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Chewy Sourdough Pizza Crust – Learn How To Make It

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This chewy sourdough pizza crust is definitely on our family’s monthly rotation!

Some of you may know this about me, and some of you may not…

Sourdough pizza collage with text overlay.

I started my cooking career fresh out of high school in a chain pizza shop. I used to really load up the toppings for the customers there (I’ve always been a rule-breaker). Some loyal customers knew me by name and would actually request that I make their pizzas.

I went on to manage a pizzeria and sub shop on the UC Santa Cruz campus before completing my culinary education at Cabrillo College.

After working in a few classy restaurants in San Francisco, I went back to my roots and got a job as a pizza chef. But this time I would be throwing SOURDOUGH! I was hired by another lady chef who was starting a concept restaurant that featured a gourmet food court. One of the food court options was pizza. I was able to collaborate with her on a lot of the offerings there and I developed my own sourdough pizza crust recipe (the one you will see below) with the sourdough starter I still use today.

My time working as a pizza chef was very valuable to me. I taught myself how to throw pizza dough and I became a very skilled pizza chef. I’ll always look back on that time fondly.

Basically, Pizza Is in My Roots!

Almost every month I make pizza at home and I always use my sourdough pizza recipe. It’s changed a little bit since my days in San Francisco, but the essence remains the same. I like to use lots of fresh awesome toppings and a nice garlicky sauce.

I’ll give you some suggestions for toppings along with a quick and easy pizza sauce recipe to get you started on your sourdough pizza path.

A freshly baked sourdough pizza.

The Night Before

Combine the dough ingredients and kneed them into a smooth dough. It should be wet to the touch but not sticky. Adjust flour or water if needed. Cover the dough and let it proof overnight on the counter.

The Next Morning

The dough should be at least doubled in size. Punch it down and shape it into two even balls. Flour them well on the bottom, put them on a plate or tray and cover them, and put them in the refrigerator. You will remove them 1 hour before making the pizza.

Pizza Time

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it rest and rise at room temperature for 1 hour. In the meantime prepare the sauce and toppings.

Grate about 1 pound of cheese for two large pizzas. I like a combination of mozzarella and provolone.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Arrange your toppings on a large platter, cutting board, or tray for easy access. For these pizzas I picked salami, green olives, peppadew peppers, and roasted garlic for one pie and ham, spinach, and black olives for the other. This is the fun part! Get creative with those toppings!

Generously flour your work surface. Working one dough ball at a time start flattening the ball with your fingers from the center out. Leave a nice thick rim around the outside if you like a chewy crust. Pick the dough up and drape it over the backs of your hands. Gently pull the dough with the backs of your hands from the center out.

At this point you can toss it or just continue pulling it gently until it’s stretched to at least 12 inches in diameter. You can also gently grip the crust and let the dough hang and stretch from its own weight. Make sure to rotate the dough quickly while doing this so it stretches evenly. When making large pizzas I like to use a pizza pan for supporting the pizza, but smaller pizzas I like to cook on a pizza stone. When the dough is sufficiently stretched place it on the pizza pan and use a fork to perforate the dough from the center to crust. This will help keep your pizza from getting big air bubbles while baking.

Using a wide spoon, add sauce to both pizzas. Then top the sauce with cheese and your favorite toppings.

Pro Tip: If you are using spinach or another leafy green add it to your pizza between the sauce and cheese layer. This will keep the spinach from burning and drying out!

Bake your pizzas staggered on separate racks in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Slices of baked sourdough pizza.

Make Your Own Sourdough Pizza At Home

Chewy Homemade Sourdough Pizza Crust

Yield: 8-12 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Proofing Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 30 minutes

The perfect soft and chewy all-purpose sourdough pizza crust for weeknights or pizza parties. 

Ingredients

For the dough

For the sauce

  • 16 ounces organic crushed tomatoes, preferably from a glass jar or home canned
  • 1 clove to 1 bulb fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano (fresh is great too!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Toppings

  • Grated cheese, about 1 pound for two pizzas
  • Salami, green olives, peppadew peppers, roasted garlic, ham, spinach, black olives — whatever else your heart desires!

Instructions

The Night Before

  1. Combine the dough ingredients and kneed them into a smooth dough. It should be wet to the touch but not sticky. Adjust flour or water if needed. Cover the dough and let it proof overnight on the counter.

The Next Morning

  1. The dough should be at least doubled in size. Punch it down and shape it into two even balls. Flour them well on the bottom, put them on a plate or tray and cover them, and put them in the refrigerator. You will remove them 1 hour before making the pizza.

Pizza Time

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it rest and rise at room temperature for 1 hour. In the meantime prepare the sauce and toppings.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, and water in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thick and a deep red color. Cool the sauce to room temperature before using.
  3. Grate the cheese. I like a combination of mozzarella and provolone.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. Arrange your toppings on a large platter, cutting board, or tray for easy access. For these pizzas I picked salami, green olives, peppadew peppers, and roasted garlic for one pie and ham, spinach, and black olives for the other. This is the fun part! Get creative with those toppings!
  6. Generously flour your work surface. Working one dough ball at a time start flattening the ball with your fingers from the center out. Leave a nice thick rim around the outside if you like a chewy crust. Pick the dough up and drape it over the backs of your hands. Gently pull the dough with the backs of your hands from the center out. At this point you can toss it or just continue pulling it gently until it's stretched to at least 12 inches in diameter. You can also gently grip the crust and let the dough hang and stretch from its own weight. Make sure to rotate the dough quickly while doing this so it stretches evenly. When making large pizzas I like to use a pizza pan for supporting the pizza, but smaller pizzas I like to cook on a pizza stone. When the dough is sufficiently stretched place it on the pizza pan and use a fork to perforate the dough from the center to crust. This will help keep your pizza from getting big air bubbles while baking.
  7. Using a wide spoon, add sauce to both pizzas. Then top the sauce with cheese and your favorite toppings. Pro Tip: If you are using spinach or another leafy green, add it to your pizza between the sauce and cheese layer. This will keep the spinach from burning and drying out!
  8. Bake your pizzas staggered on separate racks in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Notes

You may need to use up to 65 grams (1/4 cup) more water depending on dough consistency. 

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