Sourdough Pizza Margherita

by cakeduchess on August 17, 2012 · 40 comments


Pizza night happens here sometimes more than once a week. It’s an easy dinner option for me that makes the kids happy and makes me very happy. 

It’s really not that difficult to make your own dough. And once your dough is ready, all the hard work is done. You roll our your pizza dough and toss on your favorite toppings. Sit back and relax while it bakes into pizza perfection. 
I happened to have some sourdough starter around and have been making some interesting things with it. I came across these lovely girls that have a sourdough group called, “Sourdough Surprises”. Every month they make something based on their sourdough starter. Last month was sourdough pizza. I missed their deadline but was inspired to make my own sourdough pizza. If you have sourdough starter and want to join the group, this month’s project is a sourdough sweet pie
My mom happened to be here yesterday to join us for dinner and let’s just say, I couldn’t contain my excitement over this dough. Do you ever brag so much about something you make that your mate or your entire family and friends tell you, “Alright, enough already. YES! IT’S AMAZING! Can we just eat?!?”
Sometimes that happens over here. Last night I wasn’t bragging about the dough because I was actually not sure how to describe how AMAZING it was. So I reached out to my mom sitting to the left at me for her opinion.

Me, “Mom. The dough is so…”
My mom doesn’t miss a beat thinking I finished my sentence, “It is.”
Me (slightly perplexed), “It is what?!?”
My mom, “Fluffy and perfect. I thought you had just said it’s fluffy and perfect and I was agreeing.”

Ok, sometimes we pretend we hear things because we are so enthralled in our food and really don’t want to talk about how good it is. This was one of those moments.

I LOVE this pizza dough. I like how the good people at King Arthur’s Flour describe the dough:   “The vigor of the starter enhances the pizza dough’s rise. Even the merest hint of tang comes across as rich flavor, which marries beautifully with the usual pizza toppings of tomato, cheese, veggies, and meat” I kept my pizza simple this time. I usually like to add either some combo of veggies or anchovies (gasp! I know! anchovies. What can I say. My dad is Sicilian and I can’t get enough of anchovies.)

That’s what it was. It was that subtle tang and the rich flavor. It also was the lightness of the dough. A lightness I’ve never experienced with my usual pizza doughs. My hubs makes a much thinner pizza crust. My mother-in-law Teresa in Italy makes a crust that is almost just like this. This pizza recipe is a reason to keep sourdough starter around.

Guess what? I’m proclaiming tomorrow another pizza night!



I know you are sitting on the edges of your seats wondering how in the heck do you make your sourdough starter, Lora? I will show you in a post coming up soon. If sourdough has never thrilled you and maybe even scared you a little, I’ll try to walk you through it. 

Sourdough Pizza Margherita


1 cup sourdough starter unfed (straight from the fridge)
1/2 cup warm water
1 packet instant yeast (King Arthur’s Flour recipe has 1/2 tsp.I used more for faster rise)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour (you could use all-purpose flour if you prefer)
1 tbsp. salt


1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup fresh mozzarella, diced
fresh basil

Dough Directions:

In a large bowl, pour in warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let whisk it together. Let it sit for a few minutes. Pour in the sourdough starter, flours, and salt. Stir together with a wooden spoon until combined. Place the sourdough starter in a bowl.  Add in the warm water, flours, salt and yeast. Stir until a slightly sticky and malleable dough forms. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl (I cover with a kitchen towel) and let stand in a warm spot to rise (until dough is about doubled in size). Since I’m in Florida, it’s easy to find a warm spot and it usually rises in less than an hour. 

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 420 F. (I know some people make their pizzas on much higher heat. This temperature works fine for my pizza). If you’re using a pizza stone, now is the time to preheat it. I would preheat it toward the last 1/2 hour of the dough’s rising time.
My dough at just one hour of rising time. Very ready to gently deflate.
DSCN0050 (2)
Pizza making time!
Place the deflated dough on a lightly floured clean counter. Roll out the dough to your desired size for your pan. Brush the perimiter of the dough with olive oil.

