This is the first installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!
Make if you have: sourdough starter, pizza toppings
Makes 6 8-inch pizzas
Although this recipe is perfect for all skill levels, there are two things you should know about it before you begin. First, the dough takes 24 hours to proof in the refrigerator and about 1 1/2-2 hours to proof after you shape it. If you’re making this for a Sunday night dinner, I suggest starting the dough in the early afternoon on Saturday. Second, this recipe calls for sourdough starter. If you’re not familiar with it, I suggest you look it up online! You can start your own or ask for some from someone you know. The sourdough starter is the leavening agent in the crust, so it’s crucial to the dough.
1 cup sourdough starter
4 1/3 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Sauce/cheese/toppings of choice
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine the water and the active dry yeast, mixing until it is dissolved. Pour the water, olive oil, and sourdough starter into the flour mixture. Mix with a spatula, or your hands, until the dough just comes together and there is no more visible dry flour.
Put the mixed dough into a clean bowl, seal with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. After 24 hours, take the dough out of the refrigerator and dump it onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes until it all comes back together and is a bit smoother.
Using a knife, divide the dough into 6 even portions. To shape into rounds, move your hand in a circular motion while pressing your palm into the dough. This may take a little bit of practice, but the dough is forgiving! If it gets too sticky, use a little bit of flour on your hands or on the counter. Place the rounds on a floured surface and cover with a clean towel. Let sit for about 90 minutes, until relaxed and risen a bit.
Preheat your oven to the highest setting (mine was 475 degrees F). Place an upside down cookie sheet onto a rack in the middle of the oven while it is preheating. This will act as your “pizza stone”.
When the dough is ready, shape your pizzas. Make sure to use a good deal of flour so the dough does not stick to any surface — if you have cornmeal, that works well. Once you are ready to top your pizza, I suggest that you do so on a generously-floured cutting board. When your pizza is ready for the oven, carefully slide it from the cutting board to the cookie sheet. If this sounds too daunting, top your pizza directly on the floured upside-down cookie sheet and place it in the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until your crust is golden brown and your cheese is bubbling!
If you’re curious about sourdough starters, I suggest checking out the following step-by-step guides:
Recipe adapted from Patrick Ryan’s No Fuss Sourdough Pizza