Making Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough is one of my favorite ways to use up sourdough discard. It's delicious and everyone loves a homemade pizza night! Plus the dough only needs just over an hour of rise time, so you don't need to get started too early to have this quick and easy recipe ready for dinner! This recipe makes a thin, crispy crust for your favorite pizza toppings.
To be clear, this is not a pizza recipe - this is a recipe for the dough. From there, you can add whatever toppings you like and cook to perfection. I do share a few notes on how I personally like to do that, but feel free to take this dough and make whatever pizza recipe you like.
If you're looking for more sourdough discard recipes, check out these Sourdough Discard Bagels, Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls, and Sourdough Discard Focaccia. They're great ways to use up some of your sourdough discard!
- Why you'll love this recipe
- Substitutions & Variations
- How to make Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
- Expert baking tips
- How to top & bake your pizza
- What is sourdough discard?
- Why does this recipe use yeast?
- Can you freeze Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough?
- Recipe FAQ
- Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
Why you'll love this recipe
- This same-day recipe makes a thin and crispy pizza dough with great crunch.
- This is a quick recipe with less than 30 minutes of hands-on prep time! The rest of the time is for the dough rising.
- This is an easy recipe that you can easily adapt with your favorite toppings to make any kind of pizza!
- You can freeze this pizza dough to save for later!
- There is no egg or butter involved in this recipe, so it's a great vegan or dairy-free option.
As long as you have a sourdough starter (therefore, sourdough discard) there are only a few pantry staples that you'll need to make this Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough.
- Bread flour: Bread flour will give you a crispier crust. If needed, you could substitute all-purpose flour for a softer, chewier crust. You'll also use some flour for dusting your work surface.
- Instant dry yeast: Even though we are using sourdough discard, you will still need to add instant yeast to this recipe to make sure the dough rises predictably.
- Sourdough discard: This recipe is designed for a sourdough discard with a 1:1:1 ratio (when you feed your starter, it's with 1 part starter, 1 part flour, 1 part water). If your sourdough starter uses a different ratio, you will need to adjust some of the ingredients. Also, the sourdough discard should be unfed and at room temperature before being added to the recipe.
- Semolina flour: I like to use semolina flour to dust the baking sheet or pizza stone before I flatten out the pizza crust. This helps keep it from sticking to the surface. If you don't have semolina flour, you can also use all-purpose flour or even cornmeal.
See full recipe below for detailed instructions.
Substitutions & Variations
There are a few easy substitutions and variations of this recipe that you can make to suit your personal preferences.
- Use whole wheat flour: Looking for a whole wheat pizza dough? Use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour in this recipe.
- Overnight pizza dough: If you want to make this dough ahead of time and let it sit overnight, you can! Combine the ingredients for the dough, then let it rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, let the dough come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then continue with the recipe as written (dividing the dough into two portions and pressing it into your pizza shape).
I have not tested this recipe with other variations, but if you do, let us know how it turns out in the comments! I always love to hear how you're adapting these recipes and use those as ideas for future recipes as well!
How to make Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
The key to this recipe is having patience for the rise. There are just a few steps you'll need to follow to make this dough.
Combine bread flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir to combine.
Add sourdough discard. While the mixer is on low, pour in the water and olive oil. You may not need all of the water, so add slowly! Mix until a shaggy dough forms and wraps around the dough hook.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes until a smooth dough forms. If needed, add more water or flour (1 Tablespoon at a time) to reach the desired consistency. The dough should be soft, smooth, and not sticky.
Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour, until doubled in size.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape each into a round. This will make two pizza crusts.
Shape each half into a round, and slightly flatten. Place on a baking sheet or pizza stone dusted with semolina flour. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
Use your hands to press and flatten the dough to your desired shape and thickness. You're now ready for your toppings!
Expert baking tips
- Make sure to knead the dough long enough so you have a smooth, soft dough!
- Every sourdough starter, and therefore discard, is different. If needed, add more flour or water to the dough to reach your desired consistency. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.
- Be patient with the rise! Rise times will vary depending on the temperature of your room (dough will rise faster in a warmer room). If needed, give it some extra time!
- This recipe makes two medium-sized pizza crusts. Enjoy them as personal pizzas, or freeze one for later!
