But can it be pizza without cheese – well, sure, if you can’t eat dairy. This is a good indicator of our weekly pizza (we make it every Friday). Packed with seasonal vegetables, no cheese, dairy or vegan, and with this spelt sourdough pizza dough as a base.
Since it’s no knead, and simply rests overnight after a couple stretches and folds, I find sourdough pizza crust to be both easier and tastier than one made with commercial yeast. I love yeast but if it’s better, then it’s better.
This is adapted from my recipe on Baked. P.S. yes that is pineapple on the pizza. We are Canadian and we love pineapple pizza!
- Sourdough Starter: active, fed the day of or night before mixing.
- Water: room temperature tap water, or distilled if your local water is not great.
- Olive Oil: for best flavour.
- Maple Syrup: or honey, or coconut sugar.
- Spelt Flour: light spelt, in this case, though whole grain can be used (see below).
- Sea Salt: fine grain.
Step by Step
This is a specifically spelt-based recipe, so I can’t offer substitutions on the flour used. I will say that whole grain spelt is harder to work with and wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re very familiar with bread baking and working with lower gluten flours.
It doesn’t matter what kind of starter you use, as long as it’s mature, active, and 100% hydration. There’s a recipe for rye starter in the fermented section of my book.
I typically use honey for this dough but you could use maple syrup or coconut sugar for a fully vegan option. Cane sugar works too and I imagine another liquid sweetener like date syrup would be fine. It improves the flavour of the crust.
Olive oil can be subbed for another liquid oil if you prefer.
Tips and Notes
This dough can be frozen in a sealed container for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before shaping.
Some readers have let me know for other spelt sourdough recipes that they do the stretches after the bulk fermentation. This seems to be a personal preference, and I don’t find it to be more effective after extensive testing.
The dough is much easier to work with when chilled. Mix the dough in the evening, do the bulk ferment at room temperature overnight, and then place the dough into the refrigerator until it’s time to shape the following afternoon or evening.
This recipe makes enough for two large pizzas, each with eight slices. For the two of us, I divide the dough in half – one for that day, and the other is frozen for the following week. We eat the whole pizza but I think it could serve up to four people depending on your appetite and if you serve side dishes with it.
Sourdough pizza dough is often made with bread flour, or at the very least all-purpose white flour, which have very high and high gluten content respectively. Spelt contains less gluten which, while often meaning it’s a bit easier to digest for some people, it also won’t be as stretchy as commercial wheat flour varieties.
You are doing some stretching of the dough, but don’t expect the same feeling of tension that develops with a higher gluten flour. There will be a difference but it’s not as noticeable or significant.
The occasional crack along the edge of the crust is normal due to the lower gluten content. This can often be mitigated with careful shaping, but it’s not a big deal if it happens.
Your oven should be just about as hot as you can make it. Mine cools down once the door is opened and isn’t very good at going back up to the set temperature, so I always turn it off and then reset to 240 so that it heats up again quickly.
The type and thickness of your baking sheet will make a slight difference. I use the large, oven width ones that come with the oven, and they have a thicker base. With very thin flimsier sheets, you may have uneven cooking and some patchy burns on the bottom of the crust. This can be reduced by doubling the parchment paper and adding cornmeal under the dough.
If you have a pizza stone or pizza oven, you’ll know best how those work for you. I have neither and can’t advise on ideal use with this recipe.
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Spelt Sourdough Pizza Dough
- 350 grams water room temperature
- 100 grams active starter 100% hydration
- 40 grams olive oil
- 15 grams maple syrup or honey
- 550 grams light spelt flour*
- 9 grams sea salt
- Add the water, starter, oil, and maple syrup to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until fully combined.350 grams water, 100 grams active starter, 40 grams olive oil, 15 grams maple syrup or honey
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until a shaggy dough forms.550 grams light spelt flour*, 9 grams sea salt
- Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, covered.
- Once the dough has rested, start the stretches and folds. Do three rounds over the course of an hour, once every 20 minutes.
- Cover the dough with a damp tea towel, plate, or beeswax wrap, and set in a cool place to rise overnight.
- After eight hours, the pizza dough should be at least doubled in size and there should be large visible bubbles.
- At this point, you can either divide the dough and freeze** half, or place all of the dough into the refrigerator to chill before shaping. Either way, place the dough you plan on using that day into the refrigerator, covered, for at least four hours.
- Once the dough has chilled, it's ready for shaping. Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and shape as you would a boule, or typical round sourdough bread.
- Pat the dough into a rough rectangle, then roll into a log. Turn 90 degrees, making sure the seam is facing up, and roll into a spiral again from the other direction.
- Turn the dough over and use your hands to create tension on the outside by twisting on a clean surface.
- Place the ball of dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and lightly flour the surface. Use your hands to gently press it into a round, making sure to keep the edges slightly higher for a good outer crust.
- Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- Once the pizza has risen, preheat the oven to 240°C (460°F).
- Add the desired sauces and toppings to the pizza dough.
- When the oven is fully preheated, place the baking sheet onto the centre rack. If your oven loses heat when the door is opened, reset it to the original temperature so that it heats again quickly.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a deep golden brown. The time will depend largely on toppings, thickness of the crust, and type of baking sheet.
- Cool for five minutes on the pan before slicing and serving.