This Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough is an easy, no-knead pizza dough recipe that is perfect for your next pizza night. Made with only four ingredients, this recipe uses almost two cups of sourdough discard and makes two large pizzas.
Pizza is one of the most popular comfort foods, and it's easy to see why. The combination of crispy crust, gooey cheese, and savory toppings is simply irresistible.
But have you ever tried making your own pizza dough at home? If not, you might be surprised at how easy and delicious it is, especially when using sourdough discard.
If you're a fan of pizza and sourdough, you'll love this easy and delicious recipe for sourdough discard pizza dough. It's made with just four simple ingredients and requires no kneading.
So, whether you're a seasoned sourdough baker or just looking for a new way to use up your sourdough discard, this recipe is perfect for your next pizza night. Get ready to impress your family and friends with your homemade pizza skills!
Some links throughout this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you’re willing to use them, it helps fund this site and allows me to continue to provide content. I appreciate your support!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- No-Knead- We use a process called "stretching and folding" to build gluten in our no-knead pizza dough, which eliminates kneading altogether.
- Uses Sourdough Discard- If you're a sourdough baker, you know how painful it can be to toss that precious sourdough discard. This sourdough discard pizza dough is a wonderful way to use it up.
- Ready the Same Day- This sourdough starter pizza dough is ready the same day you mix the dough.
- Easy to Make- Just mix it all the ingredients together and you'll be chowing down on homemade pizza in no time.
- Only 4 Ingredients- Sourdough starter discard, bread flour, water, and salt are all you need for this easy sourdough pizza crust recipe.
- Makes Two Large Pizzas- Perfect for family pizza night, this recipe makes two large pizza doughs. Use both right away or store one in the freezer for next week.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Bread Flour- Bread flour has more protein in it, which makes for a stronger and more elastic pizza dough.
- Water- Hydrates the flour, helping to create a strong gluten network.
- Sourdough Starter- I used my 100% hydration sourdough starter. Both active sourdough starter and sourdough starter discard work well in this recipe.
- Kosher Salt- Adds flavor to the pizza dough.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this sourdough discard pizza dough recipe.
Step 1: Mix the Dough
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly using your hands or a stand mixer until no dry flour remains and a cohesive dough forms. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
Step 2: Stretch and Fold
After 20 minutes, perform your first set of stretch and folds. Do this by dipping your hand into a bowl of cold water before grabbing one edge of the dough and pulling it up as far as it will stretch before folding it over onto itself. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Repeat this stretching and folding around the dough two more times (for a total of 4 times). Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before performing another set of stretch and folds. Perform 4 sets of stretch and folds in total.
Step 3: Bulk Fermentation
Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm environment (70-75°F, 21-24°C) for about 2 hours. The dough should double in size and have noticeable gas bubbles forming on the surface.
Step 4: Shape
Carefully turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces with a bench scraper. Shape each piece of dough into a ball by pulling all four corners towards the center of the dough. Then, flip the dough ball over so it is seam side down, and use your hands to round it out.
Step 5: Proof
Place the dough balls on a lightly floured surface or piece of parchment paper and cover them with plastic wrap. Allow them to rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before using for pizza.
Step 6: Stretch the Dough
After proofing the dough, you can use it to make pizza. Alternatively, transfer it to the refrigerator for up to 5 days (which will give it an extra tangy sourdough flavor) or to the freezer for up to 3 months.
Quick Tip: Don't use a rolling pin to roll out your pizza dough. Instead, stretch it gently by hand to keep some of the air bubbles trapped inside.
What is the Best Method for Cooking Sourdough Pizza?
Achieving a well-cooked pizza at home can be challenging. I've found that pizza cooked on a preheated pizza stone in a 550°F oven for approximately 8-10 minutes is as close to restaurant quality as it gets. For this method, it's important to give both the oven and the pizza stone at least an hour to preheat.
