Twice as Tasty

Sourdough Pizza Dough

The keys to good homemade pizza are temperature and a light hand with the baked toppings

By Julie Laing
Sourdough pizza. Courtesy photo

Pizza dough is so versatile, I make it more than anything else with my sourdough starter. Besides flatbreads like pizza, baked in an oven or outside on a grill, this dough is my base for calzones, empanadas, breadsticks and a new recipe I’ll be sharing on my Twice as Tasty blog this week: garlic knots.

Try this dough if you have a newly rehydrated starter from the 5th Annual Sourdough Giveaway. (If you need starter, request it from me by Jan. 31 using the giveaway form at TwiceAsTasty.com.) This recipe lets you practice some techniques used to make the freeform bread I’ll share here next week, but it takes less rising power and time. You can also get comfortable with a digital scale, which I highly recommend for sourdough and many other kitchen projects. The recipe’s weights give more consistent results than the volume measurements.

The keys to good homemade pizza are temperature and a light hand with the baked toppings. I bake cold dough at high heat for thin, crispy crust. For thicker crust, roll out the dough and let it rise at room temperature before baking. Home ovens lack the power of commercial ones, so stick with a light sauce, three toppings and a scattering of cheese to avoid soggy pizza.

Sourdough Pizza Dough

Makes three 12-inch crusts

200 grams (about 2/3 cup) sourdough starter (100% hydration)

280 grams (about 1-1/4 cups) water

100 grams (about 1 cup) whole-wheat flour

400 grams (about 3-1/3 cups) all-purpose flour

8 grams (about 1-1/2 teaspoons) sea salt

Set a large bowl on a kitchen scale. Measure in the starter, water and then flours, stirring after each to form a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel; let rest for 10 minutes. Feed your starter.

Add the salt and turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead lightly for about 30 seconds until the dough forms a ball. Cover with the damp towel; let rest for 20 minutes. Repeat the knead and rest cycle until you have kneaded the dough three times over about an hour.

After the third kneading, divide and shape the dough into three balls. Wrap each ball in parchment paper and place them in a zip-close bag. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 72 hours.

To bake as pizza, preheat your oven and a baking stone or tray to 550°F or the oven’s highest temperature. When hot, roll or shape a chilled dough ball into a 12-inch round. With a fork’s tines, poke the entire surface. Transfer to a pizza peel and then the oven. Parbake the dough for two minutes, remove it from the oven and flip it onto a flat surface.

Cover the crust with your desired toppings. Bake for about five minutes, until the cheese and edges turn golden. Let it sit a few minutes on a cutting board before slicing.

Julie Laing is a Bigfork-based cookbook author and food blogger at TwiceAsTasty.com.