Artisan Sourdough Pizza Dough

Artisan Sourdough Pizza Dough

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This Artisan Sourdough Pizza Dough is one of the best recipes I’ve worked with to date, especially if you’re going for that charred crispy edge, puffy crust, and a simple topping. Flavored with a touch of onion and garlic, and a homemade chunky sauce, I think you’re going to love this one.

When studying up on artisan pizza recipes, most recommend baking in a pizza oven (Like an Ooni Pizza Oven) in order to get the charred crust. Well, I don’t have one of those, nor will I anytime in the near future. So, I took it upon myself to figure out how to get as close to this as possible in my regular 30″ kitchen oven. (*My oven has a convection option and will heat up to 550 degrees F.)

Sourdough Pizza Crust - Charred Crust, Crispy and Airy

Let me just say that I’ve been tweaking this pizza recipe for months now–many, many months. And my husband still hasn’t tired of me testing it on him! Of course, I like my other pizza recipes, too. I LOVE pizza. So, it just depends on what type of pizza I’m craving. Thick and Chewy. Stuffed Deep Pan. Crispy. You know what I’m talking about, right? See my other Pizza Recipes Here. 

Browned Bottom of Pizza

For this dough, I desired a charred crust that had the look of an artisan pizza. The bottom needed to be darkened, and the outer crust needed to be airy, yet crisp. It took me what seemed like forever to test a dough that would turn out the type of crust that I yearned for, time and time again. But I finally figured it out. Then I worked to tweak the flavor just a bit, with a touch of onion and garlic. Voila! So here it is in all it’s glory!

Please note that this recipe will make four 12″ pizzas, perfect for serving your family for pizza night. If desired, you may cut the recipe in half for two pizzas and refrigerate half of the dough to use later, for another night of pizza or to make focaccia. (That recipe soon to come!)

 

Ingredients for Artisan Sourdough Pizza Crust

The Pizza Dough

  • sourdough starter (fed – active and bubbly)
  • warm water
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • baker’s artisan sea salt (Buy Here, or use kosher salt)
  • granulated sugar
  • dried minced onion
  • garlic powder
  • all-purpose flour

Hand-Crushed Tomato Sauce (Pizza Sauce)

  • whole plum tomatoes (hand crushed)
  • red wine vinegar
  • granulated sugar
  • Italian seasoning
  • dried minced onion
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • red pepper flakes
  • garlic powder
  • seasoned salt

Toppings

  • mozzarella cheese, grated
  • fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • pepperoni

 

Instructions for Making this Recipe

Prepare the Pizza Dough

Sourdough Starter - Bertha

In a large bowl, combine the “fed” or active sourdough starter, warm water, extra-virgin olive oil, artisan sea salt, granulated sugar, dried minced onion, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and 3 cups of the all-purpose flour. Mix together by hand with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until combined.

Continue mixing in the remaining all-purpose flour until the dough comes together in a ball. The dough may still be sticky at this point. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to set out on the counter overnight.

The next morning, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and stretch and fold the dough two or three times until it comes together in a nice ball.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 4-5 days.

Please note that the longer your dough sits in the refrigerator the more sour it will become. I have used the dough up to week later, and it was still good.

 

Make the Sauce

Prepare the sauce about 30 minutes before you’re ready to assemble the pizza. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Place the plum tomatoes in a large bowl. Crush them with your hands until there are no big pieces.

In a small saucepan, mix together the hand-crushed tomatoes, red wine vinegar, granulated sugar, Italian seasoning, dried minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and seasoned salt.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Spoon sauce over unbaked pizza dough. This will make enough for two large pizzas or about 1 1/2 cups. You may also use this for dipping sauce.

 

Shape the Dough

Place a large baking stone on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat oven to 550 degrees (F) with convection air turned on 45-60 minutes prior to baking to give your oven and the baking stone plenty of time to heat.

If your oven doesn’t go to 550 degrees, simply turn it up to it’s highest temperature. This may alter the time needed for baking, so adjust as needed, checking often for doneness. 

When you’re ready to make the pizza, remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, about 25-30 minutes prior to making the pizza.

Depending on how many pizzas you want to serve, divide the dough in half or in quarters, for up to four 12″ pizzas. For simplicity sake, we will make 2 pizzas for these instructions.

This recipe will make four 12″ pizzas. If desired, you may cut the recipe in half for two pizzas and refrigerate half of the dough for use later. You may store the dough in the refrigerator in a covered bowl, plastic bag, or container for up to 5 days.

On a lightly floured surface, form each piece of dough into a ball. Using your fingers, gently press each ball into a 10″ circle, being careful not to touch the outer edge of the dough.

It is important not to touch the outer edges of the dough to help ensure that puffy, airy crust that we are striving for. Simply press from the center of the dough outward until you have reached twelve inches. If your dough seems difficult to work with, allow it to rest for 10 minutes and try working it again.

