You don’t have to go to a fancy pizza restaurant to eat delicious sourdough pizza! It’s really easy to make your own homemade sourdough pizza using a sourdough starter.
If you don’t have a sourdough starter or ‘mother dough’, then you’ll need to make (and keep) one before you can start making your own sourdough pizzas and loaves of bread. I learned all about how to make my own sourdough starter here.
Keeping a sourdough starter going/alive takes a small commitment from you – you will need to ‘feed’ your sourdough everyday, but it’s easy enough to do – just add flour and water (after removing some of the sourdough starter).
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume that you have your own, live, functioning sourdough starter, and I’ll show you how to use some of the discard from that to make your own, delicious, sourdough pizzas.
Again, if you don’t have a sourdough starter then either this is not the pizza recipe for you, or you need to take some time to make your own starter and then come back and try this pizza recipe.
How To Make Sourdough Pizza Using Sourdough Starter
Firstly you need to be aware that this process takes about a day – start your pizza dough in the morning (breakfast time) to make sure it’s ready to start cooking your pizzas for dinner. There’s a lot of time needed for the dough to rest/rise.
To begin you’re going to need some sourdough starter or ‘mother dough’. This is what my live sourdough starter looks like:
I like to use a Tupperware mixing bowl that has a lid to mix and rest my pizza dough, but you can use any medium-large sized bowl – you just might need to cover it with Glad Wrap for the resting/rising periods.
Add 170g of your sourdough starter to the mixing bowl.
Then add 600g of plain flour.
Add 8-10g of salt.
Finally, add 400g of lukewarm water.
Use a fork (or your fingers) to mix it all together.
Then, cover your dough – with a lid or plastic wrap and a clean tea towel, and leave it somewhere warm for 1 hour.
After 1 hour uncover your dough and begin the ‘stretch and fold’ process. This pizza dough does not need kneading, instead it will have a series of ‘stretch and fold’ movements.
Using clean hands simply grab a section at the side of the dough and stretch it up, then fold it back over the top of the dough.
Then do the same thing with the other 3 ‘corners’ of the dough until you finish up with a soft ‘ball’ of dough like this.
Then cover your dough again and put it back in a nice warm spot – I find sitting it on a hot water bottle works well as my house is quite cold.
You need to repeat this stretch and fold process every 2-3 hours. Each time you come back to stretch and fold your dough should have risen a little bit more until, eventually, you are left with a nice, puffy ball of dough like this:
Forty-five minutes to one hour before you want to eat, you’ll want to prepare your oven. I cook my pizzas in my regular oven using a pizza baking steel. You could also potentially use a pizza stone or a specialised pizza oven.
If you don’t have a pizza steel, stone or oven, you can still cook them in your oven on regular pizza trays, you just might not get as crispy a crust and you might need to cook them for a little longer.
Place your pizza steels or stones (if using) into your oven and begin to heat to 220℃.
My pizza steels are starting to look a bit old and tired now, but it’s just because they get used so much! We eat these pizzas almost once a week – they’re so much better than takeaway pizza!
While the oven is preheating, it’s time to start making your pizzas.
I use this sourdough pizza dough to make 4 medium-large sized pizzas – they’re easily big enough to feed 4 hungry adults (including teenagers).
Begin by laying out 4 sheets of baking paper big enough to create each pizza on.
Then, tip your sourdough dough onto a floured surface (I like to use a silicone baking mat). Perform one last series of the ‘stretch and fold’ technique to neaten your dough up into a nice ball.
Then portion your dough into 4 equal pieces (or however many pizzas you are making).
Taking each portion of dough one at a time, give each portion another ‘stretch and fold’ to turn it into a ball and then use a rolling pin to roll your pizza dough out into a pizza sized circle.
Carefully transfer each rolled pizza base onto your prepared sheets of baking paper.
Then the fun begins! Top your pizza bases with whatever toppings take your fancy – in our house we have a very popular BBQ sauce with ham, salami, bacon and cheese – like a meat lovers as well as, my personal favourite – a tomato based pizza sauce with ham, salami, mushroom, capsicum, olives and cheese.
Use a pizza peel (or very large spatula) to slide your pizzas (baking paper and all) into the oven on top of the pizza steels.
Cook for 7 minutes (you will probably need to cook for a few minutes longer if not using a pizza steel or stone).
Then, carefully slide your pizza peel between the pizza base and the baking paper and pull the baking paper out leaving the pizza directly on the pizza steel for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. (This helps to get the base nice and crispy).
Transfer to a cutting board to cut and serve – just look at that crust!
Homemade Sourdough Pizza Dough Recipe
Homemade Sourdough Pizza Dough Recipe
- 170 g sourdough starter
- 600 g plain flour
- 8-10 g salt
- 400 g lukewarm water
- Begin in the morning leaving many hours for the dough to rise during the day.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly with a fork or clean hands.
- Leave dough in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Using clean hands, perform a ‘stretch and fold’ on the dough.
- Cover again and leave in a warm place for 2-3 hours.
- Repeat stretch and fold.
- Keep repeating this sequence (3-4 times) until your dough has risen to form a nice soft ball and/or it is time for you to start preparing the pizzas.
- 45 minutes- 1 hour before you plan to cook the pizzas, place pizza steels or stones in the oven and preheat to 220℃.
- Meanwhile lay out 4 sheets of baking paper.
- Tip your sourdough onto a floured surface and perform the stretch and fold technique to form a ball.
- Portion the dough into 4 equal portions.
- Take each portion separately and stretch and fold again into a ball shape, then roll, with a rolling pin to form the desired shape and thickness of each pizza base.
- Carefully transfer each rolled pizza base onto a piece of baking paper.
- Top your pizzas with your desired toppings.
- When ready to cook, use a pizza peel to slide each pizza (along with the baking paper) onto each steel in the oven. (I only have two pizza steels so I cook our pizzas two at a time - if you only have 1, you’ll need to cook them one at a time).
- Cook for 7 minutes then carefully slide your pizza peel (or spatula) between the pizza base and the baking paper and remove the baking paper leaving the pizza base directly on the pizza steel.
- Cook for a further 30-60 seconds to allow the base to get crispy.
- Remove, cut and serve.
I know it all sounds like a lot but, if you’ve got a sourdough starter you’re using to make sourdough bread, then you’re already familiar with working with sourdough. Trust me, once you’ve made these pizzas once or twice it all becomes second nature and is incredibly easy given the amazing results you will achieve.
I can honestly say that my family prefers to eat these homemade sourdough pizzas rather than any pizza you can get from a takeaway pizza shop.
And, while it sounds like you’ll be cooking all day, most of the time your pizza dough will just be sitting, minding its own business, you just need to give it a quick stretch and fold every couple of hours.
So, if you’ve already got a sourdough starter, you definitely want to give these homemade sourdough pizzas a go – trust me, they’re delicious. And, if you haven’t got a sourdough starter yet, maybe it’s time to start one!