Preparing your sourdough starter*
No-knead sourdough pizza dough
Shaping pizza dough balls
Shaping & baking pizza bases
Storing & using / reheating bases
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
These bases are especially good using my Fennestella sourdough starter. It’s rustic and wheaty in flavour and produces large puffy bubbles in the dough. Click here to buy
Variety is the spice of life, so there are only a handful of things I can do on ‘repeat’. Pizza is most definitely one of them!! But not just any pizza… they need to be rich with taste, texture, fresh, simple ingredients and… sourdough.
I recently had a craving for puffy, soft, yeasted pizza. It’s been more than 2 years since I made anything with yeast and I needed a change. Or so I thought.
Well, I no longer have a craving for a wheaty, yeasted base! Sourdough has destroyed even ‘good’ pizza for me. Because sourdough pizza is ‘great’ pizza. Seriously.
Sourdough pizza bases are truly next level. I am biased towards anything sourdough, BUT I also eat a lot of pizza!
If you love pizza, also see my Fluffy Sourdough Pizza or Thin & Crispy Sourdough Pizza recipes!
This base is soft and pillowy, with a mild sourdough flavour. The dough is gritty and porous with the addition of the semolina and is wonderful for both your kitchen and wood-fired ovens!
Fluffy Sourdough Pizza Bases – Recipe here
Thin & Crispy Pizza Bases – Recipe here
Bake Some For The Freezer
I nearly always bake extra my pizza bases for the freezer because:
1. If the woodfire is on, you may as well make the most of it!
2. The bases develop even more sourdough flavour
3. Pre-baked bases don’t go soggy with (wet) toppings
4. You can freeze them for pizza night any night!
However, it can make them more crispy with the second bake. I find the interior stays soft and chewy, but if you don’t want the crunch, make then always make these ones fresh. for the freezer
If you do bake some for the freezer, the first bake needs to be light. Capture the oven spring and let it seal and keep the basses blonde. Then, let them cool to store in the freezer. Reheat by topping and throwing them into your piping hot kitchen oven to cook the toppings and melt the cheese.
The result is sourdough pizza bases that hold their shape (defying gravity!) and have a clean, crisp flavour.
If you don’t freeze the extra 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.
Woodfire No-Knead Sourdough Pizza Bases
180g Active Sourdough Starter (6.35 oz) SEE NOTE
675g (ml) Water (1.49 lbs)
600g Pizza Flour or Type “00” flour (1.32 lbs) OR 13% protein bread flour
400g Semolina flour (14.1 oz)
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 (or 20g) from the fridge + 2 feeds (Steps 1-2)
2. Pantry 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
I highly recommend Lighthouse Bread and Pizza flour. 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
Pantry Sourdough Starter: 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.
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 600g Pizza Flour or Type “00” flour (1.32 lbs) plus 400g Semolina flour (14.1 oz) 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, wetter than the Tangy & Crispy but just the same, it 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 use a rolling pin on your sourdough pizza bases! 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. Air bubbles are what makes your authentically, puffy sourdough pizza base – fluffy. 😉
1. Prepare your woodfire oven as you would for using any other pizza dough.
2. Remove your balls of sourdough pizza dough from the fridge and, leaving them covered in their container, let them come to room temperature.
3. Generously dust your work surface with semolina. Take each dough ball and one at a time shape it into a pizza circle.
If you find the dough wants to shrink back, it needs longer to rest. Leave it 15 minutes and try again.
4. Top with sauce and your favourite toppings. Make sure your ingredients are dry to avoid a long bale time or soggy outcome!
- PAT DRY PINEAPPLE & TOMATO
- PRECOOK MUSHROOMS
Place directly onto your pizza oven. Use the pizza peel to turn the pizza after a minute or two if the heat is uneven. Cook until the edges are puffy and the crust has browned a little, toppings are cooked and cheese has melted.
If par-baking some for the freezer, leave them a little soft and light in colour so there is some browning and moisture left for when you use them. Check regularly. Towards the end of baking, they will turn brown very quickly.
If your bases puff up in the centre, don’t worry, the bubbles will settle down when cooled.
Storing sourdough pizza bases
If you baked some sourdough pizza to freeze, 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.