I’ve wanted to make sourdough pizza for a while now. It’s really amazing to see my sourdough starter in action. I don’t know why I was scared of making pizza, I thought it was going to be complicated. It wasn’t complicated at all! Actually I thought it was pretty easy compared to a loaf or a focaccia, even. This sourdough pizza is really easy to work with and it tastes amazing. I can definitely say I’m obsessed!
The world of pizza
This pizza dough is made with sourdough starter, but if you want to see my commercial yeast version, check out my pizza recipe which I adore. Also, if you want to check out my pizza sauce recipe, I highly recommend it! It’s so intense and delicious and you can freeze it so you make the most out of your time invested. As a matter of fact, you don’t necessarily need tomato sauce! You can make a white pizza instead, with lots of cheese and garlic… so good! In this case, I made a classic pizza Margherita. I wanted to feel the taste of the bread underneath and make sure that everything is ok with the formula :).
I made this recipe for this sourdough pizza 3 times to make small tweaks to it and see how it performs overall. What I learned is that it’s very forgiving. I usually make a levain on the side with my starter to have maximum control over its fermentation. You can see this process in my sourdough bread for beginners and also in my 20% wholewheat bread. With this recipe, I’ve done it like that and also by using my starter directly. It works well both ways :). What you do need to keep in mind is that if your starter has dropped from its maximum activity by the time you go use it, it’s best that you form a levain first and let it reach its max volume so that the final dough isn’t too acidic.
You will notice that the cold retard fermentation is between 8 to 12 hours. Like I was mentioning before, this dough is very forgiving, which is very convenient. In one of the tests I left a dough for 24h and it was certainly too much time. The dough was good but pretty acidic. With 8-12 hours it’s ideal! This sourdough pizza dough recipe makes 2 medium (personal) sized pizzas. The dough is made in bulk and then divided before they go into the fridge. At that point, you divide the dough in two, form two boules and keep them covered in the fridge in separate bowls until it’s time to use it. Another lesson I learnt in the process is that you need to stretch out your dough thinly because it puffs up a lot in the oven.
For the dough
- 100 g active sourdough starter it's important to use it at its top activity level
- 200 g lukewarm water
- 280 g bread flour
- 10 g olive oil
- 8 g salt
For rolling out and toppings
- 2 tbsp semolina flour
- 4 tbsp pizza sauce
- 2 mozzarella balls I used mozzarella di buffala
- Basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
For the dough
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The result is a sticky dough. Let it rest, covered in a warm spot for 1 hour. For a warm spot I like my oven: I keep it turned off but with the light on. You want to use the same spot throughout the process.
- After one hour resting, give it a set of folds like we do on my sourdough bread for beginners recipe. For this, you grab one side of the dough with a wet hand and pull on it and then fold it onto the dough. Then you repeat this in 3 more spots around the dough for a total of 4.
- After 30 minutes perform another set of folds and 30 minutes after that, another set. In total, you will have done 3 sets of folds. Let it rest for 30 minutes more after the last fold.
- Divide the dough in two equal pieces using a scale. These will make our 2 personal-sized pizzas. Stretch out each dough on a floured surface and fold four sides onto the centre to form a package. Turn it around, remove the excess flour off the surface and pull with your hands towards you to seal the place where the ends meet.
- Place each dough in a separate bowl, cover it and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or a maximum of 12 hours.
For stretching and topping
- Sprinkle semolina flour on baking paper. The paper is not 100% necessary but it helps if you don't have a pizza peel. Place one of the doughs over the semolina flour and, with floured hands, stretch it out. You want to have it thin because it really puffs up in the oven.
- Spread the sauce on the dough, leaving a border of about 1cm/⅓in around without sauce.
- On the sauce place the mozzarella which you can slice or just tear apart like me :). Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 210°C/410°F for 10-15 minutes or until it's nicely golden and the cheese melts. If you have a pizza stone or a cast iron pan that fits, preheat them along with the oven.
- When it comes out of the oven place the basil leaves on top, drizzle with olive oil and it's ready to eat. Repeat the process with the other pizza.