The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Thin Crispy Sourdough Pizza Dough Recipe?

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thin Crispy Sourdough Pizza Dough Recipe?

Hey all.  Here in Vancouver, we have some great rustic pizza/flat bread restaurants that have my favourite type of pizza crust.  Thin, crispy, and slightly wheaty.  For the longest time, I have tried many recipes, attempting to recreate this type of crust at home.  I just had an epiphany while eating a toasted piece of my yesterday's baked Tartine bread.  The crust that I have been trying to recreate is very close to the texture and crispness of the crust on the toasted Tartine loaf!  That dark brown/black bottom crust, with a hint of sour.

Without having to make a Tartine dough just for the purpose of pizza dough, does anyone have a recipe that will create a very similar type crust?


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, John.

I haven't converted this formula to sourdough (yet), but it does make the kind of pizza you described.

Pizza Napoletana

Happy baking!


Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi David.

Thanks for this suggestion.  My only worry is that it may turn out similar to my other attempts.  The recipe is very similar to other types I have tried.  It isn't wheaty enough.  The crust I am looking for has some sort of whole wheat, or...can't quite put my finger on it.  Also, there's another characteristic I didn't describe before.  You see in the photo how the crust of the pizza (end crust) stays sort of bready?  Well, the type of crust I am after stays crackerish at the end crust and bubbles up into large open bubbles of dark brownish/black crust.  Very similar to the brown black crust my Tartine crust came out like after toasting.

Anyway, I have a feeling I am on a journey trying to find something only a wood burning forno oven can create.  But, I will definitely try your recipe out.  Just might need to convert to a sourdough type, using levain.


rossnroller's picture

Going by your description we have similar tastes in pizza. I got into SD bread baking via pizza (which someone once aptly described as the gateway drug to bread!), and have been making them once weekly for over 3 years now. Done lots of experimenting with yeasted and SD pizzas, different flour combos etc, and the best I've come up with is sourdough-based with a light yeast spike.

If interested, you'll find the recipe and a detailed background on my private blog: Sourdough Pizzas – As Good As Home Oven Pizzas Get!

I've tweaked it further since that post, but try it first and if you like it I'll give you my current version. Very little difference in end result, but tiny incremental improvements are the name of the game once you've developed a pizza about as far as you can! The quest never ends. And of course, you ain't never going to beat a superbly done woodfired oven pizza in a domestic oven...but this one gets close. Have a look at the Comments thread for a few tips on how to simulate WFO conditions with your domestic oven without resorting to modifications of the oven itself (that's where my fanaticism ends!).

One tip now: the flour you use can make a big difference. It's a hugely important factor. I won't elaborate further here - it's all in the blog post and Comments thread.

BTW, I'd never be prescriptive about this stuff. You'll see lots of claims on the web of this or that dough/method being the best etc, but I've found that there are lots of paths to great results. I sometimes do a yeasted pizza for a change. They tend to be lighter, slightly different in texture and flavour. Not better or worse necessarily - just different. It's down to individual tastes in the end. I'm a bit biased towards sourdough - I just find the flavour slightly better, a little more complex. But damn! - I've had some sensational WFO yeasted pizzas, and some pretty good ones outta my oven I'm pleased to say!

Funny thing about pizzas - they seem simple, and they are, but deceptively so. There's a real art behind a GREAT one. As with bread, there are many, many factors at play. I still only hit the spot bang on every three bakes or so. Sometimes, even in a single baking session using the same dough under identical conditions, one pizza turns out better than another. I'm referring to the base, of course. Toppings are another universe again.


Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Ross.  O.k.  I haven't had the time to read all of your link in entirety, but I surely will!  I appreciate the detail you go into.  All I can say is this photo from the link you posted is VERY similar to the crust type I am after.  Of course, looks is one thing, taste is another.  The only way I can explain is how I did before, that the Tartine Country loaf I made yesterday, when toasted, gives that amazing thin crispy, crackery, slightly tangy, slightly chewy texture.  I am hoping your post will lead me in the exactly direction I have been after for years.  Thanks again!  I will advise on the eventual results.  John

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

OK, well I just found the answer to my own question.  Could it get any more exact to what I was picturing??  Tartine makes pizza from the dough!

At the end, Peter even describes it to exactly how I had hoped it would be.  I will be trying this soon!


macZiggy's picture

Yes, there is also a recipe in the Tartine book.  I just tried it last night and it was the best crust I have ever made.  I used some amazing flour from Giusto's that I picked up at their South San Francisco distribution center last week.  I picked up 200 pounds of organic flour that should last for 6 months or so.....all for about $120.00.  The fact that the flour was so fresh helped in making such a great crust.  

I did make one change from the Tartine basic country loaf recipe. I used a mixture of high gluten flour and AP flour and the result was just fantastic.....a very, very crisp bottom and airy perimeter crust.  My oven only goes up to 500 so making pizza is challenging.  But getting the dough very thin when you are forming the pizza is essential.  With the Giusto's flour the dough had enough elasticity and getting it thin was effortless....the stretch-and-fold technique really worked.  And the dough stayed very hydrated.  

And using this new flour made several loaves of Tartine country bread very different from any of the previous loaves I have made, and I have made many loaves over a two year period.  The bread was noticeably sweeter, according to several friends.  My previous flour was King Arthur, but I always purchased the flour in bulk from various Los Angeles food distribution centers and I really had no idea how fresh it was.  The very fresh Giusto's made a huge difference.