Simple Sourdough Pizza Crust

by - October 14, 2020

Sourdough Pizza Crust

Sourdough Pizza

Sourdough Pizza

Sourdough Pizza


I have been trying different Sourdough Pizza Crust recipes with different hydration.  The dough didn't turn out so well with the low hydration recipes.  This is a medium high hydration recipe prompted by a recommendation from an Instagramer (Carlos Dalmeida) to follow Alexandra's Kitchen recipe.  And true enough her recipe works!  This Sourdough Pizza crust recipe is adapted from Alexandra's Kitchen with some modifications.

I finally managed to achieve the crust that we are looking for.  This Simple Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe yields a good crispy outer crunch with that light and soft bouncy chewiness inside.  This is as good as we can hope for out of a home oven I think. 

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Simple Sourdough Pizza Crust


Yields:  2 Pizzas (9 inch)

Total flour:  300g + 30g (from levain) = 330g
Total hydration: 75.7%

INGREDIENTS:

Levain (60g):
20g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
20g bread flour
20g water

Pizza Dough:
300g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour) 
6g salt 
10g olive oil
220g water (please hold back 30 - 40g and add in later as each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently)

Pizza Topping (Margherita Pizza) for 2 pizzas
6 Tbsp pizza tomatoes sauce
50g grated pecorino/parmesan cheese (I used pecorino)
100g mozzarella cheese (recommended to use buffalo mozzarella)
6 anchovy fillets in olive oil, cut into small pieces
8 cherry tomatoes, slice
Some extra virgin olive oil

METHOD:
  1. Levain - 6.00 pm
    1. Mix all of the ingredients for levain.  Cover and leave it to rise until tripled in size at room temperature (28C - 30C). It took about 2.5 - 4 hours.  
  2. Mix the dough - 9.00 pm
    1. Dissolve levain and water in a mixing bowl.  Add in olive oil, salt and flour.  Stir with dough scrapper then mix until there is no more dry flour with hand.  Transfer the dough into a greased bowl.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes (RT at 25C - 26C in aircond room)
  3. Stretch and Fold (S&F) - 9.45 pm
    1. S&F 1 – Fold about 6 - 8 times. Your dough will be quite weak at this time. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
    2. S&F 2 – Fold about 6 - 8 times. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
    3. S&F 3– Fold about 6 - 8 times. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
    4. S&F 4 – Fold about 6 - 8 times. By this time, your dough should be smooth and strong. Cover and rest for 8 - 12 hours in aircon room (24C - 25C).  If you prepare the dough in day time in warm room temperature, it should take 3 - 5 hours to double in size.
  4. Portion and shape - 10.00 am
    1. By this time, the dough would have risen double or triple.  Transfer to a floured counter top.  The dough should be sticky.  Dust the dough with some flour and cut into 2 equal portions with a scrapper.  Shape the each portion into a rough ball and rest for 1 hour on the counter top.  
    2. If you are not going to bake the pizza soon and plan to bake few hour later or next day, place the dough in a container with cover and store in the fridge.  Take out the dough one hour before baking.  
  5. Shaping and Baking - 11.00 am to 12.00 pm
    1. Preheat the oven together with the pizza stone / cast iron pan or baking tray inside (in the upper 2/3's of the oven) to 250C (fan-forced) for at least 60 minutes before baking.  I used cast iron pan.
    2. After one hour of resting, transfer the dough onto a parchment paper (11" X 11").  Gently press the dough ball into a 9 inch round dish. 
    3. Spread about 2 - 3 tablespoons of tomato base sauce.
    4. Transfer the dough onto the hot baking tray with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.  Half way through baking, remove the parchment paper. This is to make sure the bottom is evenly cooked without sticking.
    5. Remove the pizza with a pizza scrapper from the oven.  Spread the remaining toppings as desired and drizzle with some olive oil before returning into the oven.  
    6. Further bake the pizza for another 3 minutes (without the parchment paper).
    7. Remove from oven and transfer to cutting board and portion the pizza into 6 pieces.




