Friday, October 10, 2008

pizza = sourdough discard crust

Almost anyone who is a sourdough baker at some point realizes that they have to stop throwing away their "discard" because it is such a waste of flour! I started a sourdough discard jar, which is not fed like my primary starter jar. I just dump my discard starter into this big old jar and shove it to the back of the fridge. But I'm always looking for something, anything, to do with this stuff. I've done pancakes, I am going to try english muffins, and today I decided to make pizza crust.
I put 1 cup of discard starter in the bowl of the stand mixer, then added about a 1/2 a cup of water, a teaspoon of kosher salt, a teaspoon of dry yeast (which I probably didn't need to do) and start adding bread flour. I ended up with about a 1:2:4 ratio of water to starter to flour (in other words about, 1/2 cup of water, 1 cup of discard starter and 2 cups of flour). I kneaded it on 2, then upped it to 5 on my KitchenAid for about 7 or 8 minutes, until the dough was smooth, satiny and still a bit tacky, but definitely clean from the bowl.
I divided this into two balls and covered with a tea towel for about half an hour to rest while the oven was pre heated to a blistering 550, with a baking stone placed on the middle shelf.
I have no skill jerking a completed pizza off of a peel, so generally, I stretch my crust and place it onto a piece of parchment on the back of a sheet pan/cookie sheet. I then add my toppings. (I used this technique: flatten into a disc, then balance the disc on the back of my knuckles and stretch with my thumbs, only stretching the outer inch or so. The crust rarely tears and is surprisingly even and thin...the way we like it.) I can then easily slide the parchmented pizza onto the stone.
I think I should have either pre-baked the crust for a few minutes, or just put the sauce and pepperoni on first, and then added the cheese during the last few minutes, because the crust, although cooked through, didn't get that good char and slight crunch on the edges.

But....the flavor was super good. Pretty tangy. I'm definitely writing this one down and putting into my weekly used recipes binder!


DaNella Auten said...

Intresting... My question is how do you get a starter?? I would love to bake some sourdough.

Hi my name is DaNella. I am a pastor's wife in Columbiana Alabama.


stephanie j. said...

Hey DaNella! Thank you for visiting my little blog. I'm always amazed how people find me, and the neat people that I have found through this crazy blog world. My hubby is in the USAF, so we have been down to Montgomery a few times to Maxwell for various schools. I'm not sure where Columbiana is, though, in relation to Montgomery.

Back to sourdough! I have only been a sourdough baker for about 3 months now, but I'm hooked on it. I've been an earnest breadbaker for about 3 years, though, and it kind of helped having a working knowledge of how bread "works", if that makes any sense.

I found a few great sourdough websites and just figured it out myself. I grew my own starter from scratch (a wild yeast starter, which means I started it literally with flour and water, catching wild yeast from the air, rather than including dry yeast in the "mother" batch).

The best way to get a starter though, is to find someone who has one and ask them for a little bit. 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup is generally enough to get you going!

But if you are adventerous, as I am about cooking, it's really really fun to do it yourself. It was kind of a neat lesson for my two little girls, too.

Here are some great links:

This site is not "pretty" but is very informative:

this is the site which provided the method I used. It is a super great resource for all things bread-related: --

This site has VIDEOS! which have proven very helpful, as I am definitely a visual kind of gal:

And finally, King Arthur Flour's website has great info too, and you can even order a live starter:

With any of these methods, prepare to spend some money on flour at first...because it may take a couple of weeks of adding/throwing out/adding/throwing out. You will feel very wasteful, but now I don't waste any, and I have a way to make bread without commercial yeast, the way the old miners did in the 40's. Kind of cool.

God bless you and your husband in ministry!


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