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Monday, 19 December 2016

Baking Quick Pizza Using A Sourdough Starter

I love pizza, but I seldom order mine from the shops. Sometimes, though, I simply do not have the time to wait for dough to rise. That is when today's recipe is absolutely wonderful. I show you how to mix your own pizza base in no time at all and then give you some ideas for toppings, although I hate being pedantic about this, as everyone has their own likes and dislikes. With not needing any time to rise, this pizza base is sure to be a favorite with the whole family.

To a large mixing bowl, add 3 cups (750 ml) cake flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon (7,5 ml) salt and 1 tablespoon (12,5 ml) sugar. Mix the dry ingredients well
Option 1: If you are not using a sourdough starter, you can add a packet of Instant Dry Yeast to the dry ingredients.

Add 1 egg, 200 ml lukewarm water, 1 cup (250 ml) sourdough starter, and 75 ml olive oil to the dry ingredients.
Option 2: If not using the sourdough starter, add a packet of Active Dry Yeast to the tepid water and sugar and allow 10 minutes to froth up.

Bring the dough together.

Knead for roughly 10 minutes into a pliable ball.

Divide in two.

Roll one of the dough balls out. You may prefer the traditional round pizza. I seldom make these and prefer to roll rectangles that fit on my baking trays. This is a matter of personal choice and will not affect the taste in any way.

Transfer the dough to a baking tray that has been prepared with non-stick spray and coated with flour. Prick the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles from forming.

Pre-bake the dough in a preheated oven at 200 °C for about 10 minutes. Do not leave the dough to rise, unless you prefer a thick base. Not giving the dough time to rise, results in a very thin crust pizza that has all the flavour of the thick base pizza.

Coat the pre-baked pizza base with tomato paste.

I then add a thin layer of garlic.

This is followed by finely chopped onions.

Fresh tomato slices and gherkins follow next.

I add a bit of tang with Jalapenos.

I then add a mixture of fresh herbs from the garden, including spinach. All of this finely chopped up. If you don't have fresh herbs, you should add the traditional Italian herbs, namely parsley, oregano and sweet basil.

I then added some chicken mayo I had left over from a making sandwiches the day before. The second pizza received roast beef slices that had been chopped up, as I was catering for someone who did not eat chicken. This was the only ingredient difference in my two pizzas, although you may have to make greater variations to accommodate everyone's likes and dislikes.

I did not have any mozzarella in the house and simply covered the pizza in grated Cheddar cheese.

I then crumbled some feta cheese over the pizza.

The pizza went back in the oven at 200 °C for another 15-20 minutes.

The beef pizza when it was ready.

The chicken mayo pizza when it was baked.

I also want to share this idea with you from another time that I made pizza for the family. I make a wood fire in the kettle braai. I then place an oven dish on the grill and the baking tray with the pizza goes onto the oven dish. This creates a slight barrier between the fire and the pizza so that the heat is not as direct. The result is a slightly smoked flavour in a pizza that tastes as if it had been prepared in a traditional woodfire pizza oven, or as close as you could possibly come to the real thing without actually using a traditional pizza oven. Try it, you won't regret it. You are still looking at a cooking time of 10-15 minutes, unless your braai is very hot. This particular one baked roughly 10 minutes at 240 °C.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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