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. Recently, I revisited her formula with the goal of creating a version anyone could make at home in a conventional oven. 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 Friday nights. Feel free to modify the timing to whatever night of the week works for you.
1200g King Arthur (KA) Bread Flour
.35g Lesafre Instant Red Yeast (IDY)
30g Sea Salt
10g Sugar (or honey)
Final Dough %
Flour 1000g (100%)
Poolish 400g (40%)
Starter 200g (20%)
Water 520g (52%)
Salt 30g (3%)
Sugar 10g (1%)
Total Hydration: 63%
Wednesday 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).
Thursday 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 (70º).
- 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).
Thursday night 7PM
- In a large bowl add 400g of Poolish with 200g 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
- (7:30PM) Sprinkle 10g of sugar and 30g of fine sea salt over dough. Using your thumb and index finger squeeze dough and mix in sugar/salt combination. Continue to pinch dough until sugar/salt is combined with the dough.
- (8:00PM) Remove dough from bowl onto a floured wooden surface. Knead dough for 1-2 minutes. Place dough back in the bowl.
- (8:30PM) Remove dough from bowl onto a floured wooden surface. Knead dough for 1-2 minutes. Place dough back in the bowl.
- (9:00PM) Peform the “poke test” and “window pane” test. If dough fails both tests, knead dough for 1-2 minutes and give it another 30 minutes to rest. If dough passes both tests, scale (250-300g) and ball dough. Place dough balls in a proofing box and store in your refrigerator.
Friday afternoon 1PM
- Remove dough from the refrigerator. Let dough sit at warm room temperature (72º) for 4-6 hours. Bake and enjoy!
- Sourdough Pizza “a taglio” Style
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- Grilled Pizza: Dough Recipe
- Tools to Make Great Pizza at Home