This summer I’ve been experimenting with sourdough and the obsession is growing! One of the recipes I was most anxious to try was a delicious homemade pizza crust that has a depth of flavor and a good chewy crispness. One of the reasons I’ve never been a huge fan of take-out pizza is because the crust lacks zing, the toppings lack freshness, and the whole thing is weighed down with grease. They’re just not very healthy.
This is where homemade pizza steps in and rescues not only our desire for fresh, delicious, healthier pizza but our love for pizza in itself. I didn’t think I would ever crave pizza until started making my own.
If you think it’s too much work, you’re missing out! All it takes is some active sourdough starter and a bit of forethought and voila! You have a completely customizable pizza you can eat without the unhealthy ingredients.
How to Make a Sourdough Starter
First things first, you’re going to need a sourdough starter in order to make sourdough pizza crust. You can do this one of two ways; you can either create your own wild sourdough completely from scratch which you can learn how to do here, or you can purchase a starter from a reputable seller which will come as a powder or fresh.
I started out with this dry starter that I picked up in the baking aisle of my local health food store and it’s what I’ve been using all summer. It was super easy to get going and it’s very happy indeed! In fact, I sometimes have trouble thinking of new ways to incorporate sourdough into my baking recipes because my starter is healthy, active, and abundant. So far I’ve made sourdough waffles, pancakes, rolls, bread, and pizza crust and all have been delicious and much easier for me to digest than regular baked goods.
Since I began with a dry starter, that’s what I’ll teach you about today. I believe a fresh starter can be grown in a similar fashion so you don’t need to worry, sourdough is surprisingly resilient!
Here’s how to make a sourdough starter:
It’s good to start this in the morning or before going to bed for simplicity’s sake as you will feed your starter every 12 hours for the first few days.
1. Add the dry starter to a large clean glass or plastic bowl
2. Next, pour in 2 cup of warm water that is between 80 and 90 degrees (this will activate the fermentation but make sure it isn’t too hot or you will kill your starter!)
3. Now add 2 cups of all-purpose flour (bread flour is best if you have it)
4. Mix thoroughly using a clean wooden utensil (you never want metal to touch the sourdough or it will develop a metallic taste and it won’t ferment properly)
5. Cover with plastic wrap or a large kitchen towel that is clean and set aside in a warm dark place out of sunlight and allow the starter to sit for 12 hours. Stir it once or twice during this time.
6. After 12 hours has passed you need to feed the starter. To do this, remove 2 cups of starter and replace it with ½ cup of warm water mixed with ½ of flour. Add this to the starter and mix well. Cover and wait another 12 hours. Keep in mind that the starter may form a clear liquid at the top. This is normal and can be mixed back in.
7. At this point, you should be able to feed the starter just once daily. All you need to do now is remove half the amount of starter and replace it with an equal amount of water mixed with flour to keep it happy. So if you removed 1 cup of starter, you would replace it with ½ cup of warm water mixed with ½ cup of flour.
Feed your starter once a day to keep your starter happy and bubbly. If you’re going on vacation, feed the starter before putting it in the fridge and then feed it when you get back. Feed it once a week while keeping it in the fridge. If you’re gone longer than a week, feed it as soon as you get back and then again 4 hours later.
Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe
Now that you know how to feed your starter it’s time to get to the fun part, baking amazing sourdough pizza crust!
Here’s what you’re going to need for one large baking sheet size pizza or two 12-14 inch size pizzas:
• A large glass mixing bowl and clean hands
• 1 ½ cups of all-purpose or bread flour
• 1 ½ cups of fed sourdough starter (I make sure mine is fed the night before)
• 1-3 TB of water to help control consistency
• 2 TB olive oil
• ¾ tsp of sea salt
• Toppings like tomato sauce, veggies, meats, herbs, and cheeses
Loving Preparation – Homemade Sourdough Pizza Crust
• Begin by adding the flour, sourdough starter, sea salt, and olive oil to the bowl and start mixing with your hands.
• Once the dough comes together, you can start kneading it on a clean flat surface by folding it into itself for about 3-4 minutes. Add 1 TB of water if the dough feels too stiff and dry.
• The dough should feel dry enough where it no longer sticks to your hands yet still feels supple and knead-able. If it’s too sticky, add 1 TB of flour.
• To make one large oval/rectangular pizza, form the dough into 1 ball and place it into a greased bowl to rise (I used olive oil). To make two smaller round pizzas, divide the dough and place the dough balls into two separate greased bowls. I like to roll the dough around the bowl to coat it with olive oil to keep it from drying out.
• Cover the bowls with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and put it in a warm place
• Depending on the temperature that day, it can take anywhere from 1-4 hours for the dough to double in size. Once it has done so, you can roll it out. Since I like large rectangular pizzas, I simply placed the dough on a greased baking sheet and spread it out with my fingers. Super easy and less clean up!
• Once rolled out, brush the dough with olive oil and let it sit for another 30 minutes while you prep your toppings and preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
• Once the oven is preheated, pop in the pizza crust to pre-bake it for about 2-3 minutes. This with keep the crust nice and sturdy and gives it a wonderful crunch.
• Take the pizza crust out, and add your sauce of choice and all the toppings you desire. If you’re using a lot of fresh veggies like onion and bell pepper, you can sauté them if you want a softer consistency.
• Once all of your toppings are placed, put the pizza back in the oven for 6-7 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown and the cheese is melted. Keep an eye on it!
• Add fresh herbs like basil and cilantro, slice, and serve hot!
[yumprint-recipe id=’116′]I made a BBQ chicken pizza and a marinara style pizza with fresh herbs, artichokes, and sliced mozzarella cheese. Both were delicious and had a tangy sourdough crust that was both crisp yet chewy. Everyone loved it!
I really hope you give my homemade sourdough pizza crust recipe a try! You won’t be disappointed!
What have been your favorite sourdough recipes? Please let me know in the comments below!
For more recipes, please check out these other delicious articles below:
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