What was that about?
Today I am actually going to make the effort to do a home made sourdough pizza crust.
It’s not so hard to do, if you’re in the swing of things with a sourdough habit. Which, apparently, I am now. Last week I told you about how I’d gotten some sourdough starter from a neighbour and I am making a loaf a week. It’s still happening! A loaf a week, but also a pizza every week or two. A good habit is forming!
If you’re not in possession of a sourdough starter, this dough recipe isn’t going to be much use I’m afraid, but you could make the pizza with regular dough!
The recipe calls for a 100g (just over a cup) of starter. I got to this amount by taking some of my jar of starter out of the fridge, and feeding it over the course of 12 hours.
Are your eyes glazed over? Have you started singing the beautiful song of Sweet Brown? Sorry. It’s so worth it though. This is a really flavourful crust, made with half white flour and half rye. It makes a simple looking pizza deceptively awesome.
But it doesn’t work alone here! There are also three rather special cheeses to thank.
Over Christmas, my brother and his girlfriend visited from the US. They spent a couple days at Borough Market, and some time in the French Alps. The result was a fridge full of incredible cheeses. Oh, the cheeses. So many. But we whittled it down to three for this pizza.
On the bottom left, we have fresh buffalo mozzarella. Above that is French comte, and on the right is an urbiaco cheese- an Italian cow’s milk cheese which is aged in prosecco, from the incredible drunk cheese stall at Borough market. I love.
It’s finished off with a little bit of garlic oil. This really makes the pizza soar. I used the Extra Virgin Company’s garlic infused oil, which is wonderful and very well flavoured. You only need a little bit. But if you’re trying to take photos with one hand and pour with the others, sometimes a little pool of oil forms in one spot which is potentially overkill for the those sensitive to garlic (not me- I totally nabbed this piece for myself). See above.
With that crazy mix of cheeses, and the sourdough starter my neighbour cultivated from scratch, this pizza couldn’t really happen anywhere else. So, this post is not a prescriptive recipe, it’s about inspiration, and a framework for anyone who loves good pizza and wants to try something new.
It’s fairly easy to cultivate a sourdough starter, and even easier to order one online. You could also ask for some at a local bakery. Then you can head to your local market and source some delicious, special cheeses of your own choosing. Your pizzas will be totally unique, and all yours.
I’d love to know what great cheeses are available where you live, which work well on home made pizzas. Tell me all about it in the comments!
- 100g of sourdough starter (just under 1 cup)
- 200g of flour (just under 1 cup) -my mix was around half white bread flour, half rye flour
- 1 Tblsp of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp of salt
- One portion of my Five minute white wine pizza sauce - or you could just smear some tomato puree + a sprinkling of Italian herbs on the base
- One ball of buffalo mozzarella, sliced
- A couple of different hard cheeses, cut into small cubes
- Basil leaves
- Black pepper
- Preheat your oven. Go for a temperature of at least 230C / 450F. The higher the temperature, the more the dough will crisp up. I've tried this at 300C / 570F and that works very well too- it goes super crispy. The ones pictured were a lower temperature, in hindsight I preferred them at 300C/570F.
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and knead for a few minutes until a robust dough has formed. Depending on how moist your starter is you may want to add some water, a teaspoon at a time.
- Let rest for at least half an hour. The longer, the better.
- Split dough into 4 equal portions and roll or stretch the dough out to form rectangles or circles, whichever shape you prefer.
- Spread sauce or tomato puree on top, and sprinkle on the cheese.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes (this will largely depend on your oven temperature so keep a close eye on them!)
- Top each pizza with a few basil leaves, a few grinds of black pepper, and a drizzle of garlic oil.
Source: The sourdough crust recipe is from the Sourdough Home website. I just adjusted the quantities to scale it down. If you want to scale it up or down, just remember it’s equal parts starter and flour and a little oil and salt.
For additional homesteading props, why not try making your own cheese? A fresh mozzarella or a few dollops of ricotta would be amazing on this!