Sourdough Discard Pizza

It’s pizza night, and you’re craving a pizza dough that’s not only quick and easy but also uses that sourdough discard you’ve got hanging around. Well, look no further – this is the one. Whether you’re planning ahead or making it on the fly, this sourdough discard pizza crust has got you covered. It’s ideal for a laid-back family dinner or to wow your guests with a homemade sourdough pizza. The best part? It comes together fast, thanks to a little help from commercial yeast. Take your pizza night up a notch and put that sourdough discard to good use with this awesome pizza crust recipe.

Important Ingredients in Sourdough Discard Pizza

  • Sourdough Discard: You can use older discard sitting in your refrigerator or fresh, bubbly sourdough starter. Older discard (up to a couple weeks old or longer if you prefer), will have a more pronounced sour flavor which can be tasty in pizza crust. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard.
  • Milk: I like using 2% or whole milk in this recipe. Milk gives the dough a soft texture which pairs so well with the crispy exterior.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil keeps this dough tender and crisp once baked. You can substitute it for any neutral-flavored oil if desired.
  • Instant Yeast: This recipe uses commercial yeast as the leavening agent because it is a discard recipe.
  • Bread Flour: I almost always use a 12.5% protein bread flour for any bread that I am kneading. The higher protein content and properly activating the gluten results in a lighter/springy baked good. However, I think this pizza crust would be a good candidate for all-purpose flour too. If you substitute all-purpose you may need a little extra flour.
  • Garlic Powder: I love the flavor that a little garlic powder brings to this pizza crust recipe. You can leave it out if you don’t like garlic flavor.
  • Salt: Salt enhances flavor and works with the yeast to produce the best fermentation. Don’t forget to add it!
  • Pizza Sauce: Top your homemade pizza with a delicious pizza sauce. You can use any favorite from the store or use the red sauce I make the most often. It’s detailed in the post below.
  • Toppings: Anything goes with pizza! We love a good quality mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and pineapple (yes, I love pineapple on pizza!).

Mixing the Discard Pizza Crust

To the bowl of a stand mixer, add all the ingredients. Mix the dough until it’s soft, smooth and has kneaded for about 8-10 minutes. The dough should feel tacky, but not sticky. If the dough feels sticky, add a few more Tablespoons of flour. If you don’t have a stand mixer and want to mix the dough by hand, you can do that too. Just add on about 5 minutes to the mixing time. Once the dough is mixed, cover it and let it rise for about an hour.

Shaping Sourdough Discard Pizza Crust

After the dough has doubled in size and risen, it’s time to shape the dough into pizza-sized balls and then you get to decide when you want to use it! Dump the dough on the counter and decide how many pizzas you want to make. This recipe makes 2-3 large pizzas. You can make 6-8 smaller pizzas if you want people to make their own indvidual pizzas. To shape the dough into balls, take each piece of dough and pull/pinch up the sides until it forms a ball. Roll the ball on the counter, holding your hand in a cupping shape (see video here) to seal the balls and create tension. For larger dough balls, use both hands to drag the dough on the counter into a round shape.

At this point you decide if you want to use it right away or stick it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple of days (about 3 days). The longer the dough rests in the fridge, the more flavor it will have. To use the pizza dough right away, cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the toppings.

Pizza Sauce for Sourdough Discard Pizza

The pizza sauce itself is so important to a good homemade pizza. I love this quick and easy pizza sauce that I can throw together in my blender and use right away. Here’s my simple recipe:

To a blender add the following ingredients:

  • 14.5 oz diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper (optional)

Blend the ingredients together until smooth and then adjust the seasonings as needed. If the tomatoes aren’t sweet, I may add a dash of sugar. If they taste acidic, I’ll add a little bit of baking soda. Sometimes I’ll add more salt based on my tomatoes. Any extra sauce can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

Pizza Toppings for Discard Pizza Crust

Most pizza nights I set out bowls of different toppings, usually whatever we need used up in my fridge, but also family favorites. I’m a supporter of pineapple on pizza, so I always try to have canned pineapple (lightly drained). Be as fun and creative as you want with the toppings or stick to pepperoni. All are good, but the one thing I don’t mess around with is the cheese on pizza. Specifically pre-shredded/bagged cheese. This is a no-go if you really want the best homemade sourdough pizza. Pre-shredded cheese is often coated in an anti-caking agent which makes it more difficult to melt together and get that perfect melty crust on top of your pizza. Moral of this story…shred your own cheese! Or grab a log of that fresh mozzarella, tear it into pieces and use that instead.

