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Judith Starling

Judith Starling

Transforming your baking

SOURDOUGH PIZZA

There are many sourdough pizza recipes you can try. My favourite one by far is to simply make the dough as per the No Knead Sourdough Bread Recipe. Follow all the steps you would take to make this recipe (you can use just strong white flour or try using 00 flour) but once your final dough has risen (i.e. the bulk ferment has finished – just before step 5), instead of shaping the loaf into a round shape as you would to put it into a banneton, simply oil your hands with olive oil and then take a piece of the dough (165-200g or so, depending on how thin or thick you like your pizza base) and gently shape it into a round disk on baking parchment, leaving a bit of an edge all around. Now let the dough rest for a while (see the notes in the other recipe below) before you add your toppings. One lot of dough will make around 5-6 thin crust pizzas (and you can freeze any left over bases, see below). In fact, the best pizza dough is overproofed, so you can leave it to ferment away all day and then make pizzas in the evening.

Or, should you ever find that you have overproofed your bread dough (it happens, trust me!), you can just decide to have pizza from that dough that night instead. Overproofing your dough means that the gluten has been used up and will collapse in the hot oven – trying to nevertheless bake a free-standing loaf with it will result in flat or very dense bread… Pizza is a much better option.

Here is another recipe to try:

This recipe makes 4 thin crust pizzas Ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 240g active sourdough Pre-ferment made with strong white bread flour or Italian 00 pasta flour
  • 60g water
  • 360g strong white bread flour or Italian 00 pasta flour
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together and knead for a few minutes (or put it all into a food processor with a dough hook!). The dough should come together into a smooth and stretchy mass. If it looks too dry or doesn’t come together after a few minutes, add a little bit more water – but do this in little amounts at a time.

When the dough has come together, knead for a few more minutes and then rest the dough under cover for at least two hours.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form them into balls.

Roll each ball out on a surface that you have given a good dusting of flour first. If it feels too moist to handle, add some more flour until it becomes manageable.

The pizza bases can now be set out on a baking tray to prove. Keep them covered with cling film or a damp tea towel to prevent the surface from drying out and cracking. Let them prove for another 15 minutes in a warm place. When you are ready, top them with your choice of toppings and pop them in a preheated oven at 250 C or as hot as your oven will go for 8-10 minutes or so – keep an eye on them.

You can also freeze the pizza bases for later use. Slip a piece of silicone paper (baking parchment) between each pizza base and put the whole pile in a plastic bag, squeeze the air out and tie up the end.

These bases will last in the freezer for several months and you can remove them one by one very easily if they are separated by papers. To defrost and use, simply lay a base on a baking tray, place your chosen toppings on and then give it a couple of hours to finish proving. If you can’t wait, you can bake them pretty much straight from the freezer, but allow a little longer in the oven.

TOMATO SAUCE TOPPING


Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of chopped or plum tomatoes
  • 1-3 teaspoon of oregano or Italian Herbs (to taste) 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • half a chopped onion (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Method:
Fry the onions in a pan until they soften. Add the garlic and fry for 30 more seconds. Add the tin of tomatoes and the other ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. You can then either squash down the sauce with a potato masher or blitz it in a mixer.

See my starters

See my steels

See my baking accessories

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