start on the low end and check your pizza often until it’s cooked just right!

Sample Baking Schedule

Here is an example of how you can plan out your schedule for family pizza night: 

8PM – The night before, mix dough (follow instructions above), cover and leave at room temperature

8AM – The next morning, one more set of stretch and folds, cover and place in the fridge

5PM – Remove the dough from the fridge, rest on counter

5:30PM – Make pizza & Cook

Easy Sourdough Pizza Crust

This simple and delicious sourdough pizza crust recipe will take your family pizza nights to a new level! This crust has a really good flavor and chewy texture that will become your new favorite.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:18 minutes
Fermenting, Cold Proof, Resting:16 hours 30 minutes
Total Time:17 hours 3 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 Large glass bowl
  • Parchment Paper Unbleached
  • 1 Baking Sheet Also can use a pizza stone or cast iron skillet
  • 1 Pizza Cutter

Ingredients

  • 400 g Flour All-purpose
  • 280 g Water Room temperature
  • 80 g Sourdough starter discard
  • 8 g Salt

Instructions

The Night Before

  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. You can use your hands, or a large spoon. The dough will be a little bit sticky, that's ok. 
  • Wait 20 minutes, then perform one set of stretch and folds with the dough. It helps to wet your hands so that the dough doesn't stick to your hands. 
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and leave to bulk ferment overnight at room temperature.

The Next Morning

  • In the morning, perform one more set of stretch and folds on your pizza dough. Then, recover the bowl and place in the fridge for 4-24 hours. You can also put your dough in an airtight container. 

30 Minutes Before You Plan to Make Pizza

  • After the cold proof, lay out two large pieces of parchment paper, and sprinkle them with flour.
  • Take your pizza dough out of the fridge, and split it into two even (ish) dough balls on the prepared parchment paper.
  • Form each into a tight ball, cover with a tea towel, and allow them to rest for 30 minutes. 

Shaping The Dough / Pizza Time

  • Preheat the oven to 500. (You want your pizza dough to cook quickly at a very high temperature for best results!)
  • Take one dough ball, and with lots of flour on your hands, gently press out the dough into an 8-10 inch circle. Leave a thicker edge on the outside of the dough for your crust. If you decide to bake on a pizza stone or cast iron it may be easiest to form the dough directly on those surfaces. If you are using a baking sheet, shape the dough right on the piece of parchment paper. 
  • Add your favorite pizza toppings on top of the dough! 
  • If baking on a sheet pan, slide the parchment paper directly onto the pan.   
  • Bake for 12-18 minutes (The time here really depends on your oven, how thick you made your crust, and your desired level of crispy). I personally like a nice crispy crust, so I cook my pizza on the longer side. I find that some practice is needed to perfect your pizza crust in your oven. You want your crust to be starting to brown on the edges. 
  • Slice into pieces with a pizza cutter, and enjoy! 

Notes

Stretch and folds are where you pull the side of the dough up and over itself. Repeat on all sides. 
You can also use a rolling pin for your pizza dough especially if you are trying to get make a thin crust pizza. I prefer to use my hands! 
If you find the dough keeps springing back to the middle, wait another 10 minutes for the dough to rest a little more. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pizza dough, sourdough discard recipes
Servings: 2 8 inch pizzas

Storing Leftover Pizza

If you happen to have leftover pizza (savage), store it in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. It’s delicious if you heat it back up in a toaster oven. 

Sourdough Pizza Crust Topping Ideas

The fun thing about homemade pizza is that there are almost endless possibilities. You can really have fun with it! Here are a few of our go-to recipes and favorite toppings:

Classic Pepperoni

Tomato sauce, mozerella cheese, and pepperoni. If you can, look for uncured pepperoni! 

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Barbeque sauce base (primal kitchen is my favorite), cooked chicken, bacon, and red onions.

Jalepeno Cream Cheese Pizza

Red sauce base, cheese, pepperoni, jalepeno cream cheese, and fresh jalepenos.

Meat Lovers Pizza

Sausage, pepperoni, ham, and bacon. Say less. 

Garlic Chicken & Mushroom

Olive oil and garlic base, chicken, balsamic mushrooms, and sliced cherry tomatoes. 

Close up view of pulled pork pizza on homemade sourdough pizza crust

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sourdough Pizza Crust Gluten Free?

Sourdough pizza crust is not technically gluten free. However many people with mild gluten sensitivities are able to digest sourdough, because the natural fermentation process breaks down the complex carbohydrates. 

Can Sourdough Pizza Crust Be Frozen?

Yes! After the bulk fermentation overnight, complete your second set of stretch and folds. Next, split the dough into two equal pieces, cover with olive oil and place in individual freezer bags. When you are ready to make pizza, take the dough out and thaw it in the fridge overnight (at least 12 hours). Finish making the pizza like you would by taking it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you’re ready to make. The sourdough crust dough will stay fresh in the freezer for a few months. 

Can I make Sourdough Pizza Crust With Active Starter?

You can! I have actually done this exact recipe with active starter and it turns out virtually the same. The dough might rise a little bit more overnight, which is fine. 

Sourdough pizza crust text over collage of pictures of homemade pizza dough

Want more Sourdough Recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:

Latest Sourdough Recipes

Just getting started with sourdough? These recipes are easy and turn out great every time!


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