Preparation and cooking time
- Prep:1 hr
- Cook:1 hr
- plus 4 days for the sourdough and 4-18 hrs resting
- More effort
- Makes 6 pizzas
Make homemade sourdough pizza with a wonderfully chewy crust. Try our margherita recipe, then customise with your favourite toppings
For the base
- 1 batch white sourdough (see step 1)
- strong or plain flour , for dusting
For the topping
- 2 x 400g cans plum tomatoes
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , plus extra to serve
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 300g mozzarella , torn into chunks
- small bunch of basil , leaves picked (optional)
- STEP 1
Make a batch of our white sourdough, following the recipe to the end of step 10. When the dough is ready, tip it onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six equal pieces. Roll into balls and leave to rest on a floured tray, covered with a damp teatowel, in the fridge for at least 4 hrs, and up to 18 hrs – the longer you leave the dough, the more sour it will taste.
- STEP 2
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Drain some of the juice from the plummed tomatoes and tip the rest into a bowl with the olive oil, oregano and a generous pinch of salt. Combine by either scrunching everything together with your fingers (this will make a chunky sauce) or blitz with a stick blender (this will make a smooth sauce). Chill until needed.
- STEP 3
To make the pizzas, heat a grill to high and prepare an ovenproof frying pan. On a floured surface, push and stretch a ball of dough into a circle roughly the same size as the pan. Get the pan very hot, then working quickly and carefully, drape it into the pan, spread over some of the sauce, a handful of mozzarella and some basil, if using.
- STEP 4
Cook for 2 mins, until little bubbles appear, then put the pan under the grill for another 2-4 mins until the sides are puffed up and the cheese has melted. Remove, drizzle with a little olive oil and cut into wedges. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Can I use sourdough starter to make pizza dough?
Yes, in fact we use our basic white sourdough bread recipe as our sourdough pizza base. The key to this is white flour – classic pizza is made using 100% white flour and not all starters are made with just white flour so bear in mind that if your starter has been made with brown or rye flour your pizza dough will be a bit more ‘wholemeal’. Our basic white sourdough recipe has less water than others which is why it can be straight swapped for pizza dough but other recipes that use more water might be a little too wet and sticky to stretch out. Ideally, for pizza dough you’ll never need more than 650g of water per 1kg of flour.
Can I freeze sourdough pizza dough?
Balls of dough and stretched out pizza bases can be frozen for up to three months. For the balls, you’ll need to wrap them well individually and then defrost fully for 8 hours at room temperature or 24 hours in the fridge before using. For the stretched out bases, you can freeze them piled up with baking parchment between them, then top and bake from frozen on a hot tray or pizza stone. You could even top them and freeze them and bake from frozen.
How do you shape a sourdough pizza base?
The best way to shape pizza dough is to roll it into balls, then leave it to rest for the gluten to relax. This resting time can be anything from 15 mins on the counter to up to 24 hours in the fridge. The balls can then be stretched-out on a lightly floured surface. The most traditional way, and for the best defined crust, is to do it with your fingers then pick it up and stretch it over your fist. This takes some practice and you can still get good results simply using a rolling pin.
Can sourdough pizza be cooked in the oven?
For the best cooking results, we recommend the frying pan method which replicates a pizza oven, but you can still get good pizza using a hot baking tray or and a very hot oven. Pre-heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 8 with a tray in it. The pizzas can be assembled on another floured tray then slid onto a hot tray and baked for 10-12 mins.
Tips for making sourdough pizza from scratch
- 100% white flour is traditionally used in pizza which also extends to the sourdough starter you use. Organic or stone-ground strong white bread flour works best in the starter can also be used for the main dough as well as Italian white ‘00’ flour.
- Ideally a pizza dough is around 60-65% hydrated, you’ll never need more than 650g of water per 1kg of flour. Our basic white sourdough recipe has less water than others which is why it can be straight swapped for pizza dough. Other recipes that use more water might be a little too wet and sticky to stretch out.
- Sourdough pizza can be made 15 minutes after the dough has been divided into balls and rested but the longer you leave the balls to prove in the fridge the more flavour the dough will develop. For the sour flavour to be obvious, you need to leave the dough in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Getting your raw pizza to the oven can be tricky, so either use the frying pan method (see below) or make your pizza up on a floured flat tray which you can slide onto your hot oven tray or pizza stone.
- In our opinion, you don’t need a cooked tomato sauce to top pizza. Just use finely chopped canned or crushed whole tinned tomatoes with a potato masher or through your fingers.
- Good-quality mozzarella can become watery when melted, so bear that in mind and if you want to avoid that, use the cheaper pre-grated or block mozzarella that doesn’t come in a water.
- If you wish to reduce portion size, the dough and toppings recipe can easily be halved to make three pizzas.