TIPS I learnt from Carlos Dalmeida:
  1. Set the oven to 280C/550F or the maximum your oven allows and preheat 1 - 3 hours before baking the pizza.  But, I preheated oven for just 1 hour.
  2. The baking pan/stone should be in the top 2/3's of the oven.
  3. Reduce the water by 30g - 40g from 220g is called for in this recipe if you are in a humid climate.  If the dough gets too dry you can always add more water later.  I did not reduce as I used Japanese High Gluten Flour.   Usually, higher protein flour absorbs more water than lower protein flour. 

GENERAL NOTES:

Schedule:
The schedule and times provided below are just a rough guide that worked for me.  Please adjust the timing according to your own schedule. 

Baking:
Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

Hydration:
The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

SOURDOUGH STARTER

A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  

There are so many ways and methods of how to maintain the starter.  Below is my method of starter maintenance.  This is just for your reference. Please try and find a way or schedule that works best for you.

I bake almost everyday.  So, my starter is left at room temperature and I feed it twice a day  at its peak when it is tripled.  

Example
10.00 am - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 27C - 28C
9.00 pm - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 25C - 26C 

I feed a very small amount of 1g starter + 10g water + 10g flour if I am not baking, so that I will not end up with too much discard.  When I bake, I feed the starter accordingly to make up the quantity required by the recipe to be baked. If I know that I won't be baking for a few days, I will then feed it only once a day at 1:1:1, transfer to the fridge when it is doubled, and feed again 24 hours later.

If you do not bake daily or if you bake perhaps once or twice a week, then you may place your starter in the fridge and feed once a week.  But, you will need to refresh your starter around 2 days before the baking day. There is no way around this, sourdough baking takes planning! 

How I judge my starter is healthy?  My starter usually tripled in size (or at least double) in within 3 - 4 hours at room temperature (27C - 28C) for feeding ratio of (1:1:1 = starter:water:flour)

When is a starter at its peak?  My sourdough starter is usually at its peak when it is tripled in the jar. The surface of my starter looks bubbling and uneven.  The starter will not collapse when you tap the jar.  If the starter falls it means it has already past its peak.  It usually stays at its peak within 30 - 60 minutes before it starts to reduce/fall.  

Why use starter at its peak?  This is when the starter is most active and it will result in a better rise for your bread in general.  By the way, you can use when it is doubled/before its peak too.  But, not it starts to fall.

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10 comments

  1. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐ŸปThank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, I can keep the dough in the fridge for how long after the S&F 4? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I let the dough ferment after S&F 4 for 8 - 12 hours first then only I portioned and shaped the dough before storing in the fridge.

      To be honest, I use it after several hours and never store for more than one day. But, according to Alexandra's Kitchen can store up to 3 days.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  3. Hi, is the dough supposed to rise during the 1 hour on the kitchen table after I remove it from the fridge? And how many does this recipe serve? I’m looking to make for a big family, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi thanks for reading this recipe and your questions. The dough will rise just a little bit. Please refer to the diagram 13 and 14.
      This recipe yields 2 Pizzas (9 inch) as mentioned on the above recipe. You may double up the recipe.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  4. Hi YL! Would like to ask can I freeze the pizza dough if I’m keeping it for more than 3 days? Also, if I were to keep the dough in the fridge, do I still need to leave it on the counter for 1 hour after portion and shape before keeping it into the fridge? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for reading this post.

      To be honest I never tried freezing the unbaked sourdough bread dough. I am not too sure how it will work. But, you can retard the dough in the fridge for up to 2 days or maybe 3 days.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  5. Hi Paws,
    I really, really like all your recipes. They have been such a tremendous help to me. Thank you so very much! I need to buy your book but I can't seem to find the link. I also have a question with regards to the sourdough pizza. Is there a way of using the mixer for the Stretch and Fold. It would be so helpful when making more than 2 pizzas. Thanks a million! You are just wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Petra,

      Thanks for following my recipes. The "Low Sugar Bakes and Cake" Cook Book is only available at Popular and Kinokuniya Bookstore in Malaysia and Singapore only.

      I think you can, but you may get the big crumb like this. To be honest I have not tried to using kneading with mixture.

      You are most welcome:)

      Stay safe and happy baking...

      Delete

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