This pizza sourdough with tomato sauce is a variation of my Basic Sourdough recipe except pizza sauce replaces the water in the dough to make an extra delicious pizza flavored sourdough loaf. This is one of my most flavorful and tender loaves I’ve ever made. It is perfect for sandwiches (especially grilled cheese!). After making my sourdough pizza, I usually have sauce leftover, so why not make sourdough with it?
In addition to the pizza sauce, I also added some parmesan cheese to the dough during the shaping. Parmesan is my favorite cheese to add to sourdough because it makes the crust extra crispy. However, the cheese can be easily omitted or swapped for another cheese (such as mozzarella).
My go-to pizza sauce recipe is also included, but I think almost any pizza sauce would work in this sauce. I would be wary of sauces that have a lot of salt because then too much salt could be added to the loaf. If you make your own pizza sauce, take note of how much salt you add to the sauce so you don’t accidentally add too much salt to the dough. Alternatively, you could leave out the salt from the sauce and just add the salt to your dough separately.
Since all pizza sauces and flours are different, I recommend adding the sauce to the dough incrementally. Mix in some sauce, then see how the dough feels. If it feels dry, add 25-50 g more sauce, and mix. Repeat this process until the dough texture feels correct. I noticed that it took a few more minutes of hand mixing the dough to get all of the sauce incorporated than just plain water, so please be patient and mix well.
Ingredients and Equipment Notes:
- Whole peeled canned tomatoes (any brand would work well) and purée them in a food processor with seasonings. Crushed tomatoes also work well.
- I bake all of my loaves in Dutch ovens. I usually use this 3 qt Cuisinart Dutch oven or this 4.2 qt Emile Henry Dutch Oven.
- If you don’t have a banneton, you could proof the loaves in a mixing bowl lined with a kitchen towel. Dust the towel with flour to prevent sticking.
- For a full list of my favorite baking equipment, click here.
If you try this pizza sourdough with tomato sauce, please let me know how you like it. Happy baking!
Cold proofing or room temperature proofing?
I typically cold proof by dough before and after shaping (both the “bulk ferment” and “final proof”). Cold bulk proofing is a little uncommon, but I think it helps the dough develop better flavor and strength. Plus, it is much easier to fit into a busy schedule. I recommend trying it if you haven’t before. For my recipes, you can do either room temperature or cold proofing. I do find that cold proofing is much more forgiving if you forget about your dough (for even up to 24 hours).
Pizza Sourdough with Tomato Sauce
- Dutch oven
- dough scraper
- Large mixing bowl or container
- kitchen scale
- banneton (optional)
- rice flour (optional)
- food processor
Leaven (Levain) Ingredients
- 170 g sourdough starter (active) Feed it and let it double or triple in volume before using it
- 515 g water
- 145 g whole wheat flour
- 345 g bread flour I used Central Milling's Artisan Baker's Craft Plus
- leaven (from above)
- 600 g bread flour
- 400-550 g pizza sauce (see recipe below)
- 10 g salt
- 50-60 g parmesan cheese (shaved or grated)
Pizza Sauce Ingredients
- 28 oz can of tomatoes (whole peeled or crushed), including the juices
- 13 g olive oil
- 7 g salt
- 1 handful fresh basil (optional)
- 1-3 cloves garlic, peeled
- red pepper flakes (added to taste, optional)
- oregano (added to taste, optional)
- black pepper (added to taste, optional)
Mix the leaven (levain)
- In a large mixing bowl or container, mix all of the ingredients for the leaven (starter, water, whole wheat flour, bread flour). Mix gently until thoroughly combined and cover.
- Rest the leaven at room temperature for about 6-12 hours until doubled in volume and bubbly. My leaven took about 5 hours to become very bubbly at 72 °F, but yours might be different.
Make the sauce
- In a food processor, pulse together all of the ingredients for the sauce (tomatoes, olive oil, salt, garlic, basil, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes).
