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This pizza dough? It’s hands down the absolute best, and here’s why it’s like no other.
First off, let’s talk about the chewy crust that comes from using sourdough starter in your dough. It’s pure pizza perfection!
Then, there’s the fresh toppings. Garden tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil are next level. But the real game-changer here is that unmistakable sourdough flavor. It’s like magic how it elevates your pizza to a whole new league. This recipe is the undisputed sourdough pizza crust champion, and you’re about to taste exactly why.
Keep reading to learn how you can par-bake pizza crust to get the perfect balance of a crispy exterior and a tender interior. Plus, it’s a game-changer when it comes to sliding your pizza into the oven. No more fumbling with transferring the pizza dough onto the baking stone.
How to make the best sourdough pizza
When it comes to crafting the perfect sourdough pizza crust, the secret starts with pure and simple ingredients, but here’s the deal: it’s all about high quality.
Now, I can’t stress this enough – don’t even think about substituting all-purpose flour in this recipe. High-quality bread flour is the superstar here, and it’s worth every penny. This flour is what takes this recipe from good to absolutely incredible. It’s the key to achieving that chewy, dreamy crust.
Remember: go for the best bread flour you can find. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you later.
Use high-quality ingredients
- Bread flour (I like King Arthur bread Flour)
- Sourdough starter
Mix your pizza dough by hand
Now, let’s talk about why this dough is an absolute breeze to mix. All you need is a large mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. Or, if you’ve got one, my personal favorite, is the Dutch whisk. I like the Dutch whisk because it effortlessly kneads the ingredients together, creating a smooth and cohesive dough in no time.
No fancy gadgets, no complicated techniques – just pure simplicity and efficiency.
– Large mixing bowl
– Dutch whisk (optional)
– Pizza stone and pizza peel (helpful, but not required)
I’ll explain a little more about why I prefer to mix this sourdough pizza crust recipe by hand in the Tips For Proofing section below.
Top with fresh, delicious toppings
When it comes to toppings for this pizza, the possibilities are mouthwatering. My personal favorite toppings are a dollop of homemade pizza sauce, creamy fresh mozzarella cheese, and freshly picked basil leaves.
Here are a few other popular topping ideas:
- Pepperoni slices
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Sliced bell peppers
- Red onion rings
- Fresh spinach leaves
- Sliced black olives
- Cooked Italian sausage
- Artichoke hearts
Mix and match to create your perfect pizza masterpiece!
Step-by-step tutorial for making this sourdough pizza dough recipe
- Feed your starter about 6-8 hours before using.
- Place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix with a spoon or Dutch whisk until the ingredients are well combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean countertop. I use my hands to knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic, which takes about 5 minutes. If you prefer to use your mixer and a dough hook attachment, that will also work.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the dough rise.
💡Pro Tip: Start the dough early (8 hours before you want to eat).
Tips for proofing sourdough pizza dough
Remember that natural starters are slower-acting which means that sourdough pizza crust needs more time to proof.
Here’s Why: Sourdough starters contain wild yeast and bacteria that work at a slower pace than commercial yeast. These microorganisms need extra time to ferment and create carbon dioxide, which makes the dough rise. This is why we need to allow for a longer proofing period.
I prefer the more gentle process of folding the dough instead of excessively kneading it.
Here’s Why: To help develop the dough’s structure and strength during the initial proofing( aka bulk fermentation), I fold the dough 1-2 times. Folding the dough means gently lifting and stretching it, then folding it back onto itself. This process helps develop the gluten and redistribute the yeast. During the process of folding, you’ll see the dough transform from a shaggy mass to a smooth and elastic dough.
How to par-bake sourdough pizza crusts
Par baking, which stands for “partial baking,” is a way of cooking where you partly the bake pizza crust before you put on the toppings on it. Par-baking is awesome because you get that crispy crust we all love, and It makes sliding your pizza into the oven a breeze.
I’ve made this recipe 100’s of times. Sometimes I make one large pizza for the family to share, and other times I divide it into mini pizzas. It’s also great when you want to throw a pizza party and let your guests choose their toppings. But my favorite way to make it is to par-bake the pizza crusts in advance so that we can have great pizza any night of the week.
Here are the steps to par-bake your pizza crust:
- Turn the proofed dough out onto a floured work surface
- Divide the dough depending on the size pizza you are making.