Alternatively, you can make homemade pizza on a baking sheet, on the grill, or in a cast iron skillet.
Tips for Success
- Measure by weight. Using a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients will give you more consistent results. If you need to measure your flour using measuring cups, spoon the flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping directly from the flour container.
- Use the windowpane test. To check if your pizza dough has developed enough gluten after 4 sets of stretch and folds, use the windowpane test. Do this by stretching a small piece of the dough as thin as you can. You should be able to stretch it thin enough that you can see your fingers through it.
- Find a warm place in your kitchen. Yeast loves a warm environment - typically somewhere between 70-80°F. If your kitchen is on the cooler side, place the dough on top of your refrigerator or inside your oven with the oven light on during the bulk fermentation step.
- Make a double batch. If you have a lot of excess sourdough starter, use it to make a double batch of pizza dough with sourdough discard. Then, freeze the extra dough balls to use for pizza any time a craving strikes.
- Bring the dough to room temperature. Room temperature dough is easier to stretch than cold dough. If your pizza dough was stored in the refrigerator, give it at least 30 minutes to warm up on the counter before stretching.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this sourdough discard pizza crust recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Bread Flour- Making sourdough pizza dough with all-purpose flour instead of bread flour is possible. Just note that all-purpose flour has less gluten, which means your pizza dough may tear more easily and be a little more difficult to stretch.
- Sourdough Discard- Use either an active sourdough starter or sourdough starter discard.
- Kosher Salt- Swap kosher salt for table salt, sea salt, or pink Himalayan salt.
- Whole Wheat- Swap up to 250 grams of the bread flour with whole wheat or white whole wheat flour and add an additional 50 grams of water.
- Herbed- Add fresh or dried herbs to the dough for a deliciously flavored pizza crust. Oregano, basil, and thyme make for lovely additions.
- Garlic- Grated fresh garlic or garlic powder make for flavorful pizza dough additions.
- Cheesy- Mix a little grated parmesan cheese into the dough for a rich, cheesy flavor.
- Olive Oil- For a slightly softer crust, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the dough.
- Spicy- Sprinkle a few teaspoons of red pepper flakes into the dough for a little kick.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to pizza toppings. It's easy to get creative and have fun with it! Here are some delicious pizza topping ideas to try:
- Margherita Pizza- A simple and classic pizza that will please just about anyone. And it's the perfect way to use up some ripe summer tomatoes and fresh basil.
- Mushroom Pizza- One of my favorite pizza toppings, mushrooms are hearty and filling on top of pizza. Plus, mushroom pizza is perfect for vegetarians.
- Buffalo Chicken- Top the pizza with diced buffalo chicken, red onions, and blue cheese or ranch dressing.
- Bolognese Pizza- A rich and filling pizza, this homemade bolognese pizza recipe makes use of leftover bolognese sauce.
- Parmesan Garlic Pizza- A creamy parmesan garlic sauce replaces pizza sauce in this delicious white pizza recipe.
- Taco Pizza- Top the pizza dough with seasoned ground beef or turkey, salsa, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and cheddar cheese.
- Breakfast Pizza- Perfect for breakfast lovers. Top the pizza with scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, cheddar cheese, and sliced tomatoes.
Quick Tip: Bake your pizza as soon as you've finished assembling it. Letting the toppings sit for too long will result in soggy pizza dough.
How to Use Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
Of course, making pizza is the best way to use pizza dough. But, pizza dough can also be used in a variety of other ways. Here are some creative ideas:
- Pizza (Try this Parmesan Garlic Pizza or this Bolognese Pizza)
- Calzone or Stromboli (I love this Eggplant Parmesan Calzone)
- Garlic Knots
- Pigs in a Blanket
- Fried Dough
- Refrigerator- Store pizza dough in a plastic bag or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. The longer the pizza dough is stored, the stronger the sourdough flavor will be.
