California Style Pizza Dough Recipe

This is my go-to dough. Adding oil and a bit of water to the American Wood Fired (recipe in pizza with rosehillsourdough) makes a pillowy, chewy dough. The thicker dough can handle more toppings, but I still recommend keeping toppings relatively light. Find a nice balance which allows both the toppings and crust to cook to perfection, without over- or under-doing either. Also, since there is oil in the dough, this pizza can burn easier than the American Wood Fired, so don’t cook with as large of a flame.

This dough is versatile and easy to work with. It can take less than a day, but I recommend making it over two or three days to really highlight the flavor and texture. I recommend starting with 12-24 hours in the refrigerator and work up to several days; see the Proofing FAQs at the end of the book for tips.  

If you’d prefer to use yeast instead of sourdough, the recipe for that is in pizza with rosehillsourdough

I’ve updated the recipe since making this video, but the techniques shown are still helpful to see!

YouTube player


Four 12” / 290g Pizzas


6-12 hours before PREP:
Mix 17g of sourdough with 34g of water and 34g of flour (1:2:2). This will be enough for your pizzas +20g.


411g warm water (63%)

20g salt (3%)

13g olive oil (2%)

65g peaked sourdough starter (10%)

652g bread flour ~12.7% protein (100%)


1 – 2 days before BAKE with 5 hours to make the dough, a 14 – 38 hour fridge rest, and 5 hours to shape and rest before baking.

Target dough temperature is 79˚F (26˚C).

Mix: Combine water, salt, and oil in a medium bowl. 

Add sourdough starter and mix until water is milky in color. 

Add flour. Mix just until combined, until you cannot see any dry flour.

Rest, covered with a damp towel or lid, 1 hour.

[Feed the remaining sourdough starter for future use. You won’t need any more for this recipe.]

Folds: Stretch & Fold: Using lightly wet hands, pinch the edge of the dough in the 1 o’clock position between your thumb, index, and middle finger tips down to your second knuckle and pull the dough a bit and fold over the top of the dough, past the center, and release. Turn the bowl less than a quarter turn and repeat. Repeat ~10 times, until the dough starts to take shape.

Pinch the side of the dough away from you and gently stretch the dough up and fold it back down towards you, and tuck under, so the seam side is now down and the smooth side is up. Turn the bowl a quarter turn, tuck the edge of the dough away from you under by pressing the edge under then pulling towards you, using the side of the bowl facing you as a backstop. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Do this a few times until dough starts to resemble a smooth ball. 

Rest, covered, somewhere warm, 1 hour.

Tuck & Rotate: With lightly wet hands, lift the dough up, and stretch the top layer of dough by gently pulling and tucking an edge under the dough. Rotate and repeat 4-6 times until the dough forms into a smooth ball with the seams tucked underneath. If the dough gets sticky, just set it down and come back in 10 minutes.

Rest, covered, somewhere warm, 1 hour.

Use the tuck & rotate method again to shape the dough into a smooth ball.

Rest, covered, somewhere warm, 2 hours.

If you have the space in your refrigerator to cold proof the dough as individual dough balls, portion four individual 320g dough balls, and re-ball the dough now using a tuck & rotate.

Otherwise, tuck & rotate the whole dough, place back into the bowl, then move to the fridge and allow to rest for 38 hours. You can also leave it in the fridge just overnight or for up to 3-5 days.


Take the dough out of the fridge 4-5 hours before you plan to bake it. 

As soon as you remove it from the fridge, divide dough into four 320g dough balls, if you have not done so already, and reshape them using the tuck-and-rotate method, maintaining the smooth side of the dough as the smooth side of the dough balls.

Rest 4-5 hours covered with a wet towel or in a dough box, smooth side up.

Ooni Bake

With pellets/wood/charcoal: preheat with a rolling flame to a center stone temperature of 375˚C (700˚F) and bake for 2-4 minutes with a medium/low flame, turning as needed.

With propane: preheat on the highest setting to a center stone temperature of 375˚C (700˚F) and bake for 2-4 minutes on medium/low, turning as needed. It helps to wait about 40 – 60 seconds before the first turn.

Home Oven Bake

You just can’t match the heat output of a pizza oven in your home oven, but this method is as close as I’ve managed to get. First, you need an oven with a top heating element or access to a broiler drawer for bottom element ovens. Second, you’ll need a cast iron pan or baking steel. I don’t recommend a stone in a home oven for this style, as it is not conductive enough for the relatively low temperatures of a home oven. Place the cast iron pan or baking steel into the oven and preheat to the oven’s highest setting. Once preheated, turn the oven to its broil setting.

Cast Iron Pan

Carefully remove the HOT pan from the oven and place it onto your stovetop (hob) and turn the burner to high. The goal is to get your cast iron to around 260˚C (500˚F). Stretch your pizza dough to the diameter of the pan and carefully place the dough into the hot cast iron. Immediately remove the pan from the burner. Quickly top the pizza and carefully move into the oven, directly under the broiler. Bake until the toppings are cooked, 90 seconds to 3 minutes.

Baking Steel

Allow the baking steel to continue to heat under the broiler for an additional 15-30 minutes. Your goal is to reach a temperature of 300˚C (575˚F) but your oven may not allow the steel to get that hot, so just go as high as you can. While the oven is heating, stretch and top your pizza on a floured pizza peel, then launch it onto your baking steel under the broiler and bake until the toppings are cooked, 90 seconds to 3 minutes.

Alternative SizesFour 8″Four 10″Four 12″Four 14″Four 16″%
Water (g)18428441055273663%
Salt (g)9132026353%
Oil (g)691318232%
Sourdough (g)2945658811710%
Bread Flour (g)2924496528761169100%
Total Dough Mass (g)520800116015602080
Per Dough Ball (g)130200290390520