Spoon on the sauce in the middle of the pizza dough. (I made two pizzas. One on my pizza stone and one on my pizza pan. I wanted to test the crust texture difference and they were pretty much identical).

Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Toss on the mozzarella pieces and bake another 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and has a little color. Let pizza cool slightly before slicing.

dough recipe: slightly adapted from King Arthur’s Flour

Buon appetito!

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Terra August 17, 2012 at 3:35 am

Oh that dough does look fluffy, AND gorgeous! I have been wanting to make sourdough starter, it sounds lovely:-} This pizza addict is loving this! Hugs, Terra


Munatycooking August 17, 2012 at 3:46 am

My son will love this pizza, he only have margarita pizza, the more cheese the better :)


Laura (Tutti Dolci) August 17, 2012 at 4:57 am

Your pizza looks incredible, and margherita is my favorite! I think I’m inviting myself to the next pizza night ;)


Carol | a cup of mascarpone August 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

Love how I woke up this morning and first thing I saw was my favorite pizza!!! I would love a slice right now for breakfast!!! Happy Friday!


Cher Rockwell August 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

I never think of making pizza dough with my sourdough. Thank you for the inspiration! This looks perfect for Friday night pizza night.


SweetSugarBelle August 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I am soooo excited!


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes August 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I can well imagine why you´re so ecstatic about this pizza, it sure looks amazing! You reminded me that I had thought of baking along last month, so I will try to catch up. I´m making this pizza now! The unfed starter in the recipe was the key!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction August 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Your pizza looks absolutely amazing! I love making pizza dough with sourdough starter… It just adds a little something and takes the pizza up to a whole new level. I’ll have to give this recipe a try next time!


Ellen B Cookery August 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Your pizza looks so nice all assembled and baked, but what really gets me loving this even more is that perfect crust! YUM!


Barbara | Creative Culinary August 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I love a simple pizza like this but seriously doubt I’ve ever had one with a sourdough crust; definitely something I need to try. Now where is that starter?


Pacheco Patty August 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I have to make this pizza dough-looks incredible;-)
Have a wonderful weekend;-)


Kristina @ spabettie August 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm

oh, this sounds delicious enough to bring tears, you know? sourdough is my favorite, and wow, this looks so fluffy and… perfect! ;)


Sandra M. August 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm

My favorite pizza, and it is looking amazing! I can smell it all the way:)) Have a wonderful weekend sweetie…


Elisabeth August 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Lora, this was the best pizza dough, I’ve ever had…seriously! It was light and fluffy, and certainly perfect with just the minimal amount of the sauce, and the fresh mozzarella. Surprised that you didn’t mention how we dipped the pizza bites into olive oil, and chopped garlic!
Yumm! Sorry I missed tonight’s repeat of the same wonderful sourdough pizza:D


Maureen | Orgasmic Chef August 18, 2012 at 12:27 am

I’ve never eaten a sourdough pizza but I have always wondered what it would be like. I need to try this and yours looks wonderful.


Shulie August 18, 2012 at 12:46 am

Love this pizza. Seems like dough responds well to you! :) Funny how your mom was responding before you finished your thoughts and sentences. She knows you well!! :) Enjoy the last weekend before the kids are back at school.


Jen @ Savory Simple August 18, 2012 at 2:06 am

Ooooo I think I know what I’m doing next with my starter!


Marina@Picnic at Marina August 18, 2012 at 3:28 am

Lora, this pizza dough is fantastico! :) I think I will proclaim tomorrow’s night a pizza night: oh, everyone would be so happy! We haven’t had, meaning made, pizza all summer long. So it’s about time…:) Thanks for the brilliant recipe! :)


Lisa August 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

I love a sourdough pizza crust and yours looks perfect..not to mention, nothing beats a summer Pizza Margherita with all the fresh tomatoes and basil. Loved the dialogue between you and your Mom! xo I’m I’m skimming lol


Kathy August 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

Lora, This looks amazing! Anything sourdough makes my mouth water…but in pizza, with fresh tomatoes and basil and cheese…Wow!! Beautiful!!


