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How to Make Pizza Crust with Sourdough Discard

Sourdough discard recipes like this one are a super easy way to use up leftover sourdough starter and whip up something awesome—sourdough pizza crust! 

Sourdough discard recipes

This sourdough pizza crust is so good, you’ll find yourself looking forward to saving up your sourdough discard just to make this recipe!

A lot of recipes call for active sourdough starter, but with this recipe, we’re using just sourdough discard, which is super handy for adding a nice tang to your pizza crust, without throwing away excess starter!

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If you give this sourdough discard pizza crust a try, please remember to rate the recipe and drop a comment below. I always enjoy hearing from bakers who have tried my recipes!

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Discovering New Sourdough Discard Recipes

I keep a very active sourdough starter. When I’m really into baking I’m a daily feeder. That leaves me with a ton of sourdough discard. 

As a baker, throwing away a portion of your starter feels so wasteful, so I decided to experiment with my leftover sourdough discard in a new way: making pizza dough. What I ended up with was a delicious discovery. I mixed the sourdough discard with bread flour, a pinch of salt, and a little active dry yeast to boost the wild yeast and help the bread rise. 

After kneading it into a smooth and elastic dough and letting it rise, I topped it with fresh mozzarella, basil, and a simple tomato sauce. The pizza that emerged from the oven had a golden, crisp crust and a delicious flavor that only sourdough can provide.

This recipe isn’t just a way to use up discard; it transforms it into the star of your meal. Here’s how you can make your own sourdough pizza crust and turn a simple baking byproduct into a delicious creation.

Tips to Make Sourdough Discard Pizza Crust

A couple of notes about this recipe- 

  1. Use Bread Flour: For the best rise and texture in your pizza crust, skip the all-purpose flour and use high-quality bread flour, like King Arthur Flour, which has a higher protein content to support the structure of your dough. 
  2. Try the Overnight Method: If you’re short on time you can mix and bake this same day, but for more flavor,  allow your dough to ferment slowly in the refrigerator, ideally overnight. This helps develop a more complex flavor profile in your crust.
  3. Bake at 500 degrees F: For a perfectly crispy bottom and even cooking, preheat your oven with a baking stone or cast-iron skillet inside. Stretch your dough onto a piece of parchment paper, then slide it directly onto the hot stone or skillet in the oven. This method mimics the intense heat of a traditional pizza oven and gives you that delicious, crispy crust!
  4. Adjust for Stickiness: Depending in the thickness (hydration) of your active starter, you may find that your discard creates a very sticky dough. Add a little extra flour as needed, to create a soft, pliable dough.

Sourdough discard recipes

 

How to Make Sourdough Discard Pizza Crust

Here you’ll find step-by-step photos showing how to make sourdough discard pizza rust. The full recipe with ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

Sourdough discard recipes

You can mix this recipe by hand or with a stand mixer and a dough hook. 

Step 1:  In a large mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter discard, bread flour, salt, and instant yeast. If you’re using it, add the maple syrup here. Mix with a wooden spoon or in a stand mixer with a dough hook until combined.

Step 2: Gradually add the warm water and olive oil, mixing until a shaggy dough forms. You might need to adjust the water or add extra flour to achieve the right consistency. The dough should be slightly sticky but manageable.

Step 3: Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. This is a great way to develop the gluten, which gives the crust a great texture.

Step 4: Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.

Step 5:  Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to shape it into your desired pizza crust thickness.

Step 6: Preheat your oven to the highest setting, typically 500°F (260°C). If using a baking sheet, place it in the oven to heat as well.

Step 7: Place the dough on parchment paper and add your favorite toppings. Transfer the prepared pizza onto the hot baking sheet or cast iron skillet, then bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden and crispy.

Overnight Sourdough Pizza Crust Method

I discovered this method quite by accident one evening while preparing the original recipe for sourdough discard pizza crust. Just as I was mixing the sourdough discard into the dough, my kids reminded me about a school event that we were already late for. So much for our pizza plans! Not wanting to waste the dough, I decided to refrigerate it and revisit it the next day. The next afternoon, when I pulled the dough from the fridge to see if it could be salvaged, I noticed that the dough had transformed overnight—it was fuller, had a nice sour aroma, and felt wonderfully elastic to the touch.

 I rolled it out, topped it, and slid it into the oven. What came out was nothing short of a revelation. The crust had a depth of flavor and a perfect chewy texture!.It was an accidental discovery, but it quickly became my new recipe for the perfect sourdough pizza crust!

To get the best results when fermenting your sourdough pizza dough overnight in the fridge, follow these clear steps:

  1. Securely Cover the Dough: Wrap your dough tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a sealed container before refrigerating to keep it from drying out.
  2. Flexible Fermentation Time: You can leave the dough in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Keep in mind that a longer fermentation will intensify the sour flavors of the dough.
  3. Prepare for Baking: Before baking, let the dough return to room temperature and allow it to rise slightly. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, this could take between 30 minutes to an hour, which helps ensure an even bake.

For a perfect sourdough pizza crust, just follow the baking instructions on the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

 

Sourdough discard recipes

Sourdough discard recipes

Sourdough Discard Pizza Crust Recipe

Transform your sourdough discard into a delightful pizza crust with this simple recipe. It's the best way to avoid waste while creating a delicious base for your favorite pizza toppings.
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup unfed sourdough starter discard: room temperature.
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: Plus a little extra for coating the bowl.
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup: Optional

Instructions

  • Mix Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter discard, bread flour, salt, and instant yeast. Add the maple syrup here if you’re using it. Stir everything together with a wooden spoon or mix with a dough hook on a stand mixer until well combined.
  • Add Liquids: Slowly mix in the warm water and olive oil, stirring until a shaggy dough forms. Adjust the water or add extra flour as needed until the dough is slightly sticky yet manageable.
  • Knead the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes, until it's smooth and elastic. This step is crucial for developing the gluten, which gives the crust its excellent texture.
  • First Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
  • Shape the Crust: After the rise, punch down the dough and turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to shape it to your desired thickness.
  • Preheat the Oven: Heat your oven to its highest setting, usually around 500°F (260°C). Place the baking sheet or skillet inside as it heats to get hot.
  • Bake: Place the parchment paper and dough directly onto the preheated baking surface. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden and crispy.

Did You Enjoy this Sourdough Discard Recipe?

This easy recipe is a great way to use up extra sourdough discard. It provides a healthy, flavorful base for your favorite pizza toppings. You can also get creative and experiment with using different flour to craft your ideal pizza. I hope these tips will help you turn that leftover starter into a mouth-watering pizza that gets rave reviews. 

Have you tried this sourdough discard pizza recipe? I’d love to hear about your experience! Share your thoughts, tips, and any tweaks you made to the recipe in the comments below. Your feedback helps me improve and inspires fellow bakers. Let me know if you achieved that perfect crust and what toppings stole the show!

 

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