Like many people, I decided to learn how to make sourdough bread during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. I made my starter, fed it twice a day for a week, and then every day for another week. The Sourdough Bread Starter has been used to make excellent Sourdough Bread, and you can follow our approach by clicking on those recipe titles to access our recipes. If you decide to make sourdough, it is quite time consuming and a labor of love. We think it is certainly worthy of the time and focus. If you decide to take this on, extra sourdough starter is inevitably created, because you will "discard" the surplus sourdough starter frequently. We now store our surplus, sourdough "discarded" starter in the refrigerator and use it in a few recipes like this one. It makes a very nice pizza dough.
It is helpful to have a large stand mixer and a pizza stone to prepare this pizza crust in the oven, but it is optional if you don't have them.
1 cup of Sourdough Starter that is unfed and surplus, and you can access that recipe easily by clicking on that recipe title
2-½ cups 00 flour (this is a typical Italian flour used for making pizza dough, pasta and bread)
½ cup of lukewarm Water
½ teaspoon of Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon of Salt
teaspoon of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon of dried Italian Herb Seasoning
1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1-½ tablespoon of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
In a small bowl, add the yeast, the sugar and the water and set them aside for about 5 minutes. In the large bowl on a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, the salt, the Italian herb seasoning, the black pepper, and the garlic powder. Once the dry ingredients have been whisked together, add the starter, the water/yeast/sugar mixture, and the extra-virgin olive oil. Using a dough hook on the mixer, turn the mixer on and knead it for about 7 minutes. The dough should combine into a ball around the hook, and the sides of the bowl should be relatively clean.
Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover it, and set it aside for about 3-4 hours to let it rise to about double in size.
We enjoy a very thin pizza crust. When the dough has risen, divide it into 4 pieces if you prefer a thin crust. If you want to make a thicker pizza crust, then divide it into either 2 or 3 pieces. Regardless of the number of them, roll the pieces into individual balls. The dough is ready to use right away, or it can be stored by individually wrapping the dough pieces/ balls in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to a week. It is best to remove the dough from the refrigerator about 3-4 hours in advance of when you plan to make the pizza. Once the dough has come to room temperature, heat the oven to 450 degrees F. If you have a pizza stone be sure to put it in the oven now. Use 2 pieces of parchment paper to flatten the dough--putting a piece of the parchment paper on the bottom, your dough ball in the middle, and then the other piece of parchment paper on top. Use your hands to begin to flatten the dough. While it is unconventional, consider using your rolling pin to finish the process of thinning out of the pizza dough, while still in the parchment paper. Once the dough is at the thickness desired, place it on a pizza pan that you have sprayed with a light coat of olive oil cooking spray.
From here you can top with your favorite sauce (red sauce, white sauce, pesto sauce, olive tapenade, are good examples) and then add your favorite toppings (pepperoni slices, hard Italian salami slices, cooked Italian Sausage, mushrooms, onions, fresh or sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, garlic, olives, pepperoncini, or what ever you would like). Start the pizza by cooking the dough with only the sauce and the toppings for about 5-7 minutes before adding any cheese. Be sure only to coat the dough lightly with the sauce and be sure not to put too much of the toppings on the pizza. After the pizza has cooked for 5-7 minutes, remove it from the oven, and now add your desired cheeses to the top (these could include mozzarella, provolone, asiago, Romano, and I always top my pizza with a sprinkle of parmesan). Cook it further for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and melted. We enjoy adding some dried oregano and red pepper flakes to our pizzas before serving.