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Chewy Sourdough Pizza Crust – Learn How To Make It

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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

 

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 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.

Notes

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

 



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Jaime

Monday 1st of February 2021

Hi! Do I use starter that needs to be fed? Or when it’s at peak before falling? I’m getting into sourdough baking but never know when it’s best to pull from my starter for recipes unless it states it. Also, how long can you let it ferment on the counter? I’m trying to let dough ferment as long as possible for gluten issues. Thanks!!

Butter For All

Friday 5th of February 2021

Hi Jamie,

This really just depends on your personal preference. If you use freshly fed starter it will be more active and rise the dough a little quicker. A fully fermented starter, that doesn't have a lot of bubbles left, will need a little bit of extra time to get going in a recipe. Discard starter straight from the refrigerator will need extra time and will contribute a very strong sour flavor. A common misconception is that your sourdough starter has to be used at a specific point of time. In actuality all healthy starter, whether fresh and bubbly or flat and sour will work to rise your dough. Typically this dough can be fermented for 10 to 12 hours (overnight) before shaping. Alternatively it can be left to double (or even triple) at room temperature, divided into balls, and then cold retarded in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.

I hope you give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Courtney

Heidi Grimsey

Friday 22nd of January 2021

This is an excellent recipe! I use bread flour and less water in the dough. I found that I never have enough pizza sauce, so I use a 28oz can of San marzano crushed tomatoes and the same amount of spices, only using about 4 large cloves of garlic. (not a whole bulb!!😜) We live Chicago style deep dish, so I usually divide dough into a slightly larger ball and a smaller one. I shape the larger one to fit our big deep dish pan that’s covered with1/4 c olive oil on the bottom, layer with sliced mozzarella over the dough, then spinach and pepperoni, then the saucepan top. I sprinkle with a bit of grated Parmesan. I bake at 450F for about 40 minutes. So delicious! The other ball of dough gets made into thin crust pizza baked on a stone, or a garlic cheese bread. Just thought I’d share my deep dish experience for others to try! Love all your inspiring recipes with real food! Thank you❤️

Butter For All

Friday 22nd of January 2021

Wow, Heidi!

That sounds incredible! Thank you so much for sharing your technique, I think I'll try it next time I make pizza. I'm positively drooling!

Marisa

Tuesday 8th of December 2020

Hi, can you pls. clear this confusion, I read that sourdough shouldn't be punch down but you said after the overnight fermentation to punch down the dough before shape it in balls. Thank you.

Butter For All

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hi Marisa,

There are no hard-fast rules with sourdough baking. Anyone who tells you there is, is very wrong! The only thing that is off limits for me is adding additional yeast... But that's my opinion, and most of what you read online is opinion, not fact! Everyone who bakes with sourdough has different techniques, conditions, and styles.

My advice to you is try it and see if it works well for you. Sourdough is a very personal experience and I share what works well for me!

Best of luck!

Courtney

Charlene

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Newbie to sourdough baking and mostly newbie to pizza making. That said, I will be giving this another go. It tasted great. Where I messed up was trying to multi-task while doing this. I put a pizza stone in the oven to heat. Formed pizza dough (too thin - too big) and put all the topping on while it rested on a pizza peel. I forgot to put some cornmeal on the peel and it was a disaster trying to get it to the hot stone. Ugh. Baked it too long and so it was just this side of tough. However, the dough was easy to work with, and the taste was great. It's my pizza making efforts that need work. Will be giving this another go. Thanks so much for a great recipe.

Butter For All

Saturday 5th of December 2020

Hi Charlene!

You are amazing. I completely understand how things can get out of control while multitasking! You might try a piece of parchment on your peel, it can be grabbed by the corner to help lift the pizza in and out and also protects the baking stone from getting saucy and cheesy. Just don't let it sit too long on the parchment or you will have the same issues when the parchment gets soggy!

Hope the next go round is perfect!

Courtney

Shauna P

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Thanks for the recipe, it was delicious!

Butter For All

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

I'm so happy to hear it, Shauna! :)

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