Topping Homemade Sourdough Pizza

Once you’ve got all your toppings set out, grab a piece of parchment paper for each pizza. Take a pizza dough ball and stretch it with your hands to form a circle. Continue working around to stretch the dough out until you get the shape and size you want (it doesn’t have to be a circle). Place it on top of the parchment and stretch to your desired size. For a thicker crust, leave the edges a little bit thicker than the rest of the pizza. If your dough tightens up on you and is hard to stretch, let it rest and then try again in a few minutes. Patch any holes you may find with pieces of the crust. Top with desired toppings and then you’re ready to bake! This pizza dough is very forgiving, so don’t worry if you tear the dough. Just push it back together, let it relax and try again.

Baking Homemade Sourdough Pizza in Your Oven for BEST Results

You CAN get restaurant quality pizza out of your home oven. It IS possible and if you love pizza as much as I do, you need to read this.

The key to a good quality pizza from a home oven comes from how you bake it. High HEAT and a pre-heated stone will get you the closest to restaurant-quality pizza from your home oven.

To bake your pizzas: Place a baking stone on the highest rack of your oven. Pre-heat the stone and your oven at the highest heat it will go (usually 500-550℉) for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a baking stone, don’t worry! You can turn a baking sheet upside down in your oven and get similar results.

Pre-heat Oven and Prepare Discard Pizzas

While your oven pre-heats, prepare your pizzas and place each pizza on a piece of parchment paper. The parchment paper will burn up a little in the oven, but it’s an easy way to get the best bake on your pizza. Place the parchment paper with the pizza on it on top of a pizza peel or cutting board. Launch your pizza into the pre-heated oven onto the baking stone. Let it bake for about 5 minutes. Then turn the pizza 180 degrees so you can evenly bake both sides for 3-5 more minutes. Watch the pizza carefully so it doesn’t burn.

I think it’s worth investing in a baking stone and a pizza peel if you love pizza and want to have frequent homemade pizza nights, but you can get by without. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough and then dig in!  There’s nothing better than being able to make incredible pizza from your home oven. I hope you love it!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store leftover sourdough discard pizza?

Cut the pizza into pieces and store in an airtight ziplock bag or container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat when you want a piece.

Is this Neapolitan style pizza or thicker pizza?

This pizza dough is for a thicker style pizza. If you want a Neapolitan style pizza, check out my Neapolitan sourdough pizza crust.

Why do you use instant yeast in sourdough discard recipes?

Sourdough discard is sourdough starter that has already gone through a fermentation cycle. It is starter that you are choosing not to re-feed because you would have too much starter if you fed it all. Because it has been through a fermentation cycle it doesn’t have the same leavening capabilities as active starter. Instead of u0022discardingu0022 it or throwing it away as the name suggests, we find recipes in which it can be used for the added flavor, moisture, and health benefits it provides, and to reduce waste. This sourdough discard pizza crust recipe uses sourdough discard mainly for flavor, and instant yeast is used to leaven the pizza crust. If you want a pizza crust recipe that is leavened with sourdough starter, check this one out.

Can I make good pizza without a baking stone?

Yes! Just turn a baking sheet over so the bottom of the sheet is facing up in the oven. Follow the baking directions using the baking sheet instead of a baking stone.

More Great Pizza Recipes Here:

Sourdough Discard Pizza

Amy
Sourdough discard pizza makes the best pizza with a flavorful, crispy crust and soft, tender middle. Sourdough pizza crust is so easy to make with a little mixing, a short rise and then time to top and bake for family pizza night or when you have company. Restaurant-quality pizza for a fraction of the cost and oh so tasty – use up your sourdough discard and try out this sourdough pizza today!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Pizza
Servings 2 large pizzas

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough

  • 200 grams sourdough discard 100% hydration (see recipe notes)
  • 460 grams warm milk whole or 2%, about 2 cups
  • 9 grams instant yeast about 1 Tablespoon
  • 15 grams granulated sugar about 1 Tablespoon
  • 14 grams salt about 2 teaspoons
  • 2 grams garlic powder about 1/2 teaspoon, optional
  • 30 grams olive oil about 2 Tablespoons (or any neutral-flavored oil)
  • 700 grams bread flour 12.5% protein content, about 4.5-5 cups

Sauce and Toppings

  • Good quality pizza sauce (see recipe notes)
  • Freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • Desired toppings

