Breads & Doughs

The Simplest Sourdough Pizza Crust (That’s Perfectly Chewy)

4.86 from 54 votes
Imagine a pizza crust with the perfect rise and chew, and you've got my Simplest Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe just waiting for your favorite toppings!
A slice of simple sourdough pizza.

Hi Bold Bakers!

This simple sourdough pizza crust is everything you could want to support your delicious sauce, cheese, and toppings! But how do we get from the (sourdough) start(er) to finish?!

At the beginning of the quarantine, everyone universally decided to master “beginners” sourdough bread. They spent weeks tending to their starter, basically treating it like a pet! (Guilty, mine is named Breddie Vedder since Kevin is a huge fan of Pearl Jam, and my friends have also gotten creative by calling their starters names like “Mike D from the Yeastie Boys” and “Carrie Breadshaw.”)

But it’s been a few months, and maybe you’ve left your sourdough in the fridge to long, and it has a boozy layer. Rather than dealing with it, maybe you’ve just shoved it back further into your fridge.

Don’t worry; it takes just a few hours to bring it back to life, and it will be ready to use to make some INCREDIBLE Neapolitan style pizza from your own kitchen!!

Seriously. It gives my Best-Ever No-Knead Pizza Dough a run for its money.

What Is Sourdough Pizza Crust?

Sourdough pizza crust is simply a crust that uses a sourdough starter instead of yeast to leaven the crust. The end product is a delicious crust that is both crispy and chewy and has all those natural airy bubbles.

Sourdough pizza crust topped with cheese and pesto.  

Can I Use All-Purpose Flour Instead of Bread Flour To Make Sourdough Pizza Crust?

Technically, yes. BUT I strongly suggest using bread flour. Bread flour will give your dough more of a chew and bubblier texture than all-purpose flour. 

[ Looking for something faster? Try my 15-Minute Pizza Dough (No Yeast)! ]

Bread flour has 11-13% protein, more than 10-12% that’s in all-purpose flour. This means bread flour absorbs more liquid and creates more gluten strands to yield a more stretchier texture with more airy bubbles.

What You Need To Make Sourdough Pizza Crust

How To Make Sourdough Pizza Crust

Say goodbye to takeout! This crust makes the most irresistible pizza that you’ll want to make weekly (or even more)! You’ll want to make this dough the day before you plan to make pizza. (And don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below)

First, mix the sourdough pizza dough:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together your starter, water, and olive oil. You’ll want to make sure your starter is fed and active!
  2. Add the flour and salt and stir to combine. The dough will feel soft and sticky, and that’s perfect.
  3. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Now, stretch and fold the dough:

  1. After 30 minutes, wet your hand with a little water and scoop underneath the dough, gently grasping one side. Lightly stretch the dough in your hand away from the main mass, then fold it over. Repeat this motion on the different sides of the dough 6 or more times. (Check out the video to see exactly what I mean!)
  2. Flip the entire mass of the dough so that your folds’ seams face down against the bottom of the bowl. The dough will start to look smoother now.
  3. Repeat this process 3 more times. First, rest the dough for 30 minutes, stretch and fold, and rest again. In the end, your dough will be pliable and elastic — this helps develop the gluten.
  4. After repeating the process 3 times, cover the dough and let it ferment for 4 hours at room temperature. 

Shaping the pizza:

  1. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide the dough evenly into three 8½oz (240g) rounds.
  2. Lightly coat the inside of 3 one pint storage containers with oil and place the dough balls, seam-side down, into each one. Cover with lids.
  3. Important: Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours before using it. This lets the dough develop flavor. You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or you can freeze it at this time and keep it for up to 4 weeks. You’ll want to see the dough has at least doubled in size!
  4. To make the pizza, remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a well-floured piece of parchment paper (I use semolina as it helps slide the dough around, and it adds a bit of crunch after baking). Coat the dough all over, lightly, with flour. 
  5. Using your hands, gently flatten and stretch the dough into a thin circle that is about 10 inches (25cm). Form a thicker border around the edge for a lovely, bubbly crust. Add pizza sauce, cheese, and any toppings you like!
  6. Bake in a preheated 550°F (225°C) oven for only 8-10 minutes.

A slice of sourdough pizza with cheese and pesto.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Sourdough Pizza Crust

  • The slower natural yeasts in the sourdough starter give the dough a longer shelf-life in the refrigerator, so make a batch and divide it for later use! The flavors will get better as it’s allowed to ferment for longer. The dough can be frozen for up to 4 weeks!
  • Bread flour is the way to go with this recipe. All-purpose will work as well, but bread flour will really make your crust chewy and bubbly.
  • Shape the dough on a floured piece of parchment paper so you can easily transport the pizza in and out of the oven. Make sure you trim your parchment to the perfect size, though.
  • Dusting with flour is an option, but you can also use semolina or even rice flour to shape and move your pizza.
  • Top with my 5-Minute Pizza Sauce 

How Do I Store Sourdough Pizza Crust?

You can store raw sourdough pizza dough in your refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days, but the dough can also be frozen for up to 4 weeks. 

The inside of my sourdough pizza crust showing texture and consistency.

Make More Sourdough!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

The Simplest Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe (With A Perfect Chew)

4.86 from 54 votes
Imagine a pizza crust with the perfect rise and chew, and you've got my Simplest Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe just waiting for your favorite toppings!
Servings: 3 pizzas
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Resting 12 hrs
Imagine a pizza crust with the perfect rise and chew, and you've got my Simplest Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe just waiting for your favorite toppings!
Servings: 3 pizzas

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (4oz/120g) sourdough starter
  • 1 cup (8floz/240ml) warm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2⅓ cups (12oz/360g) bread flour*
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

Mixing The Sourdough Pizza Dough

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the starter, water, and olive oil.
  • Add the flour and salt and stir to thoroughly combine. The dough will feel soft and sticky but that is exactly how it should be.
  • Cover the bowl with a cling wrap (or a shower cap) and a kitchen towel and rest for 30 minutes.