- Adjust seasonings to taste and refrigerate the sauce until it is time to make the dough. Note: if you add more salt to the sauce, decrease the amount of salt added to the dough. (Note: you will not need all of the sauce for the dough so you can use some for pizza or pasta)
Mix the dough
- After the leaven is very bubbly, add the rest of the bread flour (600 g). Then, add the tomato sauce incrementally. All sauces will likely vary a bit, so I recommend adding it in small portions, mixing and then adding more if your dough feels dry. I added 400 g of sauce, mixed, then added 25 g more incrementally up to 525 g total. My dough was very wet, so if you aren't accustomed to handling wet doughs, I would add less sauce. Mix by hand until combined (about 5-10 min of hand mixing to incorporate the sauce). Cover and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, add the 10 g salt to the dough. Mix gently until combined. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
- Then, stretch and fold the dough by gently lifting up the dough from the sides of the container and folding it inward toward the middle. I usually lift up one side of the dough, fold it inward and then rotate the container, repeating the folding until all of the edges of the dough have been folded toward the middle. The dough will look like a loose ball after this stretching and folding. Cover, and let the dough rest for another 45 minutes.
- Then, repeat the stretching and folding one more time. Cover and put the dough in the refrigerator for about 12-48 hours. My dough was in the refrigerator for about 34 hours. My refrigerator temperature is 36-40 °F depending on the location inside the refrigerator. For this dough, the temperature was 36 °F for 34 hours. If your refrigerator is warmer, it will proof faster so I recommend checking it occasionally. If you remember, take the dough out and stretch and fold it 1-2 times, then put it back into the refrigerator. (Alternatively, you can proof the dough at room temperature for a few hours. If you do this, I recommend stretching and folding the dough every 30- 45 mins. )
- After refrigerating the dough, take it out of the refrigerator. The dough should have risen (probably not quite doubled though), and some small bubbles should be visible. Stretch and fold the dough, cover, then let it rest for about 45 min to 1 hour.
Shape the dough and add the parmesan
- Remove the dough from the container or bowl onto a clean counter (the dough will still be a little cold at the this point). Divide the dough in two pieces. With damp hands and a dough scraper, stretch the dough out to a rectangular shape (it doesn't need to be perfect). I have a demonstration on Instagram if you need guidance. Then, spread out the parmesan over the top of the dough rectangle. Repeat for the other loaf.
- Then, fold over the edges of the dough rectangle toward the middle, to capture the parmesan inside the dough. Gently flip over this dough packet, and shape carefully into a ball. It is okay if the shape is not perfect. Repeat for the other loaf. Let the shaped loaves rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, transfer the shaped loaves to a floured bannetons or mixing bowls.I usually line the banneton or bowl with a kitchen towel, dust the towel with rice flour to prevent sticking, then place the dough into the banneton with the dough seam up. The "seam" of your loaves will be facing up (so the loaf will be upside down) Then, dust with more rice flour and cover with the kitchen towel.
- Then, transfer the shaped loaf to the refrigerator in the banneton or bowl and refrigerate for about 18-24 hours. (Alternatively, you can proof the dough at room temperature for a few hours after shaping. The dough is ready to bake if you poke it with your finger and it doesn't spring back immediately. )
Bake the loaves
- Preheat your oven and Dutch oven to 500 °F for at least 20 – 30 minutes.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the first loaf from the banneton or bowl and score the top with a slash using either a sharp knife or lame.
- Then, cover the bottom of the Dutch oven with parchment paper, transfer the loaf gently to the Dutch oven and cover. Bake for 25 minutes at 500 °F.
- After 25 minutes, remove the cover from the Dutch oven and decrease the oven temperature to 425 °F. Bake the loaf for 20-45 more minutes until golden brown (check on it every 10-15 minutes).
- Repeat for the other loaf.
- Alow the loaves to cool on a wire rack for several hours before slicing.