“Keep Calm and Make Pizza“
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved pizza. I remember asking my mom for a few dollars so I could go the the strip mall near my elementary school and buy a slice at Trevi’s on my lunch break. My favourite is a New York style Pepperoni and Cheese; simple and so tasty. When we were in Florence during our Honeymoon, we had the real deal at Pizza Napoli. It was very romantic, especially the heart shaped pizza the cook made just for me then proceeded to wink, wave and smile at me from behind the counter, those crazy Italians!. We laughed it off.
If you’ve read my past couple of entries, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been quite excited about my new project: Bread Making. It’s something I’ve wanted to learn for a while. I began my sourdough starter in the Spring and after much trial and error, it finally bubbles and rises as it’s supposed to and I’ve been baking Rustic Sourdough Country Loaves or simple Sandwich loaves on Sunday for the week.
This past weekend we kept busy enjoying the sunshine (we never know how much Summer is left here on the coast) and we attended a wonderful concert by Nigerian Afro-beats artist REMA. I thought a simple pizza dinner would be best for one of these busy days and I’ve been reading about using Sourdough Discard (the dough you throw away between feedings) for making food aside from bread. Discard can be used for noodles, pierogi dough, biscuits and yes, Pizza dough!
You Will Need:
- 3/4 cup warm filtered water
- 1 Package of instant yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 cup sourdough discard
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 to brush around the crust
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour
- Toppings of your choice
Note: This recipe is for one extra large pizza. You can split the dough into two and make two medium pizzas. I made one medium pizza and saved the other 1/2 of the dough in the fridge and made another pizza a few days later. The dough can also be frozen for a future pizza night.
- Put warm water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top.
- Add in the sourdough discard, sugar, salt, olive oil, cornmeal and flour.
- Mix them well with a wooden spoon then knead for about 10 minutes.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 550º Fahrenheit.
- Sprinkle some flour onto a pizza pan and stretch the pizza dough out and press it lightly with your fingertips until it is the size and thickness you’d like it. Don’t roll the dough with a rolling pin! This will pop all of the little air bubbles in the dough giving you a chewier, denser crust. If you want light and crispy, just press the dough with the pads on your fingertips.
- Top with desired pizza toppings and brush the outer rim with a bit of olive oil.
- Bake for about 14 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. This time will vary based on how thick the crust is and how large the pizza is so watch it closely.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, slice and serve.
Our favourite toppings are fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, oregano, artichokes, salami and olives. Get as creative as you wish.
Thank you for joining me today and I hope you’re having a wonderful Summer (or Winter) wherever you are.
Until next time.