Sourdough pizza is the original pizza. Bread is a very old food, and prepared yeast is a relatively modern invention. Therefore, the first pizza would definitely have been a sourdough pizza, and, what’s more, it was almost certainly eaten by a baker. Baking is hard work and there’s no time to waste. A historical baker would have grabbed a piece of scrap dough, rolled it thin so it would cook as fast as possible, topped it with whatever they could get away with pilfering from the bakery’s larder, and thrown it in the oven. This recipe is a nod to these humble practical aspects of the baker’s life. The quantities are in a 1-2-3 ratio: one part starter, two parts water, and three parts flour, so no matter how much starter you have or how much pizza you want to make, you can easily figure out the water and flour.

From a home cook’s perspective, sourdough is better than yeasted pizza dough and not just for flavor. The slower natural yeasts in a sourdough starter help the dough to last longer in the refrigerator, meaning you can make a batch of dough, divide it into several storage containers, and have a stock of pizza dough ready to bake for up to a week or more. Plus your reward for all that slow fermentation is that deeply delicious sourdough flavor.

This dough is pretty soft. If you are more comfortable working with a firmer dough, start with one hundred grams of water and add more as you see fit. Different flours can absorb different amounts of water, so your flour may need more or less water to achieve the intended consistency.