Ever since I got my sourdough starter going again, I’ve wanted to try making sourdough pizza. We have pizza quite often at home. I use Jamie Oliver’s basic pizza recipe and do a double batch, parbake the crusts and freeze for easy weeknight dinners. What would be even better was a sourdough version. Inspired by this crust by Maurizio (he promises to share his recipe once he has perfected it!), I scoured Instagram for other sourdough pizza bakers in search of a basic recipe. Not many recipes out there, but lots of beautiful crusts like this one below.
I managed to find one from a fellow Singaporean home baker. Raymond has beautiful photos of all his bakes – pizza being one of them and so I quizzed him relentlessly on his recipe which he shared.
Still, I wasn’t too confident (needed more instructions!) and needed something solid to try, so I googled and came across a few different versions. A lot of them use instant dry yeast – which for me doesn’t really make sense if you are making sourdough. Why mix a commercially cultivated yeast into your wild yeast – this I think defeats the purpose of what traditional sourdough making is all about.
The recipe I based my initial dough on (I made two separate batches of this one) is one from NYT Cooking. It too included wild yeast in the recipe, but I swapped it out for additional sourdough starter as suggested by one of the comments from the readers. I wanted to get the hang of making this dough before I tried Ray’s recipe where I ended up making a double portion so I could freeze. I will share both recipes below.
Adapted from NYT Cooking Recipe
According to Pedro Pan in the comments section of the NYT recipe – if replacing the yeast completely with starter, then leave the dough out covered all day. The next day do two sets of folds to work the structure of the dough. I left mine a few hours then did the two sets of folds during bulk fermentation. I wanted to get my dough in the fridge before dinner (6pm) to do the overnight ferment as I’m just a little wary of the intense humidity of my Singapore kitchen. Here’s another helpful blog by Korena in the Kitchen to help you work through the process.
The next day around 3pm I took the dough out, dumped on floured bench and divided into 4 equal pieces (recipe said 3 but I found 4 was a good size for me). I let the dough rest for an hour or so before shaping.
When ready, shape your dough balls and flatten them out with your fingers gently pushing from the inside to the outer edge. Then use the knuckle/thumb method to shape your pizza. Check out how Peter Reinhart does it here. Here’s Korena’s blog again which shows how she shapes her dough – very helpful and I love the look of her pizza bases – so springy and airy.
At this point you can top your pizzas and put them straight into the oven. I parbaked them first and let them cool before topping. If doing this, preheat your oven to it’s highest temperature (mine is 220C) with the pizza tray in there. When ready carefully slide your pizza base together with baking paper onto the preheated pizza tray. Stick it back in the oven for about 3 minutes until you see it puff up a little (it should be just under baked). Cool on a wire rack.
Add your pizza sauce (I love this home-made one from Goop), toppings and bake them in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes (depending on how hot your oven can go). I find the first pizza always bakes really well, the subsequent ones take longer – probably because my oven loses a lot of heat each time I open/close. Go easy on the toppings (less is more!) so that your base cooks through and doesn’t get too soggy. We were a little heavy-handed on this batch as we were clearing the fridge to use up any of the week’s leftovers on top.
Adapted from Raymond’s recipe given to me over Instagram comments. I doubled this batch!
If using, top with sauce and toppings as per first recipe and bake for 15 minutes in hot oven.
We baked Raymond’s pizza dough a couple of weeks later. The additional time in fridge to ferment gave them a nice flavour.