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Sour Dough Pizza Dough - Sausage, Onion & Mushroom Pizza


I've recently conquered my fear of failure in making sour dough breads. I bought a sour dough starter from King Arthur Flour (online)and was pretty faithful in "feeding" it, and storing it in my fridge in a special crockpot. Two years went by, and I still hadn't mustered the courage to make sour dough. One of the steps in feeding sour dough is to discard one cup of the starter. I hated throwing away the starter, and that's when I discovered how easy it is to make homemade pizza dough. I've made several pizza dough recipes, and this one ranks right up there as one of the best. A "secret" ingredient is King Arthur's Pizza Dough Flavor, which adds a special "zip" to any pizza dough recipe. I had some leftover Italian sausage, homemade marinara sauce and a few other ingredients. I threw this pizza together, which turned out to be delicious. The crust was delicious. If you've ever wanted to try making sourdough bread, don't wait as long as I did. It's not difficult at all!

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  • 1 cup sourdough starter*, unfed (straight from the fridge)
  • 1/2 cup hot tap water
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavor, optional but delicious
  • You can find all kinds of ways to make your own starter. I bought one from King Arthur Flour for $8.95, that dates back 250 years!
  • 4 Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound cremini (or white button mushrooms) thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives, drained (optional)
  • 4 cups mozzarella, shredded (I used a blend with provolone and Asiago and mozzarella)
  • 1 to 2 cups pizza sauce (I used leftover marinara sauce)


Servings 1
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 170mins
Adapted from


Step 1

My essential tools for more successful bread/pizza baking:
Baking stone
Parchment paper
Pizza peel (or large inverted baking sheet)


Stir any liquid into the sourdough starter, and spoon 1 cup starter into a mixing bowl. (I did this the night before, and returned the starter to the fridge, in a covered bowl.)

Add the hot water, flour, salt, yeast, and Pizza Dough Flavor. Mix to combine, then knead till smooth and slightly sticky, about 7 minutes at medium speed using a stand mixer with dough hook.

Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased container, and allow it to rise till it's just about doubled in bulk. This might take 2 to 4 hours; it might take more. A lot depends on how vigorous your starter is. For a faster rise, place the dough somewhere warm (or increase the yeast). To slow it down, put it somewhere cool. Tip: I turn my oven to WARM for 2 minutes, then turn it off. This creates a warm and cozy place to proof dough.

For two thinner-crust pizzas, divide the dough in half, shaping each half into a flattened disk. Drizzle two 12-inch round pizza pans with olive oil, tilting the pans to coat the bottom. Place half the dough in each pan. Cover, and let rest for 15 minutes. Gently press the dough towards the edges of the pans; when it starts to shrink back, cover it, and let it rest again, for about 15 minutes. Finish pressing the dough to the edges of the pans.

Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it's as thick as you like. For thin-crust pizza made from fairly fresh starter, this may only be an hour or so. For thick-crust, using an old, little-used starter, this may take most of the day. There are no hard-and-fast rules here; it all depends on the vigor of your starter, and how you like your crust. Once you make it a couple of times, you'll figure out what time frame works for you.
Note: I was hungry, and covered the dough for about 15 minutes, and it worked!

For a thicker-crust pizza, drizzle olive oil into a jelly roll pan (10 x 15-inch) or half-sheet pan (18 x 13-inch), or similar sized pan; or a 14-inch round pizza pan, tilting the pan to coat with the oil. Shape the dough into a flattened disk or oval. Place it in the pan, cover it, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Push the dough towards the edges of the pan; when it starts to fight back, cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes. Finish pushing it to the edges of the pan.

Note: I shaped half the dough, free-hand, to make a smaller pizza. I drizzled olive oil onto a piece of parchment paper on an inverted baking sheet, shaped the dough free-form and then topped the dough.


Equipment needed: large pan, cast-iron is my preference
Cut the sausage into bite-sized pieces and cook on medium-high heat, with a little olive oil, until no longer pink. Add the red pepper flakes, if using. Shove the sausage to one side, and cook the onion until just tender, about 5 minutes. Create space for the mushrooms; drizzle with a little olive oil and cook just until tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450°F.

For a thicker crust, pre-bake the crust for about 8 minutes before topping. Top, then bake till toppings are hot and cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. For thin crusts, bake for 4 to 5 minutes, then top and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or till toppings are as done as you like.

Note: I didn't pre-bake the pizza crust. Instead, I put a layer of leftover marina sauce, spread the cooked toppings and added sliced black olives

Tip: I don't own a pizza peel (yet). I do own a baking stone, which means I no longer have soggy pizza crusts. I pull out the baking rack, and place the inverted baking sheet right in front. Using tongs, I grab the parchment paper and carefully transfer my pizza onto the baking stone. Works great! To remove, do the reverse.

Remove from the oven, and loosen the edges of the pizza with a table knife or heatproof spatula. Carefully lift it onto a cooling rack; you can serve it right from the pan, if desired, but a cooling rack helps keep its bottom crisp. Serve hot.

Yield: one 14-inch round, or rectangular thick-crust pizza; or two 12-inch round thin-crust pizzas.

King Arthur Flour tips: Be aware of some sourdough dynamics here. The less-used your starter, the more liquid on top, the more sour it's likely to be; using a starter that hasn't been fed for weeks will yield a pizza crust that rises slowly, and tastes quite tangy. This type of crust is handy when you want to make dough in the morning, and have pizza ready for dinner. On the other hand, a starter that's fed regularly will yield a less-sour crust, one that will rise much more quickly. This is a great "weekend" crust, as you can shape it at 8 a.m., and have pizza for lunch.

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