Carefully, transfer the pressed dough onto a 13″ piece of parchment paper. Once again, gently press the dough easing it into a 12″ circle (and again being careful not to touch the outer edge of the dough.)

Trim Parchment Paper around the Pizza

At this point, you will need to trim away any excess parchment paper using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors.

Parchment paper will burn at temperatures higher than 500, so you always want to make sure to trim the excess off with scissors.

Alternately, you may place the dough onto a pizza peel that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal or Semolina flour.

I do not advise beginners to bake the pizza this way as it can be difficult to transfer the pizza to the baking stone without catastrophe. (Ask me how I know.) Also, I found that the very hot oven tended to burn any cornmeal left on the stone for repeated baking. Again, this was not good. (Imagine a very smoky kitchen.) But if you are proficient at baking pizza, you have my blessing. Go for it! 

Once you have trimmed the parchment paper, it’s time to place the dough on a pizza peel to assemble the pizza.

 

Assemble the Pizza

With the pizza dough on the pizza peel, assemble the toppings. For this artisan pizza, I like to use block mozzarella that has been grated, as well as freshly sliced mozzarella. Both are not necessary, but you will get a delicious and eye-appealing pizza with both cheeses.

Also, I found that the fewer toppings you put on the pizza, the better it tasted. My husband agreed with me on this, and he loves many toppings on a pizza. The more the better, in his opinion. But that is not the case for this artisan pizza. Go with one or two toppings at most. We both preferred pepperoni, but you may use what you like. Hamburger, Italian Sausage, or maybe Canadian Bacon.

Spoon Sauce over the Pizza Dough

Drizzle the hand-crushed tomato sauce over the pizza, spreading it to the edges.

Next, sprinkle on the grated mozzarella cheese, followed by the slices of pepperoni. Finish with fresh mozzarella slices mixed in-between the pepperoni.

 

Bake the Pizza

Using the pizza peel, slide the pizza (and parchment paper) onto the hot baking stone in the preheated convection oven. Bake for 6-7 minutes until the crust is charred and the mozzarella cheese is lightly browned.

It always seems that I remove the pizza too soon from the oven and wish that it had baked longer. I have learned that when I think it is done, to bide my time and allow it to bake just a little bit longer. So, maybe 8 minutes, tops. 

Remove Baked Pizza and Transfer to Pizza Serving Tray

Remove the pizza from the oven and place it on a serving tray, discarding the parchment paper from underneath. Keep warm until ready to serve but do not cover as this will create steam and soften the crust.

Repeat with remaining pizzas. Once all the pizzas have baked, slice into 4-8 pieces and serve warm.

Slice Pizza into 6-8 Pieces Right Before Serving

If desired, serve pizza with freshly grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. This recipe will make up to four 12″ pizzas and serve up to 8 people.

Wine Recommendation – Serve pizza with your favorite Chianti, Beaujolais, or Pinot Noir.

See more Pizza Recipes Here. Browse Italian Dinner Ideas Here.  View my Sourdough Recipes Here. 

 

Recipe for Artisan Sourdough Pizza Dough

Artisan Sourdough Pizza Dough

This Artisan Sourdough Pizza Dough is one of the best recipes I’ve worked with to date, especially if you’re going for that charred crispy edge, puffy crust, and a simple topping. Flavored with a touch of onion and garlic, and a homemade chunky sauce, I think you’re going to love this one.
5 from 5 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Fresh Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Pizza, Pizza Sauce, Sourdough
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Refrigerate and Resting Time:: 18 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 19 hours 11 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

Pizza Peel
Baking Stone
Pizza Cutter
Pizza Serving Pan

Ingredients

The Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup sourdough starter fed - active and bubbly
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons baker's artisan sea salt Buy Here, or use kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour

Hand-Crushed Tomato Sauce (Pizza Sauce)

  • 15 oz whole plum tomatoes hand crushed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

Toppings:

  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese grated
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 3 oz pepperoni slices
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes for garnish

Instructions

Prepare the Pizza Dough

  • In a large bowl, combine the "fed" or active sourdough starter, warm water, extra-virgin olive oil, artisan sea salt, granulated sugar, dried minced onion, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and 3 cups of the all-purpose flour. Mix together by hand with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until combined.
  • Continue mixing in the remaining all-purpose flour until the dough comes together in a ball. The dough may still be sticky at this point. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to set out on the counter overnight.
  • The next morning, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and stretch and fold the dough two or three times until it comes together in a nice ball.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use, a minimum of 4 hours or up to 5 days.

