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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Homemade Pizza, made with Sourdough

Who does not love Pizza? I know that it is a great favourite with everyone in my family. I have been wanting to try my hand at making homemade pizza dough for a while and somehow never got around to it. Today was going to be the day when I finally did. I searched through a number of recipes, but could not find any that used sourdough. In that case there was only one thing to do; make my own adjusted recipe from what I've read. I will give you alternative steps for using yeast as I walk you through the steps, allowing you the option of selecting what works best for you.

I start by measuring two cups of flour (500 ml) into a mixing bowl.

I add 1/2 a teaspoon (2,5 ml) sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon (2,5 ml) of salt. Mix the dry ingredients well.

I then weigh 100 g of my homemade sourdough starter, which I add to the dry ingredients.
Alternative 1: Instant Yeast - Add this to the dry ingredients and mix it in. Half a packet ought to be enough.
Alternative 2: Active Dry Yeast - Add the sugar to the tepid water and sprinkle 1 packet/2 teaspoons of the yeast on top. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then add the oil to the liquids.

With my sourdough starter in the dry ingredients, I measure 2/3 cup of lukewarm water and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. This is added to the bowl and everything is mixed together.

Mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Add a spoonful of flour at a time if it is too runny, or a spoonful of water at a time if it is too dry.

Once the dough has come together into a ball, sprinkle some flour onto a work surface and knead it well for about 10 minutes.

Coat your mixing bowl with oil.

Put the dough ball in to bowl and roll it around so the dough is also covered in oil. Cover it with plastic and let it rest in a warm dry place until risen.

Once it has risen, knock it back, knead for another 10 minutes and form into two balls. This should give you two large pizzas.

I decided to make only one extra large pizza and stretched the dough out according to my needs.

I sprayed non-stick spray on a baking tray and then sprinkled flour onto it to keep the pizza from sticking.

I then worked my pizza into the shape of my baking tray.

What you choose for your toppings will probably vary vastly from my choices, but I'll share it with you anyways. I did not have time to make a tomato puree to cover the base with, but fortunately I found this ready made sauce in the fridge and used that.

Spread the toppings evenly over the base, allowing some distance from the sides.

I followed the tomato base with two generous blobs of crushed garlic.

I then added about a 1/4 finely chopped onion.

This was followed by a whole finely chopped sweet pepper.

I did not have fresh mushrooms in the house. Huge pity! But I found some tinned ones in the kitchen cupboard. This is not a first choice, but they would have to make do.

I got some fresh baby spinach from the garden. This was finely shopped and sprinkled onto the pizza.

My herbs were also harvested in the garden and finely chopped.

Not having any mozarella in the house, I had to make do with grated cheddar cheese. I prefer a mixture of the two cheeses, but this experiment would certainly teach me to plan ahead!

I took a quick photo of what the pizza looked like before I added the cheese.

I did not have any meat at the ready that could be used on the pizza, but nobody would complain if I added some biltong!

The pizza was finally ready to go into the oven. Preheat the oven to 220°C and bake for 15-20 minutes. Smaller pizzas may need about 5 minutes less.

Take the warm pizza out of the oven and slide it onto a cutting board.

Cut with a pizza cutter or sharp knife and eat while it is still hot.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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