Sourdough Crust Pizza

Over the weekend I decided to apply my doughvember mojo to the challenge of feeding and entertaining a house guest. I may have been a little lax on the bread-making front this week.

After feeding my starter, I cheated a little bit and used my bread maker to make and proof the dough. Despite having had this breadmaker through my grand sourdough adventures, I had never combined the two before. It definitely felt like cheating, but I’ll be doing it again, since it entirely solved the problem of keeping dough warm enough to rise in my really cold kitchen. (I didn’t take any pictures of that process. Next time!)

I used this recipe for sourdough pizza crust as my starting point. I liked that it was adjustable. Based on my experience of how much dough the breadmaker produces, I adjusted the recipe for 3 12-inch pizzas, and actually made 2 that were somewhat larger than that.

After the first rise (in the machine), I divided the dough into two balls. It did not rise very vigorously; I may be pushing it a little harder than it would like. Then rolled/squished/shaped each ball into a round, and placed them on parchment paper dusted with cornmeal (because I have a stone but no peel, and parchment paper is the best).

At this point they got about 45 minutes for a second rise, though it was cold in the kitchen and they didn’t rise much. Luckily that’s less of a problem with pizza than bread. Our house guest was vegetarian, with a preference for pesto pizza, so Mr. Pie made a Thai basil chimichurri/pesto hybrid for one of the pies, and a fresh tomato sauce for the other. He declared it the ‘most homemade’ pizza he’d ever made.

the carnivore's pizza
Mr. Pie’s meat pizza, complete with face-melting home pickled jalapenos.

Vegetabletastic pizza. I particularly enjoyed the way the kale got crispy, and the cheese-on-top-of-toppings strategy. Mmm, cheese.

I may have fallen victim to some flying by the seat of my pants while cooking these. I did not have the oven hot enough, and the crust could have cooked a little longer. It has been a really long time since I’ve made pizza, apparently. Still, despite the imperfections, there was none left at the end of the night, and I would have eaten several more slices. While it didn’t rise particularly well, the dough tasted fine and held up to the shaping pretty well. We will definitely be doing this again!

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