Paula August 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm

The dough does look so light and fluffy. The flavours of your pizza combined with this wonderful dough must have been wonderful. Maybe this should be added to the menu at your husband restaurant? Just saying ;)


Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) August 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I love that exchange between you and your mom. Neither one really had to say anything for you both to understand each other–priceless. This pizza looks pretty darn amazing, too. I love pizza margherita and I think you’ve just elevated classic with the sourdough. :)


Lana @ Never Enough Thyme August 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Now this is my kind of pizza! The focus is on the dough with a perfect compliment of light toppings. Years ago, I kept a sourdough starter and enjoyed making lots of treats from it. I have a dried start for one now that is supposedly descended from a starter that traveled West with the wagon trains many years ago. I really need to get it going and make some new treats!


Kim Bee August 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Jealous of your dough, pizza and dinner with your mama.


Nami | Just One Cookbook August 19, 2012 at 6:40 am

Haha I love how you and your mom communicate. I met your mom in SF and she’s such a lovely lady! I would have been a great baker if I had a mom like her. I love this margherita and yes your dough does look amazingly delicious!!

Reply August 19, 2012 at 7:49 am

Wow, perfect crust and tasty looking pizza, I would eat it all myself!


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts August 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm

This looks amazing! I love making my own dough, but have never done a sourdough version. We make our own pizza a lot here, so I will definitely try this!


Amy August 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

This pizza looks fabulous Lora! Margherita is one of my favorites in the summer, such a delicious combination! Yours looks so perfect :)!


Julia August 20, 2012 at 12:17 am

Sounds great! Lately we have been having pizza night about twice a week around here. It is just so easy and so delicious. However, I have never tried sourdough pizza. That will have to be next on my list.


Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings August 20, 2012 at 12:18 am

I’m a baking neophyte…where do i get a sourdough starter or how do i make it? Sorry! Totally new to using “starters” and all that…


Cake Duchess August 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Hi Jen-I will post this week the way I make my sourdough starter:)


Reeni Pisano August 20, 2012 at 1:04 am

I love sourdough! I never had it as a pizza crust but I imagine it adds incredible flavor. This is so thick and fluffy just the way I like my pizza!


Baker Street August 20, 2012 at 7:58 am

pizza night happens more than once a week (sometimes) at my house too but I never get around to making my own dough. Must try your fabulous recipe real soon.


Kate@Diethood August 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Hello bella!! I see you are just as wonderful as ever! Pizza Margherita is my absolute favorite. When we came to the States I can’t tell you how disappointed we were when we couldn’t find a place that served Pizza Margherita or Pizza Napoletana… 20 years ago your choices were pepperoni, meat, or cheese. :)


Jeanette August 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I haven’t had sourdough pizza before or sourdough anything for that matter in a long time – I’m sure it must taste fantastic with the classic Margherita topping.


Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } August 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

Love that you make your own pizza dough! I must admit that I often pick up the pre-made dough from trader joe’s but will be pinning yours to make very soon. Hope your week is going well!!


Jenny @ BAKE August 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm

that looks absolutely incredible! the ‘crumb’ looks so airy! I’m going to have to try this


Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking August 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm

rain or shine, friday night is pizza night around here but have never made a sourdough pizza crust. what a nice idea and your pizza looks great!


Helene Dsouza August 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm

After seeing your dough I have to try it out for myself. Oh I cant wait till we get our own oven!! there will be pizza night everynight, no doubt!

How much different does the sour dough taste to normal dough. Your pizza dough is quite thick but I guesse I can make a thinner version as well with the same dough, right?

Wish u a lovely weekend!


Feast on the Cheap September 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm

This looks so fantastic – restaurant-worthy!


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