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Sourdough pizza dough is best prepared the day before, so that you can enjoy it whenever you want throughout the day.
Ingredients for 4 pizzas
600g flour: 400g italian 00, 60g semola rimacinata, 140g strong white OR bread flour
120g ripe starter
30g olive oil
[If you do not have a sourdough starter, and would like to make one from scratch, you may want to check my guidebook. You will then be able to bake not only amazing sourdough pizza, but also sourdough bread and other goodies.]
For dusting & shaping, I use semola rimacinata, as it’s coarser and helps avoid the dough sticking. You can also use ground dehydrated starter or other coarse flour.
Step by step instruction
DAY 1 Morning
Refresh your starter. Keep 15g and discard the rest. Mix it with 60g water and 60g flour. Leave on the counter until it reaches its peak. If you haven’t used your starter in a while (> a week), give it one feed the night before.
DAY 1 AFTERNOON
Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for about 10-15min. The first 2-3min on low speed, then on medium speed, until the dough becomes smooth & elastic for around 5-6min.
If you are going to knead by hand, since you add olive oil to this dough, you will have to give it a proper knead to make sure the gluten develops as it should.
Cover the bowl and leave it on the counter for 5h, for the bulk fermentation. During bulk fermentation, foldings are optional. But if you are around it, you can perform a stretch & fold every hour or so. If not, just let it rest.
If your kitchen is rather cold, below 18°C / 65°F, you might want to extend the bulk fermentation to 6 – 6.5h
At the end of the bulk fermentation
Lightly coat the interior of a bowl with olive oil. Form the dough in a ball, and place it in the oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with either its lid (if it has one) or cling film or damp towel and move it to the fridge for the cold proofing.
Cold proofing can be anything between 12h and 24h, even longer. Just remember that the longer the dough proofing (aka fermentation), the more of a sour flavour the pizza will have. At the same time it will become more easier to digest.
Unlike bread, there will be no compromise on the oven spring, so from this perspective pizza is much more forgivable even if slightly over proofed.
Remove the dough from the fridge roughly 2h before preparing the pizza. You don’t want the dough to be stiff & cold when you handle it.
First let it come to room temperature in the bowl, for an hour or so.
You can then split the dough in 4 equal parts and form 4 balls. Dust it well with flour, cover it with a towel and let it rest for another hour or so.
You can now shape the 4 pizzas, top it with your preferred toping and bake. You may want to check this video on Instagram.
TIP! if you want to avoid a soggy pizza base. Where you can, use dry mozarella and tomato sauce with moderation. You can either mix the tomato sauce with olive oil, or alternatively sprinkle olive oil the last thing before baking it.
There are 2 options for baking your sourdough pizza. I’ve tried both, but honestly using an outdoor pizza oven was a game changer.
Bake in your domestic oven, using a baking stone/steel or just the oven tray.
🌾Make sure you preheat the oven at 250°C / 570°F for at least 30min. If you use a stone or a tray, make sure these are in the oven during the preheat.
🌾Bake at 250°C / 480°F for 10-12min on convection mode. The thicker the pizza dough, the longer will take to bake.
🌾Should you wish to bake 2 pizzas as the same time, that’s also possible, on 2 different racks. You might want to swap it half way through the bake, to make sure they bake the same.
Bake in an outdoor pizza oven. I use an Ooni Karu 12 on wooden pellets, there is also a gas version.
🌾Preheat the oven to 400°C / 752°F, for at least 15min. Use an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of the baking stone. It is crucial to let it heat up properly, otherwise you might end up with a rather raw pizza base.
🌾When placing the pizza dough on the peel, make sure you flour the peel generously. You don’t want the dough to stick to it, it should slide nicely in the oven.
🌾Bake for something like 90 seconds, and using a turning peel rotate the pizza every 20 seconds or so, to make sure it cooks in a uniform way on all sides, without burning it on some.
🌾Assuming you will bake a second pizza, make sure the temperature gets back to 400°C / 752°F, monitor your fuel levels to keep it going.
If in general pizza is delicious, sourdough pizza is something else.