Chewy Sourdough Pizza Crust – Learn How To Make It

Learn How To make Sourdough Pizza Crust

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.

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 UCSC 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 I 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) from 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.

 

Make Your Own Sourdough Pizza At Home


 

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 the dough proof overnight on the counter.

The Next Morning

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

Pizza Time

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

In a small saucepan combine the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt and water. 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.

Grate your cheese. I used a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone. You will need about a pound of cheese for two large pizzas.

Preheat your oven to 400°.

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 and 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 it’s 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 for smaller thinner pizzas I like to use a preheated 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.

 

Make Your Own Sourdough Pizza At Home

 

0 from 0 votes
Make Your Own Sourdough Pizza At Home
Chewy Homemade Sourdough Pizza Crust
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 mins
Proofing Time
12 hrs
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

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

Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American, Traditional
Keyword: Fermented, Pizza, Sourdough
Author: Butter For All
Ingredients
For the dough
For the sauce
  • 16 Ounces Organic Crushed Tomatoes preferably from a glass jar or home canned is great
  • 1 Bulb Fresh Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano fresh is ok too!
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Water
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 the dough proof overnight on the counter.
The Next Morning
  1. Your dough should be at least doubled in size. Punch it down and shape it into two even balls. Flour them well on the bottom and put them on a plate or tray, covered in the refrigerator. You will remove them one hour before making the pizza.
Pizza Time
  1. Remove your dough from the refrigerator and let it rest and rise at room temperature for one hour. In the meantime prepare the sauce and toppings.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt and water. 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 your cheese. I used a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone. You will need about a pound of cheese for two large pizzas.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400°.
  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 and 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 it's 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.
Recipe Notes

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

 



63 Comments

  1. Hi Courtney,
    Definitely going to try this recipe.
    Just wondering…most pizza dough recipes call for oven temps of 500+.
    Why 400 with your recipe? Is it ok to cook it at higher temps?
    Thanks

    • Hi Jway!

      You can bake hotter if you get the dough really thin. This crust is on the thick side, if you make 2 pizzas, but if you make 3 or more you will want to go hotter! Basically I’m just assuring the dough cooks completely without frying the toppings!

      Hope this helps!

      Courtney

  2. Glynis

    We enjoy Detroit style pizza. I’m a newbie bread maker and was wondering how to convert the Cook’s Country “Detroit-Style Pizza” recipe to your recipe using my sourdough starter instead of the rapid-rise yeast? Given your long experience with pizza dough, I thought you would be the perfect person to ask. Thanks!

  3. Bonnie

    Could I make this into personal
    Pan pizzas? If so, how many do you think it would make? I would love to do this with family and then everyone could add their own toppings.

    • Hi Summer,

      It depends on your starter, but it is doable. Mix it in the morning, let it proof at room temp, once it doubles, form balls, and let them rest for an hour or two before stretching into pizza shape. I just prefer a well fermented dough, but it can be rushed if you aren’t sensitive to gluten.

      Hope that helps!

      Courtney

  4. Diane

    So glad I found your site. Thank you for all of your great info for a newbie at all things sourdough! This was such delicious dough for pizza. Not really too much work at all putting it together the night before. So work it. Definitely my go to pizza dough recipe. Thank you, delicious!

  5. Cindi Poole

    Well the potato flake sourdough made a good crust. I didn’t think about it rising after it was in the oven so it was a little thick- but I love a thick crust pizza. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge.

  6. Cindi Poole

    About 20 years ago I would make sourdough bread, then quit and have recently started making it again and looking for different ways to use the dough and not just make bread. This is such a great idea. I do have a question. My sourdough starter is made with mash potato flakes. Will my sourdough starter/dough make a good crust? I understand that you might not know the answer, but I am thinking if it makes a good bread- it should make a good pizza crust. I would love to know your thoughts. I am also thinking that some weeks, I might make some to freeze. I think I will try and just freeze the ball of dough instead of putting it in the fridge. Thanks for any tips you can give.

  7. Marcy Grote

    I’ve been searching and experimenting for a long time for a thick, chewy sourdough pizza recipe. And it seems, EVERYONE likes a different style of crust! I only use sourdough for the health benefits and the sugar reduction that comes with fermenting. I cut the recipe in half for my first trial. It is absolutely perfect. I didn’t have the chance to make the sauce, but this is a perfect crust for me. Thank you! I can’t wait to try more of your SD recipes.

  8. Ellie

    Hi there! I’m super excited to try this recipe – I mixed it up and have it sitting on my counter for dinner tomorrow night! I was curious, though – I find that, with almost all sourdough recipes I make, the dough tends to be manageable but more sticky than my active yeast doughs I made in the past (primarily French bread). Do you find this to be normal? With greased hands, I can work the dough, and a lot of times I find that the next morning, after fermentation, the dough is much easier to manage. Have you experienced this? I have a 100% hydration starter!

    • Hi Ellie,

      You are correct. It is more sticky to start, it probably has to do with the acidic nature of the sourdough starter and a slower gluten development. Once the gluten develops it is a lot easier to handle! Have you looked at my sourdough boule recipe? With that recipe I use the stretch and fold technique and you can really experience the dough changing and becoming more elastic. There is a video you can watch too! I use wet hands when I stretch and fold and if I’m using a stand mixer I imitate the technique by running the mixer in short bursts every 5-10 minutes until the dough is developed.

      Hope this is helpful. Happy baking!

      Courtney

  9. Dave

    Thanks much for a terrific recipe, Courtney. I’ve made it twice now – delicious! Using your sourdough recipe has eliminated my wife’s need to use far less than appreciated gluten free pizza alternatives with an amazingly tasty pizza crust. A question with regards to your pizza sauce recipe; do you actually use an entire bulb of garlic or just a clove? I look forward to hearing from you.

