Go Messy or Go Hungry

Sourdough Pizza {low FODMAP}

May 11, 2019 | Entree, Pizza, Recipes, Sourdough

Sourdough Pizza Dough Recipe | Go Messy or Go Hungry


Y’all should know by now that pizza is my love language. I think I’ve posted more pictures of pizza to Instagram than anything else. (Look, even one of my earliest pictures was of pizza.)


It also should be well known by now that I consider Italian style pizza the most superior form of pizza. (Aside from the occasional Detroit-style.) There’s just something truly magical about the charred outside and fluffy, chewy inside that can only be achieved with a 900 degree wood-fired oven. I don’t think I could ever get sick of that.


I also love a good challenge, which means that since high school I’ve been trying to re-create the impossible (in this case impossible = 900 degree wood fired oven) and make pizzas as close to the true Italian style as possible. And before I went low FODMAP, I had gotten a pretty close approximation. Of course it was never going to be this, but I was pretty damn proud of my pizza making skills.

And then I had to give up wheat flour (or so I thought at the time, I didn’t realize I could eat sourdough until much later). It was a fine trade-off — I was willing to give up much more than pizza in exchange for not being in pain all the time. Pizza was one of the first things I started experimenting with and “mastered” with gluten-free flours (plus some vital wheat gluten) when I went low FODMAP. But, like I mentioned with my sourdough cinnamon rolls post, even the best gluten free flours can never achieve that fluffy-chewy texture that wheat flour can.



Confused about all this talk of sourdough? Read why sourdough is low FODMAP!

And honestly, I had been struggling with that recipe for awhile — I don’t know what it was exactly, but every time I’d tried it recently, I’d ended up with something closer to the cardboard end of the spectrum than the fluffy-chewy end of the spectrum.

But… I know now that I can eat sourdough made with wheat flour. And when we went to Florence last year and I was able to eat that magical pizza dough (and lots of it ?), something clicked. The part of me that loves a good challenge realized that I was just one challenge away from having a preeeety close approximation of this in my own kitchen. All I needed was a sourdough starter of my own.


Sure, bread and cinnamon rolls were a nice byproduct of having a sourdough starter, but I was really in it for the pizza. It’s taken a little longer because I’ve been experimenting with different methods of cooking it, trying to replicate that 900 degree oven as well as I can. (Of course we haven’t grilled the pizza yet and YOU BETTER BELIEVE THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN SOON!) I think we’ve gotten as close to perfect as we’re going to get so I bring you: the sourdough pizza of my dreams.

If you’re sick of lame gluten free pizzas, or looking for a good challenge: this pizza is for you.

A few notes:

  • If you need a sourdough starter (you do), I highly recommend starting with these instructions from The Perfect Loaf. Maurizio’s instructions are meticulous and have been so informative for keeping our little starter alive and well.
  • We have historically owned two pizza stones, and they have worked great for all things pizza (as well as just about everything else). If you’re just getting started, I recommend purchasing one. I think we have these but any will do. However, for Christmas this year I decided to level up and got myself a BAKING STEEL, and it is TWENTY-THREE POUNDS of pizza perfection. I like to do a few squats and curls with it before I put it in the oven to work up a good appetite. ??? (For the curious, I got the ⅜” one — although I was tempted by the ½” one, 32 lbs seemed like a recipe for breaking my toes)
  • In a nutshell, steel is more conductive than stone which means that it is better at transferring energy to the pizza, getting it even closer to that charred ideal. If you’re curious, this article from The Pizza Lab explains it better than I can (and with pictures!), and you can also appreciate that J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is even more enthusiastic about pizza than I am.
  • Not everyone’s oven is the same and can reach the same temperatures. I’m going to describe what has worked best (so far) for us, but please experiment with pizza placement, dough thickness, temperature, bake time, and using the broiler until you find what works best for you!
  • I’m a pizza minimalist and given the choice, I’ll always choose mozzarella and prosciutto. Sometimes I use pepperoni because I love Marc (and he loves pepperoni). Sometimes I’ll add pesto. You are welcome to add whatever toppings you desire, but I promise less really is more in this situation. You don’t want your pizza to be soggy because you went overboard with the toppings!

Sourdough Pizza

Yield | 2 12-inch pizzas
Recipe based on sourdough pizza from The Perfect Loaf.
Timing: I've included timing recommendations for each step, but feel free to adjust if needed. The timing can be quite flexible — see this post for ideas on where and how to adjust to your needs.
Flour: You'll get the best results with "tipo 00" flour (but you can also use regular all-purpose flour in a pinch). I've been using Central Milling Organic Type 00 Normal flour, which I buy online, but any brand that's marked "tipo 00" should work — I've also the Caputo and Anna Napoletana brands, which I've found at Whole Foods.
Starter: I suggest you create your starter following these directions, and maintain it following these. You want your starter to be at its peak when you use it for this recipe (peak = when you would normally feed it). If your starter is at its peak before you need to use it, you can make an intermediate build that will be ready in a few hours. Just add 50g water at 90°F, 50g flour (25g white and 25g whole wheat), and 50g starter to a separate jar, and it should be ready in about 2-3 hours.