- Freezer- This quick sourdough pizza dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Follow the recipe through the proofing step. Then, store each individual pizza dough inside a freezer-safe plastic bag. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using it to make pizza.
Can I Make Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough Ahead?
Yes, sourdough discard pizza dough can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. In fact, I often make my pizza dough days in advance to give it more time to develop flavor.
Alternatively, make and freeze pizza dough up to 3 months in advance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, sourdough starter makes for a very flavorful and delicious pizza crust. Naturally leavened pizza dough is more flavorful, has a better texture, and is easier to digest than pizza dough made with commercial yeast.
Sourdough discard is best used within 1-2 weeks, but I've definitely used it after this timeframe with great results. After a couple of weeks, you may notice the discard developing a gray liquid on top called hooch. Hooch is the result of the yeast running out of food and is perfectly safe to eat.
Chewy pizza dough is a direct result of the high gluten content of bread flour. Pizza dough having a strong gluten structure is a good thing. However, as the pizza crust cools, it may become so chewy that it's difficult to eat. If this happens, simply reheat the pizza for a few minutes in the oven or in an air fryer.
Swapping in commercial yeast for sourdough starter isn't as simple as removing the sourdough starter and adding a packet of yeast to the dough instead. If you want to use dry active yeast or instant yeast, I recommend trying my 72-Hour Pizza Dough recipe instead.
If you're looking for a gluten-free pizza dough recipe, I recommend finding one that is already written to be gluten-free as I have not tested this recipe using gluten-free flour.
More Pizza Recipes
Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
- 4 ⅛ cups (500 grams) bread flour
- 1 ¼ cups (300 grams) warm water 80-90°F
- 1 ¾ cups (400 grams) sourdough starter discard
- 1 ¾ teaspoons (10 grams) kosher salt
- Mix Dough: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly using your hands or a stand mixer until no dry flour remains and a cohesive dough forms. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
- Stretch & Folds: After 20 minutes, perform your first set of stretch and folds. Do this by dipping your hand into a bowl of cold water before grabbing one edge of the dough and pulling it up as far as it will stretch before folding it over onto itself. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Repeat this stretching and folding around the dough two more times (for a total of 4 times). Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before performing another set of stretch and folds. Perform 4 sets of stretch and folds in total.
- Bulk Fermentation: Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm environment (70-75°F, 21-24°C) for about 2 hours. The dough should double in size and have noticeable gas bubbles forming on the surface.
- Divide & Shape: Carefully turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces with a bench scraper. Shape each piece of dough into a ball by pulling all four corners towards the center of the dough. Then, flip the dough ball over so it is seam side down, and use your hands to round it out.
- Proof: Place the dough balls on a lightly floured surface or piece of parchment paper and cover them with plastic wrap. Allow them to rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before using for pizza.
- Stretch: After proofing the dough, you can use it to make pizza. Alternatively, transfer it to the refrigerator for up to 5 days (which will give it an extra tangy sourdough flavor) or to the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Quick Tip: Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients for the best results. Otherwise, measure the flour by spooning it into the measuring cup as opposed to scooping directly from the storage container.
- Storage: Store dough wrapped in plastic or in a plastic bag for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Make Ahead: The dough develops more flavor the longer it sits in the refrigerator and can be made up to 5 days ahead.
- Suggested Cooking Methods:
- Pizza Stone in the Oven- Preheat the oven with a pizza stone inside to 550°F. Build pizza on a pizza peel, then transfer the pizza directly to the hot pizza stone in the oven. Cook pizza for approximately 7-9 minutes.
- Sheet Pan in the Oven- Preheat oven to 500°F. Build pizza on the sheet pan, then transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Bake pizza for 15-20 minutes.
- Grill Pan on the Grill- Preheat grill to 500°F. Build pizza on a grill pan, then transfer the grill pan to the preheated grill. Turn down the middle burner to medium-low to prevent the bottom of the pizza from burning. Close the grill lid and cook for 8-10 minutes.