This sourdough pizza recipe makes a no knead long fermented pizza dough that’s full of flavour. It’s a fantastic way to use up the sourdough starter that you normally discard when you feed your starter. As a result you not only get a great tasting pizza but you get to reduce your kitchen waste in the process.
When you’re developing your own sourdough starter to make sourdough bread the first time, you find yourself wondering what to do with the starter that you discard when you feed your starter? My favourite solution – sourdough pizza.
As I’m not baking commercially – at least not right now – I don’t need a giant jar of starter as I only make sourdough bread every second day. I’m not actually throwing out all that much, but it still bugs me. So now I take the non-bake day excess sourdough starter and make pizza dough with it.
We’ve been making pizza for a couple of dozen years – and our favourite memory is making wood-fired pizza from an oven built into the external wall of a Puglia trulli.
Sourdough Pizza Recipe For a No Knead Long Fermented Pizza Dough Full of Flavour
A sourdough pizza recipe for those of you who don’t want to waste the discarded sourdough pizza starter.
What To Do With Discarded Sourdough Starter
There are many recipe ideas for leftover sourdough starter that make pancakes, waffles, banana bread, crumpets, and pretzels. Apart from sourdough pizza, the only other sourdough starter recipe I would probably try would be banana bread as we never eat pancakes, waffles or pretzels. But let’s start with the sourdough pizza recipe.
As I’m currently unable to get wholewheat flour here, my sourdough starter is made from bread flour, which I personally prefer for making sourdough pizza, but rye or wholewheat sourdough starter will work as well.
You might be surprised to see dried yeast in the recipe, but it helps with the rise and moisture of the dough. Note that some recipes add semolina flour to the mix. It reminds me of the horrible commercial pizza chains which use way too much semolina flour. For me, the only place for semolina flour is under the peel to help the pizza slide onto the pizza stone due to the flours’ coarse structure.
What’s Special About Sourdough Starter Pizza?
Like most baking you do at home, you’re in control of what ingredients go into the dough as well as the toppings. While we’re using some commercial yeast, everything else is up to you.
Sourdough pizza has a more complex flavour profile than ones made with just commercial yeast. You don’t need to knead the dough and you get a great puffy and crispy crust even using a domestic oven. This is very hard to achieve using commercial yeast alone.
Why The Long Ferment for Sourdough Pizza?
Most professional pizza makers ferment their dough for at least 24 hours in a refrigerator. Some do it in a giant plastic tub of dough and pre-shape the individual pizza bases 1-2 hours before opening the restaurant, other pre-shape the individual pizza doughs before refrigerating them, then remove them from the refrigerator and knock back the dough and shape the pizza to order.
The great thing about this recipe is that using the sourdough starter with the flour means that you don’t really have to knead the dough, just combine the ingredients, cover with cling-wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. I’ve seen pizza makers take it up to a week. I find that 48 hours gives a good firm crust even in an oven that can barely hold 200˚C (390˚F).
Do I Need Special Equipment to Make Sourdough Pizza?
If you want to start making your own pizza in a domestic oven, be prepared to invest in a pizza stone. A pre-heated pizza stone retains heat very well so that you get a nicely browned base to the pizza so that when you pick up a slice, the weight of the toppings won’t let the piece sag.
Another handy purchase is a metal pizza peel. This is almost essential to assist getting the pizza in and out of the oven without burning yourself. Sure you can use a huge cutting board to make the pizza on but it will not help get the finished pizza of the pizza stone.
How Many Sourdough Pizzas Does This Recipe Make?
This recipe will make two large pizzas. Each piece of dough will be around 250g or around half a pound. But you can easily scale this up. The good thing is that the pizzas will only need 5-7 minutes each, so in 30 minutes you can have four large pizzas to feed a family or group of friends. This is the most fun way to make and eat pizza together as everyone can choose their own pizza toppings.
Sourdough Pizza Recipe
- 250 g Strong unbleached bread flour or pizza flour
- 7 g salt
- 75 g Sourdough Starter
- 1 g dried yeast - or 1/4 of a teaspoon
- 160 g water
- 25 g olive oil
- 1 tbsp semolina flour
- In a large bowl, mix the sourdough starter with the water and the dried yeast. Mix well. Add the olive oil and mix.
- Add 1/2 of the flour and mix. When that’s been incorporated, add the rest of the flour and mix well. There should be no dry pieces of flour left. Gently knead the dough for around a minute.
- Place into a clean bowl with a lid or cover it with cling-wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 24hrs to ferment.
- When you’re ready to bake, take out the dough out of the refrigerator and knock it back on a clean bench. Divide the dough into two equal portions, around 250g each. Shape the dough balls into spheres. Dust the bench with flour (bread, pizza or AP flour) and place the dough balls on top. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on top and cover with a clean tea towel. Let the dough prove for 90 minutes.
- One hour before making the pizza, turn the oven on to its highest setting with the pizza stone on the centre rack. Prepare your pizza toppings.
- To shape the pizza base, gently flatten the dough ball on your floured surface. Push down with your fingers, being careful not to flatten the outside edges of the dough. The easiest way to stretch the dough is to lift it off the bench holding the outside edges and let gravity do the work while rotating the dough. Do not use a rolling pin as it takes all the air out of the dough and you wn't get that lovely risen edges on the pizza.
- When you have achieved your final shape, transfer the dough to the pizza peel dusted with semolina flour. You can gently do a final shaping of the pizza base at this time.
- Regardless of your other toppings, be modest in your use of the tomato sauce and do not cover the raised edges of the pizza base as you’ll want a good crust as the dough rises. Less is more when it comes to your mozzarella coverage too, as it will spread when cooking.
- When your ready to bake the pizza, test that the pizza can slide on the semolina flour. You might need to lift up the edge of the pizza and add more flour if it’s sticking.
- Open the oven door and place the pizza on the pizza stone and by moving the peel towards you the pizza should come free from the peel. If it’s sticking a little, give the peel a quick backwards and forwards motion to release it.
- Bake the pizza for around 5 minutes and check through the glass that the edges are puffy and starting to colour. Depending on your oven, you might need a couple more minutes. If you check the pizza and it’s cooking more on one side, rotate the pizza 180˚. The pizza base should be firm and the edges should be crispy and coloured.
- Allow to cool a little before cutting. You can drizzle a little olive oil on the pizza before eating.
Do let us know if your make this no-knead sourdough pizza recipe, either below in the comments or on social media. We’d love to know how it works out for you.