Eight years ago I opened a wood fired, sourdough crust pizzeria. The restaurant didn’t work out, but the dough formula still lives on. The original formula was developed by Sarah “Biggie” Lemke, a talented baker now working in Europe, who I had the brief pleasure of working with. Last year I revisited her formula with the goal of creating a version anyone could make at home. Here is the result. This formula yields a light sourdough flavored crust. It’s compatible with tomato sauce based pizzas and children’s palates. If you want a stronger flavored dough, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a new formula. Typically, I make pizza for my family on Wednesday nights. Feel free to modify the timing to whatever night of the week works for you.
1300g King Arthur (KA) Bread Flour
75g of Whole Wheat Flour
.35g Lesafre Instant Red Yeast (IDY)
30g Sea Salt
10g Brown Sugar (or honey)
Final Dough %
Flour 1000g (100%)
Poolish 400g (40%)
Starter 100g (10%)
Water 525g (52.5%)
Salt 30g (3%)
BrownSugar 10g (1%)
Monday night 8PM
- Remove Sourdough Starter from the fridge. Feed starter. Mix 25g starter with 50g of tepid water and 50g starter feed mixture (1:1 ratio of whole wheat flour and bread flour) Cover with a small kitchen towel and let sit overnight in a warm area (72º).
Tuesday morning 8AM
- Feed starter. Mix 50g of starter with 100g of tepid water and 100g starter feed mixture. Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm area (72º).
- Make Poolish. Mix 225g of KA bread flour with 225g of tepid water and .35g of Instant Dry Yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm area (72º).
Tuesday night 8PM
- In a large bowl add 400g of Poolish with 100g of starter (save leftover starter in fridge). Add 500g of tepid water. Break up starter and Poolish in the water. Add 1000g of KA bread flour. Mix until dough is shaggy but there is no loose flour. Pinch unhydrated clumps of flour.
- Allow shaggy mixture to sit for 30min covered with a towel
- (8:30PM) Sprinkle 10g of sugar and 30g of fine sea salt over dough. Add 25g of tepid water. Perform one fold, then turn dough 90º. Perform another fold, turn another 90º. Repeat this until you’ve done a total of 8 folds and have gone around the dough twice. Let mixture sit for 30 minutes.
- (9:00PM) Perform one fold, then turn dough 90º. Perform another fold, turn another 90º. Repeat this until you’ve done a total of 8 folds and have gone around the dough twice. Let mixture sit for another 30min
- (9:30PM) Perform one fold, then turn dough 90º. Perform another fold, turn another 90º. Repeat this until you’ve done a total of 8 folds and have gone around the dough twice. Flip and tuck in dough to create smoothe ball. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the dough and rub into the face. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.
Wednesday morning 8AM
- Remove dough from the refrigerator, cut in six equal piece (225-300g). Ball dough.
- Dust dough balls with flour, then loosely wrap dough in plastic wrap and return to refrigerator.
Wednesday afternoon 1PM
- Remove dough from the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap. Place dough on a lightly floured wooden cutting board. Cover dough with moist kitchen towel. Let dough sit at warm room temperature (72º) for 4-6 hours. Bake and enjoy!