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Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza

Here at Manna from Devon we usually make yeasted pizza dough but sometimes if we’ve a bit more time we’ll use a sourdough base instead. This technique is rather more involved as you have to prepare a leaven from your sourdough starter probably a day in advance, then make sure you’ve plenty of time to prove your dough balls. But rest assured that all this extra preparation is well worth the effort resulting in a more complex flavour to your pizza, a chewier crust and a huge sense of satisfaction.

You can see David make ours in the Bushman Santorini oven in this week’s #woodfiredweekly here.


Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza – Ingredients

For the bases (makes 10 balls each approx 200g):

  • 950g ’00’ flour (100%)
  • 100g starter (hydrated at 100%) (10%)
  • 25g salt (2.5%)
  • 20g olive oil (2%)
  • 610ml water (at 22C) (61%)

For the topping (per pizza):

  • 1tsp garlic oil
  • 1tbsp tinned San Marzano tomatoes – whizzed up until smooth
  • a few oregano leaves
  • 1/3 ball of mozzarella
  • 1tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza – Oven state, equipment etc

Well heated oven and floor – 1 Mississippi


Dough scrapers are essential for both mixing and handling dough.

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza – Method

Day before pizzas are required:

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza

1. Mix together all ingredients for the bases except the salt and leave for 30 minutes.

2. Add the salt, mix well and leave for a further 30 minutes.

3. Knead the dough for 2 or 3 minutes until smooth and springy.

4. Ferment in a covered bowl at room temperature for 8 hours or leave at room temp for 1 more hour then refrigerate and leave for 12 – 24 hours. Stretch and fold the dough every 2 – 3 hours if at room temperature.

5. Cut the dough into 10 pieces and shape into dough balls.

6. Leave the dough balls at ambient temperature for 1 hour if at room temp or 2 -3 if just out of the fridge *

7. When the dough is relaxed shape, top and bake pizzas as normal.

*the vigour of your starter and ambient temperature will affect how quickly the dough balls soften so be prepared to adjust these timings

On the day:

1. Shape your dough balls into pizza bases about 10-12″ in diameter.

2. Place the base on your peel and then top with the garlic oil, tomatoes, oregano and mozzarella. Finally, grate over the parmesan.

3. Slide the pizza into the oven. Cook for about 45-60 seconds until the crust nearest the fire is puffed up and brown and then turn the pizza around and cook for another 45-60 seconds.

4. You can see how we shape and bake our pizza in our masterclass here.

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza – Alternatives

You can add any toppings you like to your pizza, just remember not to overcrowd the base.

Some of our favourites are:

  • Pear and blue cheese
  • Fresh Devon mackerel with roasted red peppers
  • Ham, Mushroom and Cheddar
  • Roasted butternut squash with red onion,  red chilli and mozzarella

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza – learning more

If you’d like to learn more about sourdough bread and how to make a starter, join us for one of our Sourdough Saturdays.

You can also learn with David virtually by downloading our Workshop app here.

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza – wine suggestion

Thanks to Suzie from Michael Sutton’s Cellar for these great ideas –

The go-to would obviously be a good Italian red from Chianti but it does slightly depend on the topping. The bite of a sangiovese covers most toppings as long as they are not too sweet. The wood-fired pizza also lends itself to a Lebanese red like Massaya Le Colombier which takes on the slightly charred flavours of the base.
Happy cooking and see you next week
David and Holly