Use this sourdough pizza dough to make a crispy, chewy, delicious crust that can hold all your favorite toppings. The stand mixer does all the work for mixing the dough. The pizza bubbles as it bakes on the grill, or in the oven on a pizza stone. It’s a fabulous way to have a pizza party! Dough will last in the fridge for 2-3 days after you make it.
My friend Holly came over to help me with this photoshoot, and took many of the pictures you see. She’s amazing! Here’s her portfolio.
I’ve been working on this Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe over the past few weeks, and I’m so excited to share it with you.
The naturally fermented crust bakes up crisp on the edges, with a pillowy, fluffy interior, making for the perfect bite. It’s my ideal thickness, enough for a bit of chew and holds up to some glorious toppings. You can make the sourdough pizza on the grill, or in the oven! I’ve tested both ways for you and have lots of detailed instructions.
When you cook pizza at the right temperature, the crust gets the correct amount of crispy texture, without being brittle or dry. Hot ovens also mean that your pizza stone inside stays hot consistently, and retains heat so each pizza will literally take 5 minutes to make.
In effect, it acts like one of those fancy pizza ovens, but it’s a GRILL. That blazing heat means a crisper bite, bubbly toppings, and those deliciously charred spots on the bottom of the crust.
Through trial and error, having zone dividers on the grill was a significant piece of the puzzle. While the two burners on the left side of the grill were responsible for cooking the crust, the right side of the grill was off so I could move the pizza to the top cooking rack, close the lid, and let it finish “baking” without burning the crust.
Another important topic: organization. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a super organized cook, but it’s an essential part of this pizza making situation.
You want to be able to work quickly after the dough is on the pizza peel, so it has less time to possibly stick to the parchment paper. This was my #1 issue when testing.
Tools You’ll Need to Make Sourdough Pizza Crust
toppings, with veggies cut up if needed and cheese shredded or torn
sauce and olive oil at the ready
a pastry brush and several spoons
parchment paper sheets
extra flour and cornmeal for stretching the dough and coating the parchment
a large cutting board
a pizza peel with long handle (that’s the one I have, which is less than $9) – don’t try it without this, the grill is way too hot for any part of your body to be exposed to!
Also to note, all grills are different. Consider your first attempt at grilled pizza as a sacrifice to learning just how to control your grill temperature, and trust me – it might not be perfect but it will still be delicious.
How to Make Sourdough Pizza Crust
Unlike making sourdough bread, sourdough pizza dough is mixed with a stand mixer, then rises on its own with just 2 simple sets of stretch and folds to help it gain strength.
After the bulk fermentation, you’ll use your bench scraper to cut the dough into equal balls of dough, usually about 160 grams. I don’t like to go much bigger than that because at the point, shaping into the crust gets more difficult.
The dough balls can rest on the counter for about an hour for their second rise, or you can stick them into the refrigerator for as long as two days, then use when ready!
When you’re working the balls into the crust, the dough will be wet. And that’s okay! Just make sure your hands are floured and the pizza peel too. You’ll get the hang of it – it just takes a little practice.
Sourdough Pizza Toppings:
Are endless! On the day that we photographed, I made these three pizzas:
red sauce, pepperoni, olives, and shallots with Tillamook white cheddar and fontina cheese
Add starter and water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir with a fork to loosen starter and disperse starter.
Add flour and olive oil. Stir with a spatula to incorporate flour, then mix on low speed for about 20 seconds to further incorporate and no dry streaks remain. Add salt to top of dough and let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
Attach dough hook to stand mixer and secure bowl. Mix on medium low, speed 3 of KitchenAid stand mixer for for 8 minutes. *This is a very wet dough, and that's okay.
Remove bowl from mixer and cover with a towel. Let dough sit for an hour, then do 2 sets of stretch and folds around the bowl. Let dough rest for another hour, then do 2 sets of stretch of folds around the bowl. Cover, and let dough bulk ferment about 4 to 5 more hours, if your house is at 70 degrees F, until dough has doubled in size.
Once doubled, place parchment paper on large baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray such as olive oil.
Turn dough out onto floured surface and let rest for 15 minutes. The dough will be sticky and that is okay!
Dust the top of the dough with flour and use floured hands to press dough out slightly.
Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into 4 or 5 equal pieces. pieces weighing about 180 grams. Flour your hands generously, and stretch a corner of the dough out and bring it back to the middle, doing this with each corner of the dough so you're forming a ball. Use a bit of tension on the surface to make the ball a bit tighter, and close the bottom.
Place dough on a greased baking sheet. And repeat with all dough balls.
At this point you can let the dough rise on the counter for 45 minutes, for its second rise, until it has grown a bit and is puffier. Or you can put the pan with dough balls straight into the refrigerator, covered, and leave them in for 6 to 48 hours, and take out an hour before you want to make the pizza.
1 hour before you're ready to grill or bake the pizza, lay out all of your ingredients at a station so you can work quickly once the dough is pressed out.
30 minutes before you're going to grill the pizza, turn on the grill, with cast iron pizza pan on one side, over two flames turned to medium high. Leave the right side burner off. You'll want the interior temperature of the grill to be 650 degrees F. Or, preheat a pizza stone in your oven to 500 degrees F for an hour.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on your pizza peel and liberally dust with cornmeal and flour.
Dust top of dough ball with flour. With floured hands, pick up a dough ball and hold up with two hands on corners of the dough. The dough will start to droop downward with gravity, and you’ll rotate the dough clockwise, like you’re turning a steering wheel. And it will be a bit sticky. That’s okay! Bring it down to the parchment paper, and lightly press out into a circle, stretching the corners. Do NOT use a rolling pin. This will make the dough too thin, resulting in a tougher crust. You’re aiming for each pizza to be around 7-8 inches in diameter. Don’t try to make the biggest pizza. Keeping it smaller will result in the fluffiest baked dough. Stretch and adjust the dough a little more, aiming to position one edge of the pizza all the way at the front edge of the peel.
Spread with a light amount of sauce, and put the the rest of your toppings on, including cheese. Error on the side of less toppings that piling it super full, to be sure the crust can handle the weight.
Shimmy the pizza onto the cast iron pan or pizza stone, without the parchment. Close the lid of grill, and let cook for 3 minutes on the pan/stone. Then open the lid, transfer the pizza to the right side, top rack, and close lid for another 4-5 minutes to finish cooking. OR If baking in oven, bake at 500 degrees for for 8-9 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
*this is a WET dough, and that’s okay! use flour as you need while working with the dough after it’s bulk ferment, to keep it from sticking to your hands or surface.