Sourdough Pizza Dough

by Oct 6, 2023

Making pizza dough at home isn’t hard, but it helps to think in advance and get the dough made before you’ve got that pizza craving. This sourdough starts with an overnight levain (Day 1), then you make the dough the next day (Day 2) and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator to make pizzas the following day (Day 3). You can have same-day pizza by adding a blob of sourdough starter to a yeasted dough, check out my Same Day Pizza Dough recipe here. If you don’t have sourdough starter, try this yeasted pizza dough recipe.


Sometimes I dress my pizza with olive oil, no sauce, cheese, and Castelvetrano olives (watch out for the pits). So yummy!

Sourdough Pizza Dough

makes four pizzas each 10–12-inches in diameter; adapted from Maurizio Leo's recipe in The Perfect Loaf and Peter Reinhart's Pizza Napoletana in The Bread Baking Apprentice



  • 50 grams pizza flour
  • 50 grams water
  • 5 grams sourdough starter, 100% hydration


  • 580 grams pizza flour about 4½ cups
  • 70 grams whole wheat flour about ½ cup
  • 435 grams water about 1¾–2 cups
  • 26 grams olive oil about 2 tablespoons
  • 12 grams sugar (optional) about 1 tablespoon
  • 12 grams salt about 2 teaspoons

Pizza sauce, dried basil or oregano, mozzarella cheese (parm and provolone are good too!), and toppings


Levain (Day 1: make this in the evening and let it sit overnight room temperature)

  1. Mix levain ingredients in a pint jar, cover loosely with lid (no ring), and let sit overnight.

    The next day it should be raised and airy and yield 105 grams of levain, about 1 cup. You only need to add 100 grams to the dough, so don't worry about scraping every speck out of the jar. I like to use the jar to measure the water for the dough, and this gets some of the residual out of the jar and into the dough.

Dough (Day 2: start this at least 4 hours before you want to go to bed)

  1. Mix together the levain (about 100 grams/1 cup), pizza flour, whole wheat flour, water, olive oil, sugar, and salt.

  2. Do 3 hour bulk fermentation with 3 stretch and folds. Transfer dough to the refrigerator to rest overnight.

Dough (Day 3: form dough balls at least 6 hours before pizza baking time)

  1. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 4 pieces using a bench scraper. Tightly round into balls by using the bench scraper to pull the dough tightly down the edge and tuck under the ball. If this doesn't make sense, please watch dough tutorials on YouTube or the detailed instructions and photos in Maurizio's book, The Perfect Loaf.

  2. Lightly oil a glass dish and place the dough balls in there. Lightly cover with a piece of plastic wrap or reuseable cover.


  1. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven. Preheat oven to as close to 500°F as it will go for 45 minutes minimum.

    If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan, just get the oven nice and hot.

  2. Cut four pieces of parchment, about 14-inches long, one for each pizza.

    Lightly flour the tops of the dough balls and your work surface. Working one at a time, turn dough upside down onto floured counter. Using your hands in a "V"-shape, lightly press the dough from the center towards the end, but leave the edge alone to create a puffy edge of dough around the pizza. Flip and repeat on the other side.

    Transfer the dough to your fists and work to gently stretch and ease the dough close to 12-inches in diameter. Transfer to one of the pieces of parchment.

    Trim the parchment close to the dough so it won't flop around and catch fire in the oven.

    Repeat with all dough balls.

  3. Slide one pizza/parchment onto your peel. Lightly top the pizza with sauce, cheese, and toppings using a less less-is-more philosophy. Slide the pizza from the peel to the stone in the oven. Turn oven to broil for 2 minutes, then back to bake for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest a minute or two before slicing and eating. Repeat with remaining pizzas.

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