- If your dough is bouncing back as you're pressing it into shape for your pizza (and not holding its shape), cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, shape again!
How to top & bake your pizza
Once the dough is ready for toppings, feel free to follow a specific pizza recipe, or top with your favorite items.
I like to press my dough into a fairly thin crust, load it up with all kinds of toppings, drizzle the crust with a little olive oil, then bake at 450 degrees (F) for about 20-30 minutes until crispy. I may also give it a little extra olive oil once it comes out of the oven!
What is sourdough discard?
Sourdough discard is what you have leftover after feeding a sourdough starter. You can either literally discard it (trash or compost), or you can use it for delicious sourdough discard recipes like this one.
Every sourdough starter is different, so you may need to make some small adjustments to the recipe. Keep in mind that this recipe is designed for a sourdough starter with a 1:1:1 ratio (when you feed your starter, it's with 1 part starter, 1 part flour, 1 part water). If your sourdough starter uses a different ratio, you will need to make adjustments.
When you're making the dough, if the mixture feels too wet or too dry, add more flour or water (1 Tablespoon at a time) to reach your desired consistency. As you're kneading the dough, it should be smooth and not sticky.
Why does this recipe use yeast?
Even though we're working with sourdough discard, you still need to use yeast. Sourdough discard is not as active as sourdough starter, so you still need to use a leavening agent (in this case, yeast) to make sure the dough rises in a predictable way.
But don't worry! The dough will get the benefit of added lift from the discard, as well as some of that delicious sourdough tang.
Can you freeze Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough?
Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough freezes well and it's a great storage option if you want to make a batch to use later, or freeze one of the two crusts.
After the first rise, divide the dough into two balls. Transfer the dough balls to individual airtight containers or freezer-safe bags, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use the dough, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, then let the dough come to room temperature before pressing and shaping to create your pizza, and continuing with the instructions as written.
I like to mix the dough in a KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer, but that is optional. You can also make this dough in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Use a kitchen scale to measure the sourdough discard. You'll also need a large bowl for the dough to rise in.
Refrigerator Storage: This dough is great used fresh, but you can store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. After the first rise, divide the dough into two balls. Transfer them to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1-3 days.
When you're ready to use it, let the dough come to room temperature, then continue the steps as written (divide the dough, let rise 10 minutes, flatten and add your toppings).
Freezer Storage: Freezing the pizza dough is a great option. After the first rise, divide the dough into two balls. Transfer the dough balls to individual airtight containers or freezer-safe bags, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use the dough, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, then let the dough come to room temperature before pressing and shaping to create your pizza, and continuing with the instructions as written.
This recipe is designed to be made with sourdough discard. Without it, you would need to adjust several of the ingredients.
Your dough likely needs a little bit more flour. Add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, kneading to combine fully before adding more. A little goes a long way!
Once you have the dough, you can follow any pizza recipe you like. You can also simply top the pizza with your favorite toppings, drizzle the crust with olive oil, and then bake at 450 degrees (F) for 20-30 minutes. Keep in mind, the time needed to bake will vary depending on the thickness of your crust (shorter baking time for thin crust, longer time for thicker crust).
If your dough is bouncing back during shaping, cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 10 minutes. Then, try again.
If you want to make this dough ahead of time and let it sit overnight, you can! Combine the ingredients for the dough, then let it rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, let the dough come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then continue with the recipe as written (dividing the dough into two portions and pressing it into your pizza shape).
Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine bread flour, yeast, salt and granulated sugar. Mix to combine.
- Add sourdough discard. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in ¾ cup of warm water and the olive oil. Increase speed to medium until a shaggy dough forms and wraps around the dough hook. If needed, add the remaining ¼ cup of warm water 1 Tablespoon at a time to reach your desired consistency (you may not need all of this, so do it slowly!).
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until a soft, smooth dough forms. The dough should not be sticky. If needed, add more flour or water (1 Tablespoon at a time) until you reach the desired consistency. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly dust two baking sheets with semolina flour* and set aside.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide in two equal-sized pieces. Shape each into a round and place on the prepared baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Gently press the dough to shape your crust into the desired shape and thickness. If you find the dough bouncing back and not holding shape, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then shape again. Add your favorite toppings and bake for 20-30 minutes (see notes).