Before we start ~ an important note! I make a LOT of fuss about using bread flour for making sourdough bread. However, these pizza bases will do just fine if you make them using plain flour or even better, pizza flour. You can even feed your sourdough starter with plain/all-purpose flour for this one. 😋
6 Large (30cm), 8 (25cm) Medium or 10 (20cm) small pizza bases
Sourdough starter time
Dough | 3 minutes + leave time
Dough ball shaping | 5 minutes + fridge time
Bases – shaping & baking | 15-25 minutes
Pizza would be one of my favourite foods to eat and… make. The frozen stuff from the supermarket is not with the kilojoules (says my taste buds!). And once you’ve mastered making your own sourdough bases, take-away pizza will also lose its once luring appeal.
And when you see how easy this is, you may never go back to second-rate pizza again… sourdough pizza is truly next level.
Baking these no-knead sourdough pizza bases ahead of time has a several benefits:
1. It breaks up the workload – when it comes to pizza night, just top and bake!
2. It develops the clean sophisticated sourdough flavour
3. It keeps the base crisp so it doesn’t droop or go soggy
4. You can freeze them for a gourmet pizza night on the run or a lazy-day weekend
Twice-baked, the first bake it light. You capture the oven spring of the dough and let it seal with a light crust. You can then let them cool for the freezer or top with your favourite pizza toppings and throw them back into the oven to bake a second time, cook the toppings and melt the cheese.
The result is sourdough pizzas that hold their shape (defying gravity!) and have a clean, crisp flavour.
If you don’t freeze the sourdough pizza bases, they will store, sealed in cling wrap or a plastic bag, on your kitchen benchtop for 1-2 days, or in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Making sourdough pizza bases with BLME sourdough flakes is exactly the same as making our Sourdough bread, just swap out the dough ingredients for the pizza ones. It is, however the same simple rhythm. Just like the sourdough bread, sourdough pizza take a few days to make but, also like the sourdough bread, each step is just a minute or so, then you walk away and let time do the work for you.
Invest in some Grill Mats!! Please!
If you get into making your own pizza bases and love it. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing some quality BBQ Teflon Sheets that hod they hold the sourdough pizza base perfectly. Much better than parchment or baking paper.
✔️ Food safe to 260°C / 500°F (check the listing when you purchase).
✔️ Don’t move on your bench like baking paper does. Their light texture grips the pizza dough, allowing you to shape the pizza bases far more quickly and easily, especially since I am a little non-traditional in my shaping method! #opentolessons 🙂
✔️ They are also washable and reusable. Got to love that!
Ingredients for no-knead sourdough pizza bases
180g Active Sourdough Starter (6.35 oz) SEE NOTE
675g (ml) Water (1.49 lbs)
1kg All-Purpose flour (2.2 lbs) or other (see note below^)
18g Salt (0.64 oz)
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 Tablespoon Honey
180g sourdough starter (6.35oz) is equivalent to:
1. Low-maintenance sourdough starter Your jar from the fridge + 2 feeds (Steps 1-2)
2. Maintenance-free sourdough starter 1 Batch: 3 Feeds (Steps 1-3)
3. Traditional sourdough starter fed to more than 180g (6.35oz) so that you have some leftover to continue feeding
Other flour options
Woodfire / Gritty texture
600g Type “00” flour + 400g Semolina flour (Amazon) (1.32 lbs + 14.1 oz)
Type “00” flour. If you do, you are unlikely to need the whole 675g of water. Add the water slowly, mixing as you go until you form a soft, but not wet dough.
I highly recommend Lighthouse Bread and Pizza flour. It gives a fabulously silky and puffy texture to the dough. Available at Woolworths and Coles in Australia. Any 00 Flour will also give you a wonderful dough to work with.
PREPARE YOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER AHEAD
Low-maintenance: 2 Feeds. Steps 1-2 in the recipe card with your kit
Maintenance-free: 3 Feeds. Steps 1-3 in the recipe card with your kit
Traditional sourdough starter or YOUR OWN STARTER: You need 180g of sourdough starter (6.35oz), fed and doubled by the time you make the dough.
Making no-knead Sourdough pizza dough
1. Tip your ripe and ready sourdough starter into a LARGE mixing bowl and add 18g of salt (0.64 oz) plus 675g of water (1.49 lbs), 2 Tablespoons Olive oil* and 1 Tablespoon honey. Mix vigorously to dissolve the sourdough.
*By measuring and adding the oil before the honey, the oil naturally greases the Tablespoon causing the honey to measure and release easily because it doesn’t stick to the tablespoon! 👌
2. Add 1kg of flour (2.2 lbs), to your mixing bowl and mix well to combine.
3. Squeeze the mix (like a sponge) for 1-2 minutes using your hands. This will help push water into the flour to hydrate it.
