Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sourdough Pizza Crust

I already posted about making sourdough starter, so here's the pizza dough I made from the starter.

I put 4 ounce of the 100 percent hydration starter into bowl and added 2 ounces of bread flour and 1 ounce of water, and let that sit, covered, at room temperature over night.

The next day, I put that into the bowl of my stand mixer and added:

8 ounces bread flour
5 ounces water

I kneaded that with the dough hook until it came together, then added:
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

I kneaded that until it was becoming elastic, the put it into a plastic bag with a bit of olive oil to coat. I left it there for 2 days (I had planned to leave it for one day, but plans intervened.)

I pulled the dough out of the refrigerator a couple hours before I need it, and left it on the counter to come to room temperature. I kneaded it a bit, stretched it to a circle about 14 inches in diameter, topped it with sauce, sausage, mushrooms, onions, green pepper and cheese, and baked it at 500 degrees until it was nicely browned and the cheese was bubbly. I considered a minute or two under the broiler to brown the cheese more, but left it as it was.

Darned good pizza.

This has been submitted to Yeastpotting.


Janie said...

Your pizza looks yummy...I love sour dough.

Garvey said...

Have you ever tried making a Chicago thin crust with sourdough? I am thinking about it, and wondering if there is some reason why it wouldn't work. My usual dough recipe would call for 50% hydration, so I can do the math and adapt. Your advice would be appreciated.

Also, let's say I wanted to go with 1.5 or 2 lbs of flour for my dough recipe. Would the 4 oz of starter (plus the 2 oz flour) be sufficient to leaven that much dough, or do I need to use more starter?


Donna Currie said...

How much starter you need depends on how lively it is, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't use sourdough for a thin crust.

Garvey said...


Garvey said...

Donna--hope you don't mind another question. How do I double this recipe (or triple or whatever)? That is a question I have about sourdoughs in general, really, and for this recipe, specifically. Do I just double everything, the day 1 sponge included? Or do I make adjustments in the sponge or what?

I realize this is similar to my previous question. Is there a good rule of thumb on this? I am still trying to figure out not just how much starter to use but the *why* part. I assume the sponge is to build up a fresh bit, away from the master starter, to get it ready to raise bread. Is that right? Thanks for any help.

Donna Currie said...

Starters are really forgiving. You can double the amount of starter, or just feed it a little extra to get to the same volume. The thing is that you don't really know how much active yeast there is in your starter anyway, so it's never an exact science. If it's a lively starter, you could cut the amount in half and it would still raise the dough just fine. If it's sluggish, you could put twice as much in, and it would rise really slowly. Don't worry too much about formulas - its not like baking a cake where an exact amount of leavening is important.

Garvey said...

OK--thanks. I will relax and experiment. ;-)

Garvey said...

I made this dough last weekend with two different hydrations. One at 66%, like this recipe calls for, and another at 50%. The 66% was awesome. Reminded me of Aurelio's, oddly enough (I suspect they use a natural starter of some kind, since their dough has a something special to it that I haven't seen in commercial yeasted pizzas, but I could be wrong).

So I tried to replicate the 66% hydration again for this weekend, and the dough had major problems. The only thing I did differently from the first time was that I left it on the counter (after a 36-hr cold ferment) all day yesterday, which was a few hrs longer on the counter than the first time. The dough was super sticky and did not want to roll out at all--and pressing it out wasn't much better. It wanted to snap back, and it would tear very easily. When baked, it had a much tighter, uniform hole structure than the first time (which was tight but more random, if that makes sense). Did it overproof on the counter yesterday? It did rise significantly in the bowl and was airy and bubbly.

Thanks for any info. Learning about all of this stuff is very interesting to me, and I appreciate this blog immensely.

Donna Currie said...

It sounds sort of like the gluten had started to deteriorate, which is why you got the tearing. The snapping back is puzzling, though, because if the gluten was wrecked, it should have been loose and flowy. So ... maybe it was on its way to falling apart?

Garvey said...

I know. I was confused by that, too. What would have wrecked the gluten--overproofing? I hate getting inconsistent results for pizza because I constantly seek to make something replicable. Consistency is key for me. That being said, the only variable I can think of was the extra couple hrs on the counter. Maybe that was enough to wreck the gluten. I will try shortening the cold ferment and the counter rise to see if I can hit the "sweet spot."

Donna Currie said...

If you let the dough sit too long, the gluten breaks down to the point where the dough literally pours and flows. It's interesting, but you can't do much with it. I've only seen that happen with a finished dough that's been left for maybe 4 days in the fridge.

It really is all about finding that sweet spot, though.

Unknown said...

How long does it have to cook?

Donna Currie said...

About 8 minutes.

Diana said...

Is this recipe adjusted for the Colorado altitude? I'm in NM in the Sandia foothills, same problem. Thanks!

Donna Currie said...

No altitude problems with this one. It works either at high or sea level, as long as you're watching the dough rather than the clock.

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