Sourdough Discard Pizza Crust

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There’s something magical about transforming sourdough discard into a mouthwatering pizza crust. Not only does it add depth of flavor, but it’s also a sustainable way to make the most of your sourdough starter.

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No Need For Yeast

sourdough discard pizza crust

One of the standout features of this sourdough discard pizza crust recipe is its deviation from the norm – it doesn’t require additional yeast. Unlike many discard pizza recipes, which might call for a combination of discard and commercial yeast, this recipe relies solely on the natural yeast present in your sourdough discard.

The Power of Natural Leavening

The use of sourdough discard alone, without the addition of extra yeast, adds depth and complexity to the flavor profile of your pizza crust. The wild yeast present in the discard contributes a unique tanginess and a subtle sourdough taste, creating a crust that stands out in both texture and taste.

Choosing the Right Sourdough Discard

The success of your sourdough discard pizza crust also hinges on the type and state of your discard. Consider the following factors for optimal results:

  1. Hydration Levels:
    • Sourdough discard comes in various hydration levels. A 100% hydration discard (equal parts flour and water by weight) is ideal for this recipe, providing a balance between moisture content and flour density. However, you can adjust hydration levels by adding or reducing flour as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Freshness Matters:
    • While this recipe is forgiving and can accommodate discard that’s been stored in the fridge, using relatively fresh discard (within a week) yields the best results. Fresher discard tends to have more active yeast, ensuring a robust rise and enhanced flavor.
  3. Straight from the Fridge or Room Temperature:
    • You have flexibility in using discard straight from the fridge or allowing it to come to room temperature. If using cold discard, consider a longer initial mixing time to help activate the yeast. Bringing discard to room temperature allows for a faster integration of the ingredients.
  4. Experiment with Aging:
    • Experimenting with aged discard can be intriguing. Discard that has been stored for longer periods may develop a more pronounced sour flavor, offering a unique twist to your crust.

Tips for Discard Success:

pizza dough sourdough discard
  • Adjust Flour as Needed: Depending on the hydration level of your discard, you may need to adjust the amount of flour in the recipe. The goal is to achieve a workable and slightly tacky dough.
  • Test Dough Elasticity: After combining the ingredients, test the dough’s elasticity during the kneading process. Adjust the flour or water content if needed to achieve a dough that is smooth, elastic, and easy to handle.
  • Flavorful Variations: Embrace the variability of sourdough discard by experimenting with different hydration levels and aging times. This way, you can customize the crust’s flavor profile to suit your preferences.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Pizza Crust

  1. Temperature Matters: Allow your sourdough discard pizza dough to rise in a warm area to promote fermentation. This helps develop the flavors and ensures a light, airy crust.
  2. Don’t Rush the Rise: Letting the dough rise for a sufficient amount of time (about 3 1/2 hours) allows for optimal flavor development and a desirable texture.
  3. Knead with Care: Gently knead the dough on a liberally floured surface until it forms a smooth ball. Avoid over-kneading, as it can result in a tough crust.
  4. Customize with Herbs and Cheese: Elevate your crust by adding garlic powder, dried herbs, or grated cheese to the dough. Experiment with rosemary, thyme, or oregano for a flavorful twist.

If you haven’t gotten started in your sourdough journey yet, check out our guide on how to make a starter from scratch!

Ingredients To Make Sourdough Discard Pizza Crust

sourdough discard pizza crust
  1. 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour:
    • The foundation of your crust, all-purpose flour provides structure and stability to the dough.
  2. 1/2 cup sourdough discard:
    • Infusing your crust with the unique tang of sourdough, the discard also contributes to a chewy and flavorful texture.
  3. 1 cup warm water:
    • Activates the yeast in the sourdough discard, kickstarting the fermentation process for a light and airy crust.
  4. 1 tbsp sugar:
    • Feeds the yeast, promoting fermentation and enhancing the crust’s rise.
  5. 1 tsp salt:
    • Balances the sweetness from the sugar and enhances the overall flavor profile of the crust.
  6. 1/3 cup olive oil:
    • Adds richness and a subtle depth of flavor, while also contributing to a tender and moist texture.

Sourdough Discard Pizza Crust

A fluffy and flakey crust makes the perfect base for stuff like pepperoni, sausage, and veggies!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Rise Time4 hours

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Combine sourdough discard and lukewarm water in a large bowl. Allow it to stand for 3 minutes in order to active.
  • Stir in sugar, followed by olive oil, salt, and any kind of herbs you want to season it with. Gradually add 3 cups of flour, stirring until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough onto a liberally floured surface, kneading gently until a smooth ball forms. If sticky, incorporate the extra 1/4 cup of flour. Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover with a dish towel, and let it rise in a warm area for 3 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Press the dough into a pizza pan, or use a roller to roll it out to desired shape and thickness. Add desired toppings.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted, and the crust begins to brown. Keep a close eye to achieve your desired level of crispiness.

Prep Ahead for Pizza Perfection: A Cold Fermentation Twist

discard pizza dough

Taking your sourdough discard pizza crust to the next level involves a simple yet transformative step: pre-making the dough and allowing it to cold ferment in the fridge. This technique not only enhances the flavor but also offers the flexibility of having pizza-ready dough on hand whenever you crave a slice. Here’s how to master the art of cold fermentation:

  1. Post-Rise Refrigeration: Once your dough has completed its initial rise, transfer it to a well-oiled bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator. Cold fermentation slows down the yeast activity, allowing the flavors to develop more fully and resulting in a richer, more complex taste.
  2. Chill Time: Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, but it can go up to 72 hours for those who love a deeply nuanced crust. This extended chilling period imparts a delightful tanginess and a chewier texture to the final product.
  3. Bring to Room Temperature: About an hour before you’re ready to roll out your pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. This step is crucial to ensure the dough is pliable and easy to work with. Allowing it to relax at room temperature also contributes to a more airy and light crust.
  4. Shape and Bake: Follow the previous instructions for pressing the dough into your pizza pan, creating a perfect canvas for your favorite toppings. The extra time in the refrigerator enhances the dough’s structural integrity, making it easier to shape and handle.
  5. Enjoy the Flavorful Results: The extended fermentation and careful temperature management bring out the nuanced flavors in your sourdough discard pizza crust. Expect a crust that strikes the perfect balance between chewiness, crispiness, and a delightful tang that can only come from the magic of slow fermentation.

Tips for Cold Fermentation Success:

  • Don’t Skip the Rise: Ensure your dough undergoes the initial rise at room temperature before transferring it to the refrigerator. This allows the yeast to become active and sets the stage for a flavorful fermentation.
  • Cover Well: When placing the dough in the fridge, make sure it’s tightly covered to prevent it from drying out or absorbing unwanted odors from the refrigerator.
  • Experiment with Timing: Feel free to experiment with the duration of cold fermentation to find the flavor profile that suits your taste. Longer fermentation generally results in a more pronounced sourdough taste.

With this guide, you’re equipped to turn your sourdough discard into a pizza crust masterpiece. Get creative with toppings, experiment with herbs and cheeses, and enjoy the satisfaction of a homemade pizza that reflects your unique culinary flair.

sourdough discard pizza

Craving more sourdough discard recipes? Check out our soft tortillas, delicious coffee cake, and versatile fry batter!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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