  • 427.5 grams "tipo 00" white flour see notes
  • 48 grams whole wheat flour (or regular all-purpose flour)
  • 318 grams water at room temp
  • 13.5 grams salt
  • 70.5 grams mature sourdough starter see notes

Tomato "sauce"

  • 2 handfulls cherry tomatoes
  • High quality olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • dash oregano


  • Fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind that comes floating in water)
  • Prosciutto or pepperoni
  • Arugula
  • Grated parmesan cheese


Mix (30 mins) — 1:00 pm

  • Add the flours, water, salt, and starter to a large bowl. Mix with a spoon until the liquid is incorporated and the dough is too stiff to mix anymore. Dump everything out on the counter and mix with your hands until all the crumbs have been incorporated.
  • Slap & fold the dough on your counter for 5-7 minutes, or stretch and fold the dough until it's strong and resists stretching.

Bulk Fermentation + stretch & fold (2.5 hrs) — 1:30 – 4:00 pm

  • Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with a towel, and place somewhere warm (75-77°F). A water heater closet, sunny window (or even outside depending on the temp), next to a coffee maker that's on, or on top of an oven that's on all work (or you could get an actual proofing container). Every 30 minutes, stretch & fold the dough (each way — top, bottom, left, and right). If the dough is stiff and resists stretching after the third time, let it rest the remaining time. If it's still very stretchy, do a fourth stretch & fold.

Shape + Refrigerate (overnight) — 4:00 pm

  • After the 2.5 hours are up, dump the dough onto your counter and shape into a boule. You can sort of spin the dough on the counter, and then pull it slightly toward you to create tension — you want it to get nice & taut.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Divide & Ball (30 mins) — 12:00 pm next day

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and dump onto the counter. Divide into two equal pieces (or however many pizzas you're making, if you've scaled the recipe). Shape the dough ball by tucking the dough into itself. Then pinch the bottom and turn the ball in your hands, turning and pinching until it forms a very tight ball. Finally, spin the ball on the counter again and then pull it a few times toward your body to make sure there are no seams. See this video for a better idea!
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled pan or sheet and cover with plastic wrap (I actually use two bowls — something with high walls works best so it doesn't stick to the plastic).

Proof (6 hrs) — 12:30 – 6:30 pm

  • Place the dough in your warm place to proof for 6 hours. When it's done, the dough should have relaxed from the tight ball shape and should be soft to touch, and you should be able to see some bubbles inside.
  • You can either bake the dough now or place it in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight.

Preheat oven (1 hr) — 5:30 pm

  • An hour before you plan to eat, preheat your oven to 550°F or as hot as it will go. (Preheating for this long ensures that your oven temperature is stable and that your steel or stone has gathered a lot of heat.) If you have an electric oven, place your baking steel or stone (steel is highly recommended!) in the oven a few rungs down from the top. If you have a gas oven with the flame on the bottom and the broiler in a drawer below the oven, place the baking steel in the oven a rung or two above the BOTTOM of the oven. Then, place a second baking stone or other baking surface in the broiler drawer (we use the middle rung).
  • 30 minutes before you bake the pizza, place the entire proofing pan (dough, plastic, and all) into the refrigerator. Having slightly cool dough makes it so much easier to shape.

Shape & Bake (10 mins each) — 6:30pm

  • Make a super simple tomato sauce: dice the tomatoes into small pieces. Add to a small saucepan along with a drizzle of oil, shake or two of salt and pepper, and dash of oregano. Stir on medium heat until the tomatoes start to break down and form a sauce. I like to leave mine a little on the chunky side, but it's totally up to you — if you want it smoother just cook it longer. Turn off the heat and set aside until ready to use.
  • Gather all your desired toppings and cut or prepare anything so that they're ready to go. If using fresh mozzarella, I like to cut into chunks and set on paper towels to absorb some of the moisture. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit your steel or stone.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Generously dust the top of one of the dough balls with flour (I use sticky rice flour for this) and gently remove it from its container. Place top-side down on your counter. Lightly flour your hands and the top of the dough.
  • Shape the pizza: Start by creating an indentation around the edge of the dough to form the crust. Try not to press any gas out of the dough here — you want the bubbles to rise up and get that nice char. Now gently lift the dough up and, using your fists, gently stretch the dough as you work around (leaving the crust part alone), letting gravity help you stretch it to your desired size. See this video for a better idea on how to shape the dough.
  • Lay the dough on one piece of parchment paper and adjust so that it's a circle.
  • Top the pizza: Spread a little tomato sauce around the center of the pizza, leaving space for the crust (less is more here). Add the rest of your toppings (meat, cheese, etc).
  • Regardless if you have a gas or electric oven, turn it onto broil (as high as it will go).
  • Bake the pizza: Using a peel if you have it, slide the parchment paper and dough into the oven, on top of your stone or steel. If you have an electric oven, bake for 5-10 minutes, rotating once halfway through. (Definitely use the pizza peel for this, and make sure you don't catch the parchment paper on fire...) If you have a gas oven, bake for 4-5 minutes in the oven (but with the broiler on). Then move the pizza into the broiler drawer for 3-4 more minutes (rotating after about 2 mins).
  • When the pizza is done, remove and transfer to a plate or tray to cool. Repeat with the other dough ball. Top with remaining toppings (arugula, parmesan, etc.) and slice.
  • Enjoy! Best served with a glass of Italian red wine. ?

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Leave a comment


  1. In pizzas too I love cheese pizza a lot. This is because cheese pizzas is healthy and makes me strong. I love to cook pizza at home. My MOM cooks the best pizzas in the world. I always ask her to make pizza. But from few days I would like to try some other pizza recipes . While searching I came here this amazing recipe. Next time I will ask MOM to try this recipe in wood fired oven

    • Ooh yes I’m sure it would be even more delicious in a wood fired oven! ?

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