My sourdough obsession continues here with this fine sourdough pizza crust!

Caramelized Fennel and Arugula Pizza with a Sourdough Crust

It’s a very special love affair. I’ve been making homemade sourdough bread every weekend for a month and thought it was time to branch out – with pizza!

Caramelized Fennel and Arugula Pizza with a Sourdough Crust

Sourdough pizza crust is chewier than its non-sour sister and the taste is incredible. I fell in love SO HARD with this!

Caramelized Fennel and Arugula Pizza with a Sourdough Crust

The toppings on this pizza look fancy-pants but they’re really not. I simply added a homemade tomato sauce and topped it with caramelised fennel, cherry tomatoes, and soft goat cheese. After baking, I sprinkled on some fresh baby arugula, Fresh shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

This pizza is bananas. THE BEST KIND OF BANANAS! It is so unbelievably flavourful.

Caramelized Fennel and Arugula Pizza with a Sourdough Crust

I actually got this idea for toppings from my friend Julie who had me over to her house not too long ago. She said that this is her favourite way to eat pizza, and after trying her recipe, I have to agree that I am totally on board. So much good stuff here!!

Caramelized Fennel and Arugula Pizza with a Sourdough Crust

So, if you haven’t started your sourdough starter like I begged you to last weekend, GET ON IT! There’s pizza and bread to make!


Caramelized Fennel and Arugula Pizza with a Sourdough Crust

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Enough dough for 2 pizza’s and enough toppings for 1 pizza


    For the sourdough pizza crust:
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) fed sourdough starter (I used these instructions)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • Additional flour, for dusting
  • Pizza sauce:
  • 1 (28-oz) can San Marzano tomatoes (or crushed canned Italian plum tomatoes)
  • 1 fresh garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pizza toppings:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 fennel bulb, cleaned and cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • 4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, broken into small clumps
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby arugula
  • Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving
  • Balsamic reduction, for serving


    Prepare the pizza dough:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the starter and mix with 1 cup of room temperature water until soupy. Add the flour and salt, and mix on low with the dough hook until the dough begins to bind. Let rest for 5 minutes. Knead on the mixer’s second-lowest setting for 5 to 7 minutes, until dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes a smooth ball. Wipe out the stand mixer bowl and grease it with olive oil. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Cut dough in half and turn each piece out on a floured surface, folding and kneading three or four times until it becomes a smooth ball. Place each piece in a medium-sized bowl (large enough to allow it to double in size), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 48 hours, or at least 24 hours, before shaping and baking.
  3. Preheat oven and pizza stone:
  4. Place the pizza stone on the center (or bottom third) rack of your oven, and preheat the oven and pizza stone to 550 degrees Fahrenheit (for at least 30 minutes). If your oven does not go up to 550 degrees, heat it to the absolute maximum temperature that it can go.
  5. As the oven is preheating, prepare the sauce and toppings. For the sauce, place a fine strainer on top of a bowl. Pour the canned tomatoes into the strainer and discard the juice. In the bowl of a food processor, add the remaining tomatoes, garlic and salt and puree for about 1 minute. Set aside.
  6. To caramelize the fennel, heat olive oil and butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel slices and stir to coat. Stir occasionally. After about 10 minutes, sprinkle the fennel with a pinch of salt. Lower the temperature to low and cook for another 20-30 minutes. The longer you cook, the more caramelized and browned the fennel will be.
  7. Set aside the sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella slices, goat cheese, shaved Parmigiano-reggiano, arugula and balsamic drizzle.
  8. Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a large plate or floured counter top, cover gently with plastic wrap, and allow the to rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Assemble the Pizza:
  10. Gently stretch one ball of pizza dough into roughly a 10-12-inch circle (don't worry if its not perfectly uniform). If the dough springs back or is too elastic, allow it to rest for an additional five minutes. The edges of the dough can be slightly thicker, but make sure the center of the dough is thin. Gently transfer the dough onto the pre-heated pizza stone.
  11. Using a large spoon, add roughly 1/2 of the tomato sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly and thinly. Distribute the caramelized fennel and cherry tomatoes on top of pizza, and top with the mozzarella slices and goat cheese, distributing it in small clumps across the surface of the pizza.
  12. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has caramelized slightly and the edges of the pizza are golden brown.
  13. Remove the pizza carefully from the oven, transfer to a wooden cutting board, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. At this point, you can assemble and bake a second pizza (the toppings in this recipe are for 1 pizza but if you’ve got extra go wild!) or you can refrigerate the dough for tomorrow OR freeze the second half of the dough for another day (see notes).
  14. Top hot pizza with a handful of fresh arugula leaves. Add a few fresh Parmigiano-reggiano shavings and drizzle lightly with balsamic reduction, if using. Slice and serve immediately.


Sourdough starter recipe that I used is from Girl Versus Dough

For this recipe, "fed starter" means that it was fed that day.

Dough recipe adapted from New York Times

If you freeze the second half of the dough, the night before baking, place the dough into the fridge and allow to thaw overnight.

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19 Responses to Caramelized Fennel and Arugula Pizza with a Sourdough Crust

  1. I need to stop being a scaredy cat already and just try making some sourdough starter so I can make this pizza crust!

  2. Medha says:

    I LOVE fennel so so much and yet I don’t think I’ve ever caramelized it! I’m more of a ‘raw in salads’ kinda gal, but now I need to branch out, because this looks epic! Pinning 🙂

  3. someday i will get back to baking my own bread again..but i will take a moment to appreciate this pizza crust..and the toppings. caramelized fennel sounds ahmazing.

  4. Sourdough pizza crust!! Why have I never had that before? This sounds so so good!

  5. This is exactly how I like my pizza. Light & fresh! Lovely photos!

  6. Sourdough crust sounds freaking amazing Katrina! And the toppings! Perfection. I’ve never had a lot of luck making sourdough starter… you’d think that where I live would be the perfect conditions for making anything to do with bread (humid and hot), but I have realised that “one day” is really closer to maybe four hours here. Over-fermented sourdough sitting on the bench is GROSS. 😛

  7. Fabulous pizza! I still have making the starter on my “to do” list, but I’m getting closer 🙂

  8. cakespy says:

    OMFG, this looks freaking amazing.

  9. Sabrina says:

    Beautiful pizza!

  10. YUM! We have sourdough bread all the time in SF but not sure I’ve actually seen a sourdough pizza here!

  11. Oh man! I just inherited (!!!) my first sourdough starter and looks like I’ve got my first recipe for it!

  12. Julie Champagne says:

    Caramelized fennel and arugula?!?
    You totally stole my recipe!!!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. Dani says:

    Oh my goodness I love homemade pizza so much! Still trying to master the crispy base and not over cooking the top without a pizza stone!

  14. […] Recipe: Shaved Fennel and Arugula Salad, Almond Crusted Tilapia with Arugula, Fennel and Lemon Salad, Caramelized Fennel and Arugula Pizza […]

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