Early Spring Farmers Market Pizza

This pizza has a few ingredients, but none more important than 1) my good fortune to live a 5-minute walk away from one of California’s best farmers markets, and 2) a blessedly dry morning at the end of a waterlogged week, in which to stroll through the market and pick up a few green things between foldings of the dough.

I had enough sourdough toss-off to use in the dough, but a poolish would work here, too. My cheap but very sharp (you may ask my thumb if you don’t believe me) mandoline sliced my market picks — asparagus, green garlic, leeks, and goat gouda — thinly and perfectly.

Since I acquired a new house a few months ago, I’ve been experimenting with the best oven configuration for pizza, and I think I have it down: The stone goes on the second-to-highest oven rack. Preheat an hour at maximum bake temperature (550F). Bake the pizza about 7 minutes, then switch on the broiler and go for another minute and a half, until it’s pleasantly charred.

Asparagus, Green Garlic, and Leek Pizza

Yield: one 14-inch pizza


  • Mix dough: 10 minutes
  • Ferment dough: 2 hours, with folds at 40 and 80 minutes
  • Preshape and rest: 20 minutes
  • Shape crust and assemble: 5 minutes
  • Bake: 9 minutes

Dough Ingredients:

  • 181 g flour
  • 109 g water
  • 1.1 g (1/3 teaspoon) instant yeast
  • 4.8 g (generous 3/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 122 g active 100%-hydration sourdough starter (alternative: a poolish of 61 g flour, 61 g water, and a very small pinch of yeast, fermented for 12 hours)
  • 9 g olive oil

Topping Ingredients:

  • 2 fat stalks asparagus, thinly sliced
  • 2 small bulbs green garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek (white part), thinly sliced
  • a few thin slices of cheese (I used goat gouda)
  • Kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • a few fresh basil leaves


    1. To make the dough, mix all of the dough ingredients by hand on the counter until you have a low-medium level of gluten development.
    2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment for 2 hours at room temperature, with folds after the first 40 and 80 minutes.
    3. After the dough has been fermenting for an hour, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to its maximum baking temperature. The second-to-top rack works best in my oven.
    4. Turn the dough onto a counter floured with a 50-5o blend of regular flour and semolina, if you have it. Preshape the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
    5. Flour the counter very well with the flour-semolina blend. Stretch the dough into a 14-inch circle. Draping it over your fists and allowing gravity to stretch it will make the crust thin in the center and thicker at the edges.
    6. Place the crust on a peel that has been very liberally dusted with semolina. Brush it with olive oil and top with asparagus, garlic, leeks, a generous pinch of Kosher salt, and cheese. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.

  1. Slide the pizza onto the stone. Bake for 7 minutes, until the cheese is melted (or nearly so) and the crust is golden brown.
  2. Turn on the broiler and broil for a minute or two, until the crust is nicely charred.
  3. When the pizza is out of the oven, top with fresh basil.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    Perfect spring pizza…hoping for sun this week for the farmers market here on Wednesday. Still soggy but glad you have had a break in the rain!

  2. says

    Gorgeous pizza – I love the shades of green! And it’s broiled to perfection! Sadly, I don’t have a broiler in my oven but this technique certainly sounds perfect.

  3. LeeYong says

    What a perfect pizza! Can’t wait to give this a whirl! Is it okay to leave the dough over nite to retard? Happy baking Susan!

  4. Maria says

    That is picture perfect , I was looking for a recipe , for good crust, I loved the way you browned the top, it’s great when you find what you are looking for, thanks, for making me hungry , :)

  5. says

    Love the look of that pizza! It’s gorgeous, and it just screams spring.

    Question for you about the addition of the yeast (in addition to the starter). What’s the purpose here?

  6. says

    your pizza looks delicious but I was only just recently mentioning your wonderful posts on building your pizza oven outdoors – you must miss it if you had to leave it behind

  7. says

    thank you for sharing your tips. The pizzas that I have made at home have been a soggy but tasty mess. I will keep your instructions in mind when we make pizzas in our new oven.

  8. Susan says

    Susan, thanks for teaching us with your posts, and for the sight of this beautiful, Spring pizza. With the snow-filled weather we’re expecting over the next 48 hours, all those fresh veggies are signs of hope!

  9. says

    I love this pizza idea. … :)

    My mandoline is two years old, I’ve yet to use it. Washing it for the first time, I cut myself, and so it sits, relegated to the back of the cabinet. It stares at me, teases me and reminds me, “Get over it!” I really need to; perhaps this pizza is the perfect excuse.

  10. says

    I love pizza without tomato sauce! It’s so nice to get away from all the traditional toppings for a change. Your pizza is very Spring and so beautiful with all that green!

  11. Greg H. says

    I have made this pizza 3 times now. The dough is fantastic! Because the peels I have will only hold a 12″ pie, I cut the recipe down by about 15% and it works fine. The toppings make it deeelicious! I used the jumbo asparagus which is super tender and sweet. The one thing I add is some Buffala Mozzarella, because I love it on pizza.

    • Vashti Wood says

      I don’t get it… You cut the recipe down by 15%..? Does the crust come out really thin and crispy?

      I’ve made this recipe countless times now – it’s our family favourite. I quadruple it for FOUR 12″ pizzas, as we find this is the perfect quantity for a single 12″ pizza.

      The hubster and kinder prefer their pizzas medium crust, and I prefer it thin and crispy. I prebake the pizza dough on a 12″ pizza tray after rolling it out, then flip it upside down to cool. I top the upside down side that’s facing up, then put it straight onto a pizza stone to cook the rest of the way. That way, each base is cooked to preference. Delicious.

  12. says

    This pizza looks really tasty!

    I noticed that you put the cheese above the topping – I recently noticed that cheese under toppings is a great improvement.

    Cheers for sharing.

  13. Sherry says

    Thank you for this recipe but I would like to not use the conventional yeast. Could I use a bit more starter? I’ve not made pizza crust yet as I am new with sour dough starter and bread. Thank you again,Sherry

  14. says

    Hey Suzan. This is the dough recipe I always go to for my pizza, but every single time the dough seems like it lacks gluten and always tears on me. It’s extremely difficult to work with, although I find that I knead it enough. What do you think the problem is?

  15. Andrew says

    Just made this dough, but skipped the instant yeast and added another hour of bulk fermentation. Knocked it out of the park. This is an outstanding formula.


  1. Sauerteig-Pizza…

    Schon wieder Pizza! Denkt ihr? Von Pizza kann man doch nie genug haben, oder? Paule hat kürzlich Sauerteig-Pizza gemacht und davon in Facebook geschwärmt. Da ich für gestern auch Pizza geplant hatte, habe ich sie nach dem Rezept gefragt….

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