Sourdough pizza is next level. The flavour, the passion that goes into cooking it, the uniqueness of each one. Because every sourdough starter is different, so is every pizza it makes. Each sourdough starter has a personality of its own, a flavour and characteristic unlike any other. You can buy a sourdough starter online, but it’s a lot of fun making your own. And it’s not as hard as it might seem.
There are several ways to make a sourdough starter; some people just use flour and water, others add yoghurt, a grape or even dried yeast to get the sourdough going. Because there’s naturally occurring yeast in unbleached flour, adding yeast isn’t necessary, but it makes some people happy. So why not?!
So, some flour, some water, and within a week, you’ll have your own starter pet, ready to bake with, feed and look after
How is sourdough pizza different to regular pizza?
First off, using sourdough instead of yeast for your pizza cuts your prep time. Because the sourdough is already well down the fermentation process, you don’t need to leave the pizza dough to prove as long.
Your sourdough’s personality will also dictate how your pizza will turnout. If you use – and as a result – feed your sourdough starter regularly, you’ll be able to prepare your lunchtime pizza just after breakfast and look forward to a well-risen pizza that isn’t too sour.
If you use your starter less regularly, it will be more liquid, so when you come to use it, it’ll need more proving time, it’ll not rise as much and there will be a sour bite to your pizza.
What’s a simple way to cook a sourdough pizza?
You could get all mathsy, but it’s easier to go with a 1-2-3 approach to sourdough pizza ingredients. 1 part starter, 2 parts water and 3 parts flour. It’s easy to scale up for more pizza dough, too.
Add your starter, water and flour into a bowl and mix thoroughly, either by hand or with a dough hook in a mixer. Leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes in the bowl under a damp towel or plastic bag. With wet hands, fold the dough in the bowl three or four times from different angles, then flip the whole lot upside down in the bowl and leave for another 20 minutes. Fold and stretch again before covering and leaving for up to four hours, depending on how lively your starter is.
Tip the dough on to a floured surface for a bit more folding and stretching (this time with dry hands) and shape the dough into balls. Stick the balls in lightly oiled containers and leave them in the fridge You can store the pizza dough balls in the fridge for up to a week.
Take it out an hour before you want to use it, to get it up to room temperature, and shape it delicately, trying not to bash out the air pockets. Swirl on your sauce, cheese and toppings and bake in a pizza oven at 450° for a truly fantastic sourdough pizza.
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