Following on the track of “I have sourdough starter, let’s use it” I decided to try the pizza crust recipe that came in the booklet from King Arthur Flour when I first bought the starter. We make our own pizza from time to time and I’ve tried to always make my own dough (rather than store bought refrigerated or other). However, I’ve never really found a dough recipe I really like. They are all okay but nothing over the top. I can recall one I did like but I must have never saved it or written it down as I can figure out what it was or even where I got it from.
But all that might change with this crust. It was a pretty darn good crust. I always hate to say that it was “better than expected” as it makes it sound as if I expected something bad but it exceeded my expectations. Which, honestly may not mean much as I really didn’t know what to expect.
Aside from the time required to let it rise, this was a pretty easy dough to make. And even then, the letting it rise part isn’t hard but just requires proper planning from a timing perspective. I messed that up a bit. The time it took from putting everything in a bowl and putting the crust in the oven was between four and five hours. That did not include letting it sit for an hour after getting it in the right shape. I missed that part and by the time I got to that step, it was getting late and I didn’t have the time to let it rise again. So I put it in without letting it rise and it turned out fine. Great even.
The only change I made to the recipe was using three teaspoons of Italian seasoning instead of the four reasons of pizza seasoning (whatever that is – probably sold by King Arthur Flour).
The picture at the top is what the crust looked like after getting it shaped but before it went in the oven. The picture at the bottom is the final product – a half sausage/half pepperoni with black olives and a sausage, mushroom and black olive.
Sourdough Pizza Crust
1 cup unfed sourdough starter
1/2 cup hot water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
4 teaspoons of Pizza Dough Flavor
Combine all ingredients. I used the stand mixer with a dough hook followed by a little kneading. Let rise in a slightly greased, covered container until doubled – about two to four hours depending on how vigorous you started is. (Mine must not have been very vigorous as it went about four hours).
Divide the dough in half and shape into two flattened disks. Drizzle two pieces of parchment paper with olive oil. Place on dough disk on each piece of the paper. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Gently press the dough out into 12″ circles. If it springs back, let it rest another 15 minutes before trying again (mine stayed on the first one).
Cover dough and let rise to your desired thickness, about an hour with fresh starter. I skipped this step.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven and let it preheat. I used two air bake cookie sheets.
Once preheated, bake crust for four to five minutes. Remove from oven, top with toppings and bake for an additional eight to ten minutes. Since I was doing two pizzas, I rotated top and bottom racks.