Friday, July 20, 2012

Sourdough Surprises #5 - Sourdough Pizza

It's amazing all of the different things that sourdough can do. Which is what makes Sourdough Surprises so much fun!

This month's endeavor was a fun one, because it was a very simple recipe, but one that allowed for a lot of creativity in execution. This month we made pizza!

We found a sourdough pizza crust recipe that comes together super quickly and easily - simply combine sourdough starter, oil, salt and flour!

I started out stirring the ingredients together, and then kneaded it until it was a beautifully, smooth dough.

Now, as it happens, I decided to try out this sourdough pizza for family picnic on July 4th. So in order to make sure we had enough pizza for everyone, I decided to make two doughs. So, in addition to the sourdough dough, I also made a batch of my standard pizza dough, figuring that we could compare them  evenly.

Now, as you would imagine, the yeasted (commercial yeast, that is) dough rose more than the sourdough one (that's the sourdough in front, in the bowl with the pink handle).

I was a bit more surprised, though, to feel the difference in the dough. The sourdough crust dough was more delicate to work with, more prone to tearing if not handled carefully.

Our goal was to make six small pizzas, each big enough to feed one or two of us. That's the sourdough crust stretched on the front of that pan, and the standard one in the back.

Oh, and to make this a bit more fun (and challenging), and, you know, since many of us tend to barbecue on July 4th, we decided to cook our pizzas on the grill. For the first time ever (for us, that is).

The process took a little bit of getting used to, and was a little bit stressful at times, seeing as you have to be pretty careful with timing, but it worked out beautifully.

And deliciously.

The dough cooked amazingly, and we finally figured out how to get the cheese and toppings melty and delicious without burning the bottoms too badly!!

The result was a delicious pizza barbecue that was as tasty as it was fun.

And the funny part was that most people at the table couldn't tell the difference between the sourdough crust and the traditional one.  I could taste a bit of the sourdough tang, which worked really nicely, I thought, with our variety of toppings.

And we made sure that there was a little something for everyone - from veggies to meats, even a Mexican inspired pizza.

But I wasn't quite done. I wanted to have a go at baking the sourdough crust, too, to see how it tasted from the oven, rather than from the grill.

And, once again, I made two pizzas, side by side, to compare.

As with the first time, the sourdough pizza crust took a little bit more time to stretch out, but, again, just like with our grilling experience, the pizza cooked up beautifully.

And once again, the family couldn't remember which pizza had which crust!! For the record, I thought that the sourdough pizza crust was a bit crispier in this baked version than it's commercially-yeasted oven-mate, which I actually loved. 

So what kind of pizza did you make? Link up and show us!

Sourdough Pizza Crust
(from Sourdough Home)

1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour (I used the combination of 1 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat)

Combine all ingredients and work them together until you have a smooth dough. I added the flour slowly. If the dough is too dry, add additional starter. If you don't have enough starter to do so, simply add water, slowly, until your dough is soft.
Once the dough has been kneaded, allow it to rest, covered, for half an hour.
When the dough has rested, roll it out to your desired shape and top as desired. Some choose to par-bake the crust before topping - the choice is yours.
Bake your pizza in a very hot oven. 450 degrees is what the recipe suggests, but some go hotter. The pizza bakes, usually, in about 15-25 minutes, but watch it carefully.


  1. Every one of those toppings looks delicious! What fun your 4th of July barbecue must have been with everyone making their own pizzas.

  2. I love making grilled pizza but you're right, the timing can be tricky. The first time I tried it, we were eating burnt pizza 2 hours later... heh. Yours turned out beautifully and they all look so good! What a great idea for a party :) Love the comparison between yeast and SD too - to be completely honest, I have a hard time tasting the sourdough in anything I've made so far (maybe I just have a really mild culture?). Great post Shelley :)

  3. Awesome job!!! I love the comparison between sourdough and yeasted doughs, that was great thinking! :) Also, delicious looking pizzas, and how fun that everyone got to make their own!!

  4. YUM, Shelley! What a gorgeous selection of pizzas! I tasted a bit of sourdough tang in mine too & also thought it worked really well. A lovely recipe. :)

    I love the idea of cooking on the grill. I'd never considered that as an option. Your results look so great, I must give it a go!

  5. Awesome grilled pizzas, Shelley! So colorful and I can almost smell the smokiness! I think they could barely tell the difference because they were grilled, and the smoke dominates the palate..just my guess. Regardless, I loved taking part, even though I was a bit late *sigh*


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