Sometimes when you make pizza at home you have to go all out with a high hydration, 24+ hour rise dough and homemade sauce (from your own tomatoes) and the fancy pepperoni from Whole Foods and pull out all the stops for a resulting pan pizza that will make you wonder if you should probably open your own pizza joint because, gosh darn it, the pan pizza (recipe here) you just made should not be kept from the world. And sometimes you just want to use a little leftover sourdough starter up, a little leftover canned Trader Joe’s marinara, and you happened to remember to buy shredded mozzarella and pepperoni.
This is that pizza. The recipe I used was from King Arthur Flour but with more water so I have listed the updated recipe below. The crust doesn’t get super brown because sourdough changes the pH of the dough but if possible, you should bake on a stone or in cast iron because it will help the bottom brown. This post showed the difference between baking in cast iron and a standard cake pan which makes all the difference in the world here.
If you don’t have a 12-inch cast iron pan in your arsenal? A pizza stone or a pan placed directly on the pizza stone may work. Or parchment paper on a pizza stone if you use the higher hydration. Or go get yourself a 12-inch cast iron pan already.
I did not use the preheat the pan then try and plop a pizza in a blazing hot pan method. I stretched the dough in an unheated pan with plenty of olive oil, topped it and then put it in the oven waiting for the top to brown a little. I probably could have left it in there for even longer but I got hungry. It smelled so darn good.
One of my favorite parts of the recipe is that it makes enough for two 12-inch pies (my second ball of dough went in the freezer with the rest of the shredded mozzarella, pepperoni and some sauce!) or you can make one larger square pizza with all of the dough. If I’m making pizza dough these days, I like to make enough to freeze some for the next time my husband suggests pizza for dinner which is at least every other week! In our house, pizza gets served with a simple green salad with chickpeas and an Anchor Steam on the side.The best part about this recipe is that you can use unfed sourdough starter which is great for those of you who might have starter but forgot to feed it however many hours in advance you need to. Or even for those of you who have “discarded” starter after feedings. See the King Arthur recipe for way more details than I give you below which only tells you how I made my pizza.
Recipe: Sourdough Pizza Crust (originally from King Arthur Flour)
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed (straight from the fridge is fine)
3/4 cup hot tap water (do not overheat water as it will kill the yeast)
2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1. Stir sourdough starter and measure 1 cup into mixing bowl. A stand mixer with a dough hook works great for this soft dough.
2. Add ½ cup of the hot water and the rest of the ingredients. Mix to combine, then knead, adding the additional water (and more as needed) until dough is smooth and slightly sticky, about 7 minutes at medium speed using a stand mixer. Dough should easily come away from the side of the bowl. If it’s still sticking to the bowl, you may have too much liquid and may want to sprinkle in a little flour and continue kneading.
3. Pick up dough and oil the bowl then return to the bowl for a rise. The dough should double in bulk, about 2 to 4 hours. If your starter is not used often, this rise will take longer and if you regularly use your starter it should take less time.
4. When dough is doubled, divide in half if using a 12-inch pan. Reserve half the dough or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. With the other dough fold it in half to deflate then coat the bottom of a baking pan liberally with olive oil, and place dough in the pan. Gently stretch the dough to the edges of the pan.
5. Preheat the oven to the highest setting, for me this is 525-Farenheit. Let the stretched dough rest for 15 minutes while the oven preheats.
6. Top the rested dough and pop the whole thing in the oven. Bake until the edges are browned and the cheese is brown and bubbly, 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!