I made pizza dough with my sourdough starter with a recipe from the New York Times. Probably the best I have made so far. I like my pizzas thin, with some crispness in the center and a chewy crust. The starter made it possible. I used to not bother with the process of dough making – the frozen dough at Bay Cites and the fresh dough from Trader Joe’s have always made great pizza. Then I found out about the finely milled Italian “00″ flour, which is used in the King of All Pizzas: pizza from Naples. I used it to make dough from A16: Food + Wine and Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy It Live La Bella Vita and Look Great, Too! (Teresa Guidice might be tacky, but at least she is an Italian American from Jersey who actually speaks Italian).
Both doughs are delicate, and easy to stretch thinly. Teresa’s dough had a crisper, more cracker-like crunch due to the higher amount of olive oil in the recipe. Both are fantastic and easy to make. Then I got into sourdough starter. The starter produced the best waffles I have ever had. The presence of the slight sourdough tang makes me eat them plain – they are so good without butter, syrup, nutella…I must make pizza dough with it!
The recipe is easy. Like all breads, read the recipe before beginning, and plan ahead to allow enough time for the proofing/resting. A great thing about pizza dough, is it freezes very well. Make a lot, place each dough in a plastic zip-lock and freeze. Defrost in the bag on top of the refrigerator for maybe 1 hour or so.
The dough consists of the starter, Italian 00 flour, all purpose flour water and salt. It is very easy (click on the recipe link above). Combine the water and starter, add to the flours, let rest, then knead by hand or in the standing mixer with a dough hook for 5-7 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes a smooth ball.
Let rest for 3-4 hours. Form the dough into 4 or 5 balls, and let those rest in the refrigerator for 48 hours, at least 24. I let them rest for 24 (impatient bread baking in action) and made made wonderful pizzas with 2 of the balls, and froze the rest.
Like the waffles, these pizza doughs are totally worth the time and effort to make your own starter and dough. They were easy to stretch thin, with a thicker crust. The crust had nice air bubbles, making a tangy, chewy crust. The center of the pizza was crisp and absolutely wonderful.