      • Tiffany Nicholson

        Thank you so much for your help. I decided to portion out some dough for last night and some for today/tonight (4 quarters). After the proofing was done (it well more than doubled in size) I tried to “punch down” and handle the dough, it was very difficult, quite unmanageable, so very sticky. I had to add about a cup of flour (a tittle at a time) to make it workable. Im not sure what effect this had on the dough but I didn’t know what else to do. One of the pizza quarters did not rise or cook through. So for the second, I put it in the over with no toppings, this one faired a little better is very hard. Do you have any suggestions?

        • Hi Tiffany,

          When you are making the dough, try to get it to the consistency you can handle before fermentation. In other words, add the extra flour as needed when mixing. All flour brands are different and hydration levels in flour also vary. This is a good rule of thumb for ANY sourdough recipe. If it seems too sticky when mixing, add flour. If it feels too dry add water as needed. You will never ruin a recipe by evening out the hydration. By adding the flour when you were shaping the crust you added a bunch of fresh flour that the yeast needs to start eating to make gasses to rise the dough. Most likely they didn’t have enough time to get going. Hopefully the dough that fermented longer worked better. There are so many variations with sourdough. How old your starter is, how long it takes to double, if it’s conditioned to rise in cold or warm temps, if it was recently fed, etc. A lot of sourdough baking is intuition and once you get the feel for your starter and how it behaves you will have better success. If the other two dough balls didn’t rise I would suggest you try again with this recipe, adding extra flour during the mixing if needed. Make sure to let the dough proof at room temp overnight or until it has at least doubled, this will insure the yeasts are active and ready to rise the bread.

          Hope this helps!

          Courtney

          • Tiffany Nicholson

            Courtney, you are wonderful. Thank you for the detailed reply. The portions that had longer to rise did indeed turn out better. But even if they had not, I think you are great; taking time to explain things that are second nature to you must get monotonous. Those of us still learning really appreciate your patience.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Yes, the kneading happens when you mix the dough ingredients in the section titled “The Night Before”. Then the dough is left to ferment overnight before shipping into balls the following morning. Hope that helps!

      -Courtney

  10. Kari

    Hi! We used the instructions for making this but I used my sourdough recipe last week. We came out with 4 medium size pizzas. I par baked them, cooked, and froze. We just fixed two tonight and they were great! It’s time for me to make more dough tonight with my starter so I’m going to try your recipe instead of mine. I don’t have coconut sugar but I do have turbinado sugar. Do you think that will work? Oh and yes to everyone asking, they work great to freeze! No more store bought frozen pizzas full of preservatives here!!!

  11. Nicola

    This was first sourdough pizza dough, was surprised how easy to make it was. It was not the the perfect round shape but tasted amazing, looking forward to making it again with different toppings

    • Hi Nicola,
      I’m so happy that you enjoyed my recipe! Who cares what shape it is as long as it tastes good, right?! Thanks for choosing my recipe. If you are on Facebook you should come join me @butterforall and the FB group @Wholesome Homestead Recipes.
      See you soon,
      -Courtney

  12. Kathi Bilkie

    I have tried a couple of times to freeze raw sourdough pizza dough without success. My starter has a great flavor, is about 2 years old, is very active, and I am always happy with the product outcome, except for freezing the pizza dough. I have tried freezing the pizza dough immediately after rolling it out, freezing a ball of dough before it is rolled out and rolling it out, letting it rise and then freezing…I was not successful.

    • Thank you Kathi for sharing this with us. I’m not sure why sourdough yeast isn’t strong enough to freeze. I’ll have to look into this topic more closely. It’s really too bad, having pizza dough available in the freezer would be delightful.
      I appreciate you trying and sharing the outcome!
      -Courtney

    • Hi Carmyn,
      While I never personally endorse refined white sugars it doubt it will affect the outcome of the recipe. Honey, maple, un-refined cane sugar, and coconut sugar are my favorite natural sweeteners. Coconut sugar is great because it is low on the glycemic index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar like other sweeteners. I hope you continue to use my recipes and perhaps give these alternative sweeteners a try!
      Thanks for visiting,
      Courtney

  13. Carol

    Hello and thanks for your post! Great pizza ? … just as an FYI, I did freeze one ball of dough and it was just as good as the one that I used right away. As you said, I’m not sure how it impacts the benefit of sourdough, but as far as I could tell, it was all good. Thanks again.

  14. Hedy

    Do I need to feed the SD starter before I add the other ingredients? Could you map out the timeline from when I take the starter out of fridge. Leave it out?
    How much flour to feed? Then add the rest?

  15. Ellen Goodall

    This looks delicious! Hope to try this next weekend. I am very new to baking with sourdough and I am wondering if you feed your sourdough starter before mixing the dough together?

  16. Ashlee

    I made mine with all freshly ground white whole wheat flour and grilled them outside. Turned out delicious! Our guests who looked at us a little strangely when we said we were having grilled pizza were delighted by the delicious grilled sour dough pizza!

    • Hi Suzie!
      This is such a great question, thanks for asking it!
      I have never personally frozen my sourdough dough unbaked. I know there is some debate on wether or not the yeast can survive freezing and still rise correctly. I’d say it depends on the starter’s strength and origin.
      If I were to freeze the crusts I would par-bake them and then freeze. Make sure to throughly perforate the crusts to keep them from bubbling up during baking without toppings. Also reduce the baking time by at lest 10 minutes.
      I’m very interested to know if you have success with this idea. Please keep me updated 🙂
      Thanks for visiting!

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