I know, it's been a while. And I think of some really good reason why my posting has become more infrequent than thunderstorms in Seattle (more on that sad fact later). This time I have a really really good reason, I mean, really good, as to why I am once again allowing myself to be backlogged. I was sickest I've been since my bout of Swine Flu (pardon me, H1N1) last year. What began on Saturday as a sore throat and a stomach full of angst transformed into a full-blown "can't get out of bed" sickness. On Monday, I couldn't lift my head off my pillow. When I made phone calls to my mom and work, I had to gingerly set the phone on my ear and squeak as loud as I could to try and make my little voice heard. Hopefully I pulled at your heart-strings enough and you'll forgive me for my slip-up.
The original date of this photo is so prehistoric, I think dinosaurs pondered over the artistic value of it. That's right - I took this photo in early September... of this year! I made this pizza dough the second time I was going to hang out with who I am now happy to call my group of friends. Friends, consider this your official shout out. I had met Matt though Nick (who I know from U of Michigan). While I met technically Julie and Christine at the same place I met Matt, I barely did, so it doesn't count. Matt introduced me to Julie, Christine, Aaron and David when we went out one night to Barca in Capitol Hill. We all realized (except for Julie and kind of Matt) we were all new to Seattle, we liked each other and make a very good decision to be friends and hang out that coming Sunday. At said Sunday pizza making/game playing night I was introduced to Gabe, Christine's boyfriend. Phew, get all those 6 degrees of separation from Mr. Bacon?
Anyways, I made some pizza dough to use for the pizza decorating part of the gathering. This photo does not do it justice. While it doesn't have the stereotypical tang of sourdough, it did have a depth of flavor that most doughs don't have. It also had a wonderful texture. I was able to stretch one batch of dough into two large thin crusts pizza's - and even the thin crust had a nice crunchy chew to it. The best part of this recipe? It uses the discarded cup of starter from feeding the sourdough starter! That's a win in my book!
Sourdough Pizza Crust
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 1 cup sourdough starter, unfed (straight from the fridge)
- 1/2 cup hot tap water
- 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 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 till smooth and slightly sticky, about 7 minutes at medium speed using a stand mixer with dough hook. Place the kneaded dough in 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.
- 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.Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it's as thick as you like. For thin-crust pizza made from 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. Once you make it a couple of times, you'll figure out what time frame works for you.
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450°F.
- 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 keep its bottom crisp. Serve hot.