As I shared recently, I obtained some sourdough starter from my dad and have been trying to do some different baking with it. One recommendation that came forward was making a sourdough pizza crust, and the go-to recipe is from King Arthur’s web site. I was excited to try this myself, and I have a pizza recipe that has been on my to-make list for years, so it was time to put these two together. Watch for the pizza recipe coming up shortly.
Sourdough Pizza Crust
1 c sourdough starter, unfed
1/2 c hot tap water
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c Semolina flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
4 teaspoons pizza dough flavor, optional but delicious
Stir any liquid into the sourdough starter, and spoon 1 cup starter into a mixing bowl.
Add the hot water, flour, salt, yeast, and pizza dough flavor. Mix to combine, then knead until smooth and slightly sticky, about 7 minutes at medium speed using a stand mixer with dough hook. Place the kneaded dough into a lightly greased container and allow it to rise till it’s just about doubled in bulk. This might take 2 to 4 hours; it might take more. A lot depends on how vigorous your starter is. For a faster rise, place the dough somewhere warm (or increase the yeast). To slow it down, put it somewhere cool.
For two thinner-crust pizzas, divide the dough in half, shaping each half into a flattened disk. Drizzle two 12″ round pizza pans with olive oil, tilting the pans to coat the bottom. Place half the dough in each pan. Cover, and let rest for 15 minutes. Gently press the dough towards the edges of the pans; when it starts to shrink back, cover it, and let it rest again, for about 15 minutes. Finish pressing the dough to the edges of the pans.
For a thicker-crust pizza, drizzle olive oil into a jelly roll pan (10×15) or half-sheet pan (18×13) or similar sized pan; or a 14″ round pizza pan, tilting the pan to coat with the oil. Shape the dough into a flattened disk or oval. Place in the pan, cover it, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Push the dough towards the edges of the pan, when it starts to fight back, cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes. Finishing pushing to the edges of the pan.
Cover the pan and let the dough rise till it’s as thick as you like. For thin crust pizza made from a fairly fresh starter, this may only be an hour or so. For thick-crust, using an old, little-used starter, this may take most of the day. There are no hard and fast rules here; it all depends on the vigor of your starter and how you like your crust.
Toward the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. For a thicker crust, pre-bake the crust for about 8 minutes before topping. Top, then bake till toppings are hot and cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. For thin crusts, bake for 4 to 5 minutes, then top and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or till toppings are as done as you like.
Remove from the oven and loosen the edges of the pizza with a table knife or heatproof spatula. Carefully lift it onto a cooling rack; you can serve it right from the pan, if desired, but a cooling rack helps to keep its bottom crisp. Serve hot.