- Gently round each piece into a tight ball.
- Put a little flour and a towel over the top of the dough and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes
- Shape each piece of dough into a round shape that is a little thicker around the outside edge. (Picture a steering wheel)
- Lay the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.
- When you’re ready to bake, place your par-baked crust on a wooden peel or piece of parchment and add your favorite toppings.
- Bake the topped pizza for an additional 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees, (or until the cheese is lightly brown and bubbly).
Not into parbaking your pizza? No worries. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions to bake your fresh dough and toppings together.
How to bake sourdough pizza
You don’t have to parbake your pizza crust if you’re feeling adventurous and want to simplify things. You can take your dough, shape it into your desired pizza shape, add your fresh and flavorful toppings, and then slide it straight into the oven.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Preheat your oven to 450°F.
- Place a pizza stone in the lower ⅓ of the oven.
- Roll out the dough to the desired thickness.
- Lift the dough onto a piece of parchment paper.
- Top your pizzas with desired toppings.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes for individual pizzas or 20-25 minutes for a large.
Sourdough Pizza FAQ’s
Can I refrigerate the dough before I use it?
Yes, you can refrigerate your sourdough pizza dough. It’s a great option if you want to plan ahead or if you’re not ready to use it right away. After preparing your dough, simply place it in an airtight container cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator. This slow fermentation can enhance the flavor of your crust. When you’re ready to make pizza, take the dough out of the fridge, let it come to room temperature for about an hour, and then proceed with shaping and baking. It’s a convenient way to have fresh pizza dough on hand whenever you’re in the mood for homemade pizza.
Why do I need to let my dough come to room temperature before I shape it for my sourdough pizza crust?
Because room-temperature dough balls are easier to work with. Cold dough tends to be stiffer and less pliable, making it challenging to stretch into your desired pizza shape.
What is a bench scraper, and how does it help with sticky dough?
A bench scraper is a handy tool that’s especially useful when working with high-hydration dough, which can be sticky. It’s essentially a flat, rectangular piece of metal or plastic with a handle. The scraper allows you to lift and move sticky dough without sticking to your hands or the work surface, making the dough-handling process much easier.
What’s the difference between baking steel and baking stone, and which one should I use in my home oven?
Baking steel and baking stone serve similar purposes, but there are differences. A baking steel retains heat more effectively than a stone, which means it stays hot for longer. This makes it ideal if you’re making multiple pizzas back-to-back. A stone is a great choice for occasional pizza making. The choice depends on your baking habits and how many pizzas you plan to make at once.
Do I need a pizza peel to make homemade sourdough pizza?
Nope, you don’t need a pizza peel! Here’s a simple trick: prepare your pizza crust on a sheet of parchment paper. When it’s time to transfer your pizza to the oven, place the parchment paper, with the pizza on top, directly onto the hot stone or steel surface in your oven. It’s an easy and effective method that doesn’t require any special tools.
Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe
- Baking stone or baking steel
- Dutch whisk optional
- Parchment paper for transferring pizzas to the oven
- Pizza Peel
- 2 1/2 cups Bread Flour 10oz, 300g
- 3/4 cup Water 6oz,170g
- 1 cup Sourdough Starter 8oz, 225g
- 1 tsp Salt 0.25oz, 7g
- Into a large bowl, pour the water measurement. Add the sourdough starter, bread flour measurement, and the salt.
- If you don't have a sourdough starter, you can combine 2 oz water and 2 oz flour with 1/2 tsp yeast. Stir well and continue recipe as written.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until you have a shaggy mass and there is no visible dry flour.
- Turn the dough out into a work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. About 5 minutes.
- Let the dough rest in the warmest part of your kitchen until doubled in size.
- Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Divide into 3 individual crusts or 1 large crust.
- Gently round the dough into balls. Cover and allow to rest at least 20 minutes before shaping.
- To bake immediately transfer shaped crust onto a piece of parchment and top with your choice of sauce, cheese, meats, or veggies. Bake at 450°.10-15 minutes for small crust and 20- 25 minutes for large crust.
- To par-bake pizza: Shape crust and place it on a sheet pan. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes. The dough will be cooked, but not brown. Allow to cool, then place in freezer zip locks and freeze until ready to use. Top and bake according to above directions and reduce time if needed. There is no need to defrost before baking.