How to Make Sourdough Pizza Dough

Link to article
Sourdough Pizza

This sourdough recipe is featured in “You Can Ferment That: Sourdough” in the May/June 2020 Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association to access this article and more sourdough recipes online!

By Amahl Turczyn

This particular sourdough pizza dough recipe produces 4 or 5 full-sized pizzas, depending upon how thin you like your crust. It makes use of a pre-fermented dough—sometimes bakers refer to this as a sponge or poolish—to develop flavor and consistency. It works particularly well with sourdough starter, as it gives the natural yeast and microbes a chance to get the dough noticeably tart.

Be aware that these same microbes tend to break down gluten much faster than regular baker’s yeast, though, so there is a definite window between just enough fermentation and too much. Underdo it, and the tang will be subtle at best; overdo it, and you won’t get much spring from the dough when you bake it. The secret ingredient that all homebrewers have on hand, namely dry malt extract (DME), helps fermentation, and during baking it contributes to flavor and color via the same Maillard reactions that occur in the brew kettle.

Sourdough Pizza Dough

Sourdough Pizza Dough Recipe

Yield: 5 thin-crust 16″ pizzas


  • 450 g (1 lb.) bread flour
  • 14 g (0.5 oz.) dry malt extract
  • 550 mL (2.25 cups) filtered water


  • 245 g (about a cup) sourdough starter
  • 8 g instant dried yeast (optional)

Main Ferment

  • 450 g (1 lb.) bread flour
  • 18 g (3 tsp.) non-iodized salt
  • 8 g (2 tsp.) olive oil


Add water, 450 g flour, DME, yeast and starter to a large stand mixer bowl and mix well (I just use a chopstick for this). The dough will be loose and sticky. Cover and ferment at room temperature for 4 to 8 hours. Mixture should bubble up, doubling in volume.

Add the remaining 450 g of bread flour on top, then the salt, and finally the olive oil. Using the dough hook on your mixer, mix until all the dry flour is incorporated. Let rest 20 minutes to hydrate. Then mix on low for another 20 minutes.

Remove dough from mixer, knead with a bit of bench flour to make sure dough is consistently smooth and elastic, and divide into even portions. Cover (either in a large plastic container with a tight lid, or individually wrapped) and allow to ferment for 12-18 hours in the fridge, 37-41°F (3-5°C). They will then be ready to roll, top and bake.

Was this article helpful?