Make the Sauce

  • Prepare the sauce about 30 minutes before you're ready to assemble the pizza. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
  • Place the plum tomatoes in a large bowl. Crush them with your hands until there are no big pieces.
  • In a small saucepan, mix together the hand-crushed tomatoes, red wine vinegar, granulated sugar, Italian seasoning, dried minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and seasoned salt.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  • Pour over unbaked pizza dough. This will make enough for two large pizzas or about 1 1/2 cups. You may also use this for dipping sauce.

Ready to Bake - Shape the Dough

  • Place a large baking stone on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat oven to 550 degrees (F) with convection air turned on, 45-60 minutes prior to baking to give your oven and the baking stone plenty of time to heat.
    If your oven doesn't go to 550 degrees, simply turn it up to it's highest temperature. This may alter the time needed for baking, so adjust as needed, checking often for doneness.
  • When you're ready to make the pizza, remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, about 25-30 minutes prior to making the pizza.
  • Depending on how many pizzas you want to make, divide the dough in half or in quarters, for up to four 12" pizzas. For simplicity sake, we will make 2 pizzas for these instructions.
  • On a lightly floured surface, form each piece of dough into a ball. Using your fingers, gently press each ball into a 10" circle, being careful not to touch the outer edge of the dough.
    It is important not to touch the outer edges of the dough to help ensure that puffy, airy crust that we are striving for. Simply press from the center of the dough outward until you have reached twelve inches.
  • Carefully, transfer the pressed dough onto a 13" piece of parchment paper. Once again, gently press the dough easing it into a 12" circle (and again being careful not to touch the outer edge of the dough.)
  • At this point, you will need to trim away any excess parchment paper using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors.
  • Once you have trimmed the parchment paper, it's time to place the dough onto a pizza peel to assemble the pizza.

Assemble the Pizza

  • With the pizza dough on the pizza peel, assemble the toppings.
  • Drizzle the hand-crushed tomato sauce over the pizza, spreading it to the edges.
  • Next, sprinkle on the grated mozzarella cheese, followed by the slices of pepperoni. Finish with fresh mozzarella slices mixed in-between the pepperoni.

Bake the Pizza

  • Using the pizza peel, slide the pizza (and parchment paper) onto the hot baking stone in the preheated convection oven. Bake for 6-7 minutes until the crust is charred and the mozzarella cheese is lightly browned.
    It always seems that I remove the pizza too soon from the oven and wish that it had baked longer. I have learned that when I think it is done, to bide my time and allow it to bake just a little bit longer. So, maybe 8 minutes, tops.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and place it on a serving tray, discarding the parchment paper from underneath. Keep warm, uncovered, until ready to serve.
  • Repeat with remaining pizzas. Once all the pizzas have baked, slice into 4-8 pieces and serve warm.
  • If desired, serve pizza with freshly grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
  • This recipe will make up to four 12" pizzas and serve up to 8 people.

Notes

*This recipe will make four 12″ pizzas. If desired, you may cut the recipe in half for two pizzas and refrigerate half of the dough to use later. You may store the dough in the refrigerator in a covered bowl, plastic bag, or container for up to 4-5 days.
**Parchment paper will burn at temperatures higher than 500, so you always want to make sure to trim the excess off with scissors before baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 699kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 1938mg | Potassium: 317mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 594IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 381mg | Iron: 6mg
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8 thoughts on “Artisan Sourdough Pizza Dough”

  • 5 stars
    This is a spectacular crust, a wonderful way to enjoy your sourdough bread skills. You got that charred finish just right and it looks delish. Although four crusts seems like a lot for this recipe to make, I’ll bet they go really fast.

    • Yes, four crusts are a lot unless we have family over. But it’s nice that you can refrigerate the extra dough for use later–even up to week later.

  • 5 stars
    I have a sourdough starter but have never used it for pizza dough. And, what have I been missing out on, I didn’t even think to use the pizza stone to make the pizza, I’ve always used the pizza pan. Your crust looks incredible.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jere. Please give sourdough pizza dough a try. I think you will love the outcome!

  • 5 stars
    I made sourdough pizza dough for the first time using this recipe. I didn’t have dried onion or red pepper flakes, but did include the garlic powder. The recipe was so simple that I was skeptical, but this crust was delicious! Baked it in my kamado style grill, and the bottom was crunchy while the edges were puffy. I used leftover dough to make focaccia bread in my oven, and it was the closest thing I’ve made to compare to focaccia we ate in Rome: crunchy outside, pillowy inside. I’ve got another bowl of dough on the counter right now— grandkids are coming and we’re going to make pizzas! This time I’ll try the sauce, too!

    • Paula, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this pizza crust. I imagine your kamado-style grill did a fabulous job with the crust. We absolutely love this pizza crust. And yes, I make focaccia with the extra and it is quite wonderful. I hope your grandchildren will enjoy making pizza with you! Enjoy!

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