Stretching And Folding The Dough

  • Wet your hand with a little water, scoop your hand underneath the dough, and gently grasp one side of the dough. Lightly stretch the dough in your hand away from the main mass, then fold it over. Repeat this motion on different sides of the dough 6 or so more times. (See video above for step by step.)
  • Then, flip the whole mass of dough such that the seams of your folds face down against the bottom of the bowl. At this point, the dough will have become considerably more smooth, which is the goal.
  • Repeat this process 3 more times: Rest the dough for another 30 minutes, then stretch and fold again exactly the same as before. All in all, you will have rest the dough for four 30 minutes increments and stretched and folded in between. In the end, the dough will be very pliable and elastic.
  • Cover once more and ferment for 4 hours at room temperature. Your dough will probably not rise significantly but that is perfectly fine.

Shaping Your Pizza

  • Lightly flour a work surface and turn out the dough. Divide the dough evenly into three 8½ oz (240g) rounds.
  • Tightly coat the inside of 3 one pint storage containers with oil and place a dough ball seam-side down into each one. Cover with lids.
  • Important step: Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using. The dough kept in the refrigerator longer will continue to develop flavor and has a shelf life of 5 days. It can also be frozen at this time for up to 4 weeks.
  • To make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a well-floured piece of parchment paper. Coat the dough lightly all over with flour as well.
  • With your hands, gently flatten and stretch the dough into a thin circle about 10 inches (25cm). Form a thicker border around the edge for a lovely, bubbly pizza crust. Add pizza sauce, cheese, and desired toppings.
  • Bake at 550°F (225°C) for only 8-10 minutes. Enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

*Bread flour: Bread flour is preferred for this recipe to yield you a chewy, bubbly pizza. You can use all-purpose if needed but bread flour gives you the best results. 

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Janet Oresick
2 months ago

I made pizza this week using the dough from this recipe–two days in a row. I divided the dough in half instead of thirds because I wanted bigger pizzas. It was wonderful to work with. I took the dough out of the refrigerator two hours before I was ready to use it, because I read somewhere that you should let the dough get to room temperature. It pressed out beautifully. It is a process though getting this dough ready because I had to feed my sourdough starter twice to get it ready prior to mixing the dough. I let the… Read more »

Carolyn
Carolyn
4 days ago

Good Morning
I made your pizza dough recipe yesterday, and so far so good. It doubled in size during the 4 hour rest, and then I put it in 3 sealed containers in my refrigerator.
I hope to make one of the pizzas today.
‘however I have 2 questions, please.
1) if I freeze the dough, do I shape it first? And how do I thaw it before use.
2) can this dough be used for calzones?
thank you.

Kristin Buus
Kristin Buus
5 days ago

Thank you for this awesome recipe! I made it for the first time at the beginning of the week and it was perfect! I shared one of the unbaked doughs with my parents, and they loved it too. I made a triple batch tonight to bake tomorrow and I’m hoping they turn out just as good! I don’t have quite 24 hours to refrigerate, and I may have added 3tsp of salt to one batch, because my kids had me distracted. 🤦‍♀️

Judy C Davis
Judy C Davis
6 days ago

Gemma, I just discovered your blog, and I am enjoying it. I have a question on the SD pizza dough about S&F’ing after the initial one. The recipe says to repeat the process at least 3 times. I’m wondering do I go around six times every 20 minutes stretching & folding, or just one set around. I looked at the video and couldn’t tell. Seemed like a lot every 20 minutes, but I know you said it develops the gluten. Thanks!

Michael Ngo
Michael Ngo
7 days ago

Is the dough supposed to double in size after you put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours? My dough increased during the 4 hours after the stretch and folds but didn’t rise at all after putting in the fridge.

Matthew
15 days ago

Just a question. Do the individual pizza doughs need to be stored separately or can be refrigerated overnight in one bowl?

Michelle Rauh
Michelle Rauh
19 days ago

Question: in the beginning of the post it says to stretch and fold 4 times then refrigerate for 24 hours. In the instructions though it doesn’t mention refrigerating the dough only letting it rise for 4 hours. So do I refrigerate after the 4 folds and then sit for 4 hours before making . Just a bit confused. Thank you

Last edited 19 days ago by Michelle Rauh
Wendy Dennis
1 month ago

I made this using whole wheat bread flour (wheat grown in Maine and milled at One Mighty Mill in Lynn, MA) and it worked fine for me. In fact, even though this is the first pizza dough recipe I have made in years, I think I will just stick with it as my go-to recipe. I have been working with sourdough quite a bit since March (like everyone else, right?) so that may have been to my advantage, but honestly, I thought the directions were clear. However, I will point out that I at first assumed the water measurement was… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Wendy Dennis
Andy G
Andy G
1 month ago

OK, this is the second time I am trying out your pizza dough recipe. The first time I ended up with a gooey mess – not good. This time I had the same initial problem, that the dough was very sticky. It was not going to slide off of anything! I think I may have to consider a bit more flour. For the record, I am using King Arthur’s Bread Flour. I mushed out the dough on some parchment paper, then turned it upside down onto my pizza stone, peeling off the paper, and cooked it for 4 minutes. I… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Andy G
Sarah
1 month ago

Hi there! Instead of doing the stretching and folding every 30 minutes, can I slap-and-fold the dough all in one shot? Also, will I get a better texture with 00 flour compared to bread flour?

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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