Homemade pizza makes a consistent appearance in my kitchen, be it laden with an array of vegetables or topped with a classic combination of cheese and meat, and I’m always fascinated by new combinations of flavors. This pizza dough is the perfect base for any mélange of ingredients. It’s naturally leavened, meaning it rises with the help of sourdough starter. You can make your own starter if you haven’t tried sourdough baking before or even purchase some online. It may seem a bit daunting at first, but I promise that homemade sourdough pizza is much more forgiving than you think.
Making the dough can be spread out over a number of days if you like, storing it in the fridge in the meantime, allowing you to prep in advance for your next pizza night. I’ve included a few timing suggestions at the bottom of the recipe so you can choose when to make the dough based on what best suits your baking needs.
Sourdough Pizza Dough
makes one large pizza
1/2 tablespoon sourdough starter
1/4 cup cool water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and set aside for 8 hours to 12 hours.
Ingredients from step one
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
Cornmeal, for sprinkling
Mix the ingredients from step one and step two together. It will seem a bit dry at first, but keep kneading until it comes together. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30 minutes. Then, after dipping your hand in some water to keep the dough from sticking to it, pull the edges of the dough over itself in a clockwise fashion until all the edges have been pulled over. Cover again and set aside for another 15 to 30 minutes. Repeat this another three times.
If you want to bake the pizzas in 3 hours or so, allow it to sit at room temperature. If baking the next day or further in advance, place it in the fridge - it will keep for 12 to 48 hours.
After the dough has sat at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge overnight, take out the dough and place it on a floured surface. Pull the edges into the middle, in four parts, to make a sphere. Flip the dough over, and tighten the top of the dough by pulling it towards you on the floured surface. Allow to rest for an hour or place it back in the fridge to bake the next day.
After resting the dough, gently begin pulling it outwards, not flattening the edges too much so that it can form a nice crust. Continue pulling gently until the dough is as large and as thin as you desire for your pizza. Flour the baking sheet or pizza pan with cornmeal, then set the stretched dough on top. Your pizza is now ready to assemble with toppings.
Option one: Perform step one in the morning, step two in the evening then refrigerate the dough overnight, and bake the pizza the next day.
Option two: Perform step one in the morning, step two in the evening then refrigerate the dough overnight, and bake the pizza two days later.
Option three: Perform step one in the evening, step two in the morning the next day, and bake the pizza that day.
Option four: Perform step one in the evening, step two in the morning the next day, and bake the pizza the day after.