And tips to make the perfect – not soggy – pizza crustJump to Recipe
This one is by far my favourite sourdough recipe yet. I’ve made it twice already. And I only started making sourdough two weeks ago!
Honestly. It is worth the effort of making sourdough starter just to make this sourdough pizza crust. You just need a bit of time to let your dough rise. If you want pizza for dinner, prep your dough in the morning, then let it rest and do its thing, and you will have dough ready to shape and bake by dinner time.
You can even make a big batch of dough and freeze it for later, so when you do want pizza, all you have to do is just pop it out of the freezer in the morning, and let it defrost before shaping and baking as usual.
I love making pizza from scratch. It tastes so much better. And I have learnt a few key tips to preventing your homemade pizza from getting soggy. Now I just need to work on how to make my pizza look round. :p
1. Use a pizza stone.
They are inexpensive and can be found almost any kitchen supply store or on amazon. But they retain heat really well and keep an even heat so that the pizza dough cooks really well. And that is the key to a crispy crust with a gooey inside – high heat! And if you are a fan of naan, they make a great makeshift ‘tandoor’ so you can have tandoor naan from you oven too!
The recipe below, describes both the pizza stone method, and just good old oven cooking method. I also really love cooking the pizza on our BBQ with a pizza stone because it can get nice and hot.
2. Pre-cook the crust, before topping it.
I like to half cook the dough in the oven, on the pizza stone for a few minutes. This allows the dough to firm up and hold up to all the toppings you are going to put on it. And it makes for an easy transfer to the oven for cooking.
3. Cheese first.
Always add cheese as your first topping (after sauce of-course). The cheese acts as a barrier, almost like a lid on top of the pizza, so if you put it on top of all your toppings, any steam the toppings release while cooking will stay trapped and just lead to soggy crust. Which is no fun. I always put the bulk of my cheese on the bottom. Then sprinkle a little on top, just for show, before popping in the oven to cook.
And make sure you go easy on the toppings, the more you load it up, the more chances the bottom will go soggy.
4. Cool before cutting
Allow the cooked pizza fresh out of the oven to cool a few minutes before cutting into it. This will help the cheese and crust to firm up a bit, and will make for a clean easy slice. It’s worth the wait. Nobody wants burnt cheese mouth. That is no fun!
And try topping your pizza with honey and chilli oil! My favourite toppings for pizza!
What’s your favourite pizza topping?
Sourdough Pizza Dough
For the Sourdough Pizza Dough
- 1 cup sourdough starter discard (unfed)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp corn meal or semolina (optional)
- olive oil (for brushing)
For the Pizza Toppings (feel free to switch this up to your preference)
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce (or pesto)
- 1 cup grated cheese (mozzarella or four cheese blend is recommended)
- 1/2 cup green or red peppers, diced
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1/4 cup pineapple tid bits
- 1/2 cup baby arugula leaves
- basil leaves
- chilli oil
- grated parmesan cheese
- Mix all the dough ingredients, except cornmeal and olive oil, together and knead for about 5 minutes. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, this would be a great time to use it. Once the dough forms a smooth ball, and is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl, it is ready to rest.
- Grease the inside of large bowl and place the dough into the greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place (I like letting it rest in the oven with the light on to keep it nice and warm) for about 3-4 hours. It should double in size.
- Punch down the dough, and divide into 4 equal balls. If you find the dough is a bit too sticky, you can sprinkle with some flour and give it a few kneads to get it smooth again.
- Sprinkle your counter with flour, to prevent the dough from sticking. Gently shape each dough ball into about a small 8 to 10"-ish round (depending on how thick or thin you want your crust). I just use my fingers to shape the dough. It is quite soft and pliable, but a rolling pin works too. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before continuing (prep your pizza toppings and preheat the oven or grill in the meantime). Do the same with the remaining dough balls.
- Preheat oven (or grill) to 400F. If you have a pizza stone place that in the centre of the oven or grill. If not, don't worry, we will just use the baking sheet instead. Prep your topping ingredients.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat (recommended). Sprinkle the parchment with semolina or corn meal to coat the bottom. Transfer one dough round onto the parchment.
- Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with more semolina/ corn meal on top
- If you are using a pizza stone (and don't have a fancy pizza peel to transfer the dough to the stone) carefully slide the silicone mat with pizza dough on top onto your hands, so the silicone mat is sitting on your hands and the dough is on top. Quickly flip the silicone mat onto the pizza stone and remove the silicone mat. It should peel off easily, leaving the dough on the stone. Cook for 5 minutes till starting to turn golden on the bottom (half cooked).
- If you are not using a pizza stone, just place the baking sheet with the dough into the centre of the oven. Cook for 5-7 minutes till starting to turn golden on the bottom (half cooked).
- Carefully remove the dough (or baking sheet with dough) from the oven. The top will still look a bit raw. Flip over the dough, and top the cooked side with all your toppings, starting with sauce, cheese, then any other ingredients and a bit more cheese. Be careful not to overload it! That will make your pizza go soggy!
- Place the pizza back in the oven directly on the stone (or in a baking sheet) and cook for 5 more minutes, till cheese is melted and starting to turn brown.
- Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting into the dough. Top with the finishing toppings as you like, and enjoy!