The thick and slightly chewy sourdough pizza base is a must-try for the deep dish and traditional pan pizza crust lovers. Paired with a lovely goat’s cheese and piquant pepper topping, we think it’s an absolute winner! Our Best Pizza Topping recipe has an option to either use or leave off prosciutto ham, so can be adjusted for both vegetarians and meat-lovers!
Sourdough pizza crust takes time and patience, so if you’re short on time or just like things done quickly, feel free to make a quicker, traditional yeasted (here’s a link to the dough that works every time for me) or no-yeast pizza dough. Our Best Pizza Topping works with any base you may choose to make
How to Make Sourdough Pizza Bases?
There are quite a few processes in making this sourdough pizza base, but if your organise your timings, it will be ready just in time for dinner. Here I’ll show you my timetable, that you can adjust to your needs.
The Night Before – Make a Levain:
Just before I go to bed, I mix sourdough starter, flour and water in the ratio of 1:3:3. My kitchen gets very cold overnight and this ratio works well for me. It doubles within 10 hours, and I am then ready to carry on the next morning. If you want your levain to double quicker, use different ratios. For example, 1 starter : 1 flour : 1 water mix should double within 4 hours in a warm spot (if you have a well maintained active starter, of course).
The Next Day:
7 am: I mix the pizza dough flour (300g) and water (180ml) together in a large mixing bowl and leave it for an hour at room temperature. Just flour and water – that’s it. This process is called autolyse which helps the gluten develop.
8:30 am: I mix the doubled levain into the flour/water mixture. I add salt at this stage too. I normally use a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment, but you can also knead by hand. The dough will be very wet to start with, so you will need to slap and fold it for a while until it strengthens and becomes more elastic. This normally takes 10-15 minutes.
9:00 am: Place the dough into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot. It can take as long as 8 hours for it to double in size if your kitchen is very cold. To speed up the process, you can preheat the oven to the lowest setting, turn it off and pop your dough in it whilst it cools. Nonetheless, it will take at least 4 hours, but for me, it’s normally around 6 hours.
2 pm: I scoop the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into four pieces. You may choose to make 2 large pizzas instead. Form tight balls by stretching the sides of the dough and folding in toward the centre (see a video in my Sourdough Brioche recipe). Then flip them upside down so that the smooth side is up. Pop the balls of dough onto a floured chopping board and cover with a damp tea towel. Place it in the fridge for another 4 hours for a cold-proof.
6 pm: When ready to bake, take the dough balls out of the fridge. Roll them all out to 15 cm circles (or larger if you’re only making two pizzas). Press out the dough towards the out edges to form a thicker crust.
6:15 pm: Preheat the oven to 230° C, top with anything your heart desires and bake for approx. 15 minutes until the dough puffs up and the crust turns a lovely golden colour. Cook for longer if you prefer crispy edges.
Out Best Pizza Topping has all our favourite ingredients – goat’s cheese, piquant peppers and rocket! What’s not to like?
We first slather the Sourdough Pizza Bases with a sauce made from tomato paste, water and mixed herbs. Then scatter thinly sliced red onions all over. We rarely use mozzarella for our pizzas. We prefer the taste and textures of mild Emmental cheese. When melted, it’s much less stringy than mozzarella, and the taste works very well with the rest of the ingredients.
Tear your prosciutto or parma ham into large pieces and arrange on top. Then place the rounds of goat’s cheese log around the outer edge of the pizza.
My favourite bit is the peppers. We use roquito peppers normally, but any pearl or drop peppers will work. They burst in your mouth with sweet and slightly spice sensation. If you struggle to find these, another option (which we used this time) is sliced/chopped piquant peppers that you can buy in most large supermarkets.
Once the pizzas are baked, we slice the pizzas and scatter copious amounts of peppery rocket on top. If you like things spicy, chilli oil is a great companion for this pizza. Just drizzle all over and dig in!
Hope you liked our Best Pizza Topping. Not quite what you were looking for? Have a look at our other dinner recipes:
Our Best Pizza Topping + Sourdough Pizza Base
The Night Before – For Levain:
- 15 g sourdough starter unfed
- 45 g water
- 45 g flour
Sourdough Pizza Bases:
- 100 g levain
- 300 g strong bread flour
- 180 ml water
- 5 g salt
For Pizza Topping:
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 200 g Emmental cheese mild-tasting, grated or chopped into small pieces
- 150 g goat's cheese log cut into rounds
- 4 prosciutto slices (optional)
- 80 g drop, pearl, roquito peppers or chopped sweet piquant peppers
- 60 g rocket
Make the Levain:
- Combine starter, flour and water. Pour into a glass jar, partially cover and leave overnight to double in size.
Make Pizza Dough:
- Mix flour (300g) and water (180ml) and leave covered at room temperature to rest for 30 min to 1 hour.
- When your levain has doubled, mix it with the flour/water dough and add salt. Squish it to incorporate well with your hands, then transfer onto a floured workbench. It will be quite a wet dough.
- Knead and slap the dough for about 10 minutes or use a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment. The dough should feel strenthened and elastic at the end of the kneading process.
- Place the dough into a bowl, cover with a tea towel or clingfilm and leave to prove for 4 hours or until doubled.
- Once doubled, scoop the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Form tight dough balls by taking sides of the piece of dough and bringing them into the middle. Flip them all upside down so the smooth side is up. The balls should hold their shape at this stage.
- Place the dough balls onto a floured chopping board, cover with a slightly damp tea towel and pop in the fridge for 4 hours for a second (cold) proof. You can leave the dough in the fridge for up to 16 hours.
- When you're ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and roll each ball out into a 15cm circles. Press the dough outwards slightly to from a thicker edge. Place them onto lightly floured baking sheets, cast iron skillets or pizza stone.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C Fan, whilst you top your pizzas.
- To make tomato sauce, mix tomato paste, herbs and water. Divide between the 4 pizza bases and slather each with the back of a tablespooon.
- Scatter thinly sliced red onion on top. Then sprinkle with grated/chopped up Emmental cheese. Tear prociutto slices to smaller pieces and arrange on top of the cheese.
- Add rounds of goats cheese and scatter your piquant, drop or pearl peppers. No need to season with salt, especially if you are using prosciutto ham.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the base puffs up and the edges are brown. Serve scattered with lots of rocket on top. Some chilli oil won't go amiss either 🙂