My sourdough starter experiment turned out well. It is very active and happy, and I have named it Harriet. I am still figuring out how the best schedule for feeding and learning how to use it. I don't love sourdough breads, so this is kind of a weird experiment for me. But it's all about learning, right? I have done this pizza crust a couple of times, and it worked really well. It is adapted from "The Bread Bible," by Rose Levy Berenbaum. The hardest thing about sourdough so far is knowing how long to let it rise. The first time made this I mixed up the dough at about 11 AM and made the pizza at 5 or 6 PM, and it had not doubled, but was light and fluffy enough to spread right out on the pan and it made a beautiful crust. The second time I made it I tripled the recipe and let it rise once overnight and it definitely doubled, then I split it in thirds and put each piece in seperate bowls in the fridge during the day and pulled them out about 1 hour before (we meant to take it out even earlier but forgot) and it rose only a little in the fridge, and it was hard to spread it out when the dough was cold, so I would not let it rise in the fridge again. And I of course used my new scale, and this size batch makes just enough for my 14-inch pizza pan.
SourPizzaDough (or PizzaSourDough)
100 grams starter
176 grams flour (I used some all-purpose flour and bread flour)
100 grams water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
approx. 20 grams olive oil
Combine starter, flour, water, salt and sugar. It will be sticky and messy and crazy. If you find it unmanageable, let it sit for 10-20 minutes, then try kneading and folding it a little more. Scoop the dough into a clean large bowl and pour the olive oil over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for a few hours. I find it helpful to fold the dough over itself to incorporate some of the oil after an hour or so, to make the dough smooth and easy to handle. When you are ready to form the crust, pour any more excess oil from the dough bowl onto the pizza pan and smear it around. Plop the dough on top and gently spread it out. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melty and toasty and the crust is brown on the bottom as well as the outside crust.