This is a sticky dough that will magically transform over the following few hours. Don’t be tempted to add flour. It will make the dough too dense. It’s messy but it’s easy!
Clump the dough into a ball shape and wash your hands.
The easiest way to clean your hands is to use a firm spatula or plastic dough cutter to scrape off the excess dough back into the bowl, then place your hands under running water and wash as usual.
4. Cover the bowl with cling wrap^. Leave until the dough doubles. ‘Almost doubled’ is ok too.
Time guide: It will take 5 to 12 hours to double depending on room temperature. The cooler your kitchen is, the slower the dough will rise. The warmer (and more humid), the faster your dough will rise. If your kitchen is cool, you can leave it somewhere warm to rise to make your dough grow faster. See How to keep your sourdough warm even in winter
Your dough is ready to shape when it’s double the size, puffy and a number of bubbles are poking through the surface. Don’t leave it too long to before you do the next step of shaping your sourdough pizza dough balls, since the dough will eventually exhaust itself and deflate.
Shaping sourdough pizza DOUGH BALLS
1. Divide your dough into 8 equal parts (medium 25cm sourdough pizza bases) or 6 equal parts (large 30cm sourdough pizza bases).
2. Using wet hands, pinch one side of the dough and stretch it up towards the ceiling, then fold across the dough to the other side. Pinch next to where you pinched last time and repeat. Work your way around the dough, overlapping the previous fold through the centre each time. This process is like wrapping a present tightly. Pull and stretch 12-14 times until your dough becomes tight. It will start to resist as you work until it becomes too difficult. Then you know you’re done!
It’s the same technique as for shaping our sourdough bread.
3. Oil medium-sized freezer bags or several Tupperware containers and the underside of the lid. Place the balls of dough individually into each or if large Tupperware container, place 2-3 with room enough for them to grow up to 15-20cm wide without touching.
4. Refrigerate! Leave in the fridge for at least 10 hours and up 24 hours.
That’s it until it’s time to bake!
Shaping & baking sourdough pizza BASES
OK peeps, so here’s the thing – DON’T roll your sourdough pizza bases! I repeat.. put your rolling pin away. If could give you any great hack, this is it! Rolling the dough compresses the air bubbles you have spent the last few days waiting for. These beauties are what makes or breaks your authentic, risen sourdough pizza base. If you want thin and crispy, go right ahead! 😉
1. Preheat your oven and pizza stone (or baking tray) to 250°C (480°F) 46-60 minutes before baking.
2. Remove your balls of sourdough pizza dough from the fridge and leaving them covered in their container, let the chill come off them while your oven heats (about 45 minutes). Meanwhile, tear off enough large pieces of baking paper so that you have one for each dough.
Spread one piece of baking paper out on your bench-top and grab a few heavy items to use as paperweights on at least two corners. You could try using tins of soup, a full wine bottle or a small bag of flour.
3. After 45 minutes, take each dough ball and one at a time shape it into a pizza circle.
This is how I do it:
Have a bowl of water handy so you can wet your hands throughout (it stops the dough from sticking) and stretch a ball of pizza dough into a circle in using your hands (in the air) then when it’s a little hard to handle, splay it out onto the baking paper that has been weighed down. Gently lift the edges and pull them away from the centre to make a large circle. Wet hands help! I promise!
Try to keep the rim thicker than the centre and be mindful not to tear the centre of the base.
5. Pop this base into the oven now to pre-bake (see instructions below) and then move on to shape the next one. Keep doing this – shaping a base followed by baking it.
YOU CAN SKIP PRE-BAKING. MAKE SURE YOUR INGREDIENTS ARE DRY TO AVOID A SOGGY OUTCOME!
– PAT DRY PINEAPPLE & TOMATO
– PRECOOK MUSHROOMS
Once baked, you have two options:
1. You can top it now and pop it back into the oven to finish and eat, or
2. Store them, air-tight, on the bench to use in the next few days, or
3. freeze them.
Place directly onto the pizza stone or baking tray and bake at 250°C (480°F) until the edges are puffy and the crust has browned a little (5 minutes if pre-baking without topping or 8-10 with topping). If pre-baking, leave them a little soft and light in colour so there is some browning left for when you use them. Check regularly. Towards the end of baking, they will turn brown very quickly. If you have topped your pizzas, make sure all your toppings have also cooked before removing from the oven and serving.
If your bases puff up in the centre, don’t worry, the bubbles will settle down when cooled or toppings added (if using straight away).
Storing sourdough pizza bases
If you baked the sourdough pizza to use later, let them cool completely and place in large freezer bags or wrap in cling wrap. They will keep on your bench for up to 2 days, in your fridge for up to 4 days and in your freezer for up to 3 months.
1. Defrost the pizza bases (if frozen).
2. Preheat your oven to 250°C (480°F). Top your pizzas and cook 5-6 minutes or until toppings are cooked and cheese has melted and browned to your liking.