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add sourdough discard and warm milk. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top. Add the salt, garlic powder, olive oil and most of the flour. I like to reserve a little of the flour to add in while the dough is mixing so I can get the texture of the dough just right. Turn the mixer on and use the dough hook to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. Add the rest of the flour as needed until the dough clears the sides of the bowl, feels smooth and tacky to the touch, but not sticky. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour. This dough can also be kneaded by hand for 10-15 minutes if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  • Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for about an hour. If your sourdough discard was cold, the dough may take longer to rise. This dough can be used immediately after rising to make pizza or you can keep it in the refrigerator for a few days for the best flavor.
  • Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, dump it out on a countertop and cut the dough into two to three large pieces, depending on the size of pizza you want to make. For smaller personal-sized pizzas, cut the dough into 6-8 pieces.
  • Take each piece of dough and pull/pinch up the sides until it forms a ball. Roll the ball on the counter, holding your hand in a cupping shape (see video here) to seal the balls and create tension. Let rest for 10 minutes. At this point you can also stick the balls of dough in a covered container in the refrigerator for a few days if you want to prepare this dough ahead of time.
  • About 30 minutes before assembling the pizzas, place a baking stone (see recipe notes if you don't have a baking stone) on the top rack of your oven. Pre-heat the oven and baking stone at the highest temperature possible (500℉) for 30 minutes.
  • After the dough balls have rested for 10 minutes, prepare a piece of parchment paper for each pizza. Take one piece of dough and stretch it with your hands to form a circle. Continue working around to stretch the dough out until you get the shape and size you want. Place the dough on top of the parchment paper and stretch to your desired size. Leave the dough thicker around the edges for a fluffy crust if desired.
  • Top the sourdough discard pizza dough with pizza sauce, freshly grated mozzarella cheese and any desired toppings.
  • Use a cutting board or a pizza peel to launch the pizza into the oven on top of the pre-heated baking stone. Bake for about 5 minutes. Check on the pizza and turn it 180 degrees so the pizza cooks evenly. Bake another 3-5 minutes until done. Larger pizzas often take a little longer to bake than smaller ones, so watch closely. Remove pizza from the oven and enjoy!

Notes

Sourdough Discard: You can use older discard sitting in your refrigerator or fresh, bubbly sourdough starter. Older discard (up to a couple weeks old or longer if you prefer), will have a more pronounced sour flavor which can be tasty in pizza crust. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard.
Baking Stone: If you don’t have a baking stone, turn a sheet pan over and place it in the oven. Pre-heat the baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes and set the pizza directly on the upside-down baking sheet. This will produce a crust similar to using a baking stone or baking steel.
Pizza Sauce: Use any pizza sauce you like. I make this homemade pizza sauce. To a blender add: 14 oz diced or crushed tomatoes, 3 oz tomato paste, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground oregano, 1 teaspoon ground basil, 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper (if you want it spicy). Blend until smooth and adjust seasonings as desired.
Cheese: For best results on your homemade pizza, use freshly grated mozzarella cheese that you grate yourself. Pre-shredded cheese usually has anti-caking agents so that the cheese doesn’t stick together. This makes it harder to get that melty cheese you want in a pizza. 
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17 Comments

  1. I have a gas oven with heat from the bottom and the broiler at the top. Would I use the lowest rack setting or use the broiler?

    1. I would heat the oven to your highest setting and then use the broiler element at the top to cook the pizza. It may cook a little faster with that higher heat.

    1. I haven’t done this. I think it can work. I would let it rise in bulk first then shape and freeze. But this is not my preferred method. I feel like depending on how long you leave it in the freezer, the more yeast can die off. So I would probably just cut the recipe in half next time.

  2. 5 stars
    This turned out great. I’m wondering if I could partially bake the crusts—say for 5 minutes—then cool and freeze. They could be taken out, thawed, topped and baked for the last 3-5 minutes. Do you think this would work?

  3. Best pizza dough recipe I’ve ever tried. Billowy dough, so easy to stretch into shape. Love love love this! Will be my go-to from now on.

  4. Have you tried this in a cast iron skillet? I have a traditional pizza dough recipe that I cook in a 10 or 12 in cast iron skillet and it works great. Just wondering if this would work the same since it has sourdough discard in it.

    Thank you! I am learning so much about baking sourdough bread from your site.

    1. Glad you are loving the site. I have never made this in a cast iron skillet, but if you’ve used a traditional pizza dough recipe and it works well, I think this would also work with it.