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Monday, May 4, 2020

Sourdough Pizza Dough

This is a "no-knead" recipe for a delicious pizza crust that you can prepare ahead of time and freeze. It is an overnight process, but it requires very little hands-on attention. This makes enough dough for 8 individual pizzas measuring about 10-12 inches in diameter. This recipe was developed weighing each ingredient in grams.

1100 grams of bread flour (approx 8½ cups)
200 grams of freshly feed and active sourdough starter at 100% hydration (approx 1¼ cups)
600 grams of water (approx 2½ cups)
100 grams of olive oil (approx ½ cup)
20 grams of salt  (approx 1 tablespoon)

The Day Before...
  • Sometime in the morning feed the Sourdough Starter.
  • Feed your starter using your normal method. I keep my starter at 100% hydration. This means I use equal parts of unfed starter, water, and rye flour as my preference. You can use your own flour preference to feed the starter. When the freshly fed starter has doubled and is nice and bubbly, you are ready for the next step. Mine usually takes 2 to 4 hours to reach its peak, then I put the starter back into the refrigerator until I am ready to make the dough in the evening.
Make the dough...
  • I like to mix the dough sometime in the evening, after dinner.
  • Remove the starter from the cold fridge and take out the 200 grams of starter you need for the dough.
  • Add the starter, water, and olive oil to a very large bowl and whisk to combine. I use a Danish Dough Whisk to mix my doughs.
  • Gradually add the flour and salt. Mix with a dough whisk or a fork to form a rough dough, then finish by hand to ensure the flour is fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • After the dough has rested, gently work the dough into a semi-smooth ball, being careful to not over knead. This should only take about 15 to 20 seconds.
Bulk Ferment Overnight...
  • Cover the bowl of dough with a loose lid or a lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave on the kitchen counter overnight.
  • In the morning, you will have a beautiful bowl of fully risen dough.
The Next Day...
  • Shape the pizza dough balls.
  • In the morning, generously flour the counter surface, scrape the dough onto the floured surface, and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces weighing about 250 grams each.
  • Gently shape each piece of dough using a rounding motion between the palms of your hands until you have a smooth ball.
  • Wrap each dough ball in a piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap.
  • Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer.
  • Once the dough has frozen, remove the dough balls from the cookie sheet and place them in a large ZipLock freezer bag. 
  • Place them back in the freezer until you are hungry for a pizza.
  • If you want to make pizza now, leave one of the dough balls out of the freezer.
Making the Pizza...
  • Remove a pizza dough ball from the freezer to let it thaw (or use the dough ball you didn't freeze). I usually let the frozen dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight and leave it there until just a couple of hours before I want to bake.
  • When the dough is totally thawed, oil a medium-size bowl, remove the plastic wrap and place the dough in the bowl to rise at room temperature.
  • Room temperature dough will take about 60 to 90 minutes to double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 450 to 500°F.
  • Lightly grease your pizza pan with olive oil.
  • Place the dough on the pizza pan with well-floured hands.
  • Gently stretch the dough out toward the edges of the pan. 
  • The dough will be very elastic, but if you let it rest for a few minutes you should be able to stretch it out to fully cover the pizza pan. Keep your hands floured so that the dough doesn't stick.
  • Gently prick the surface of the dough with the tines of a fork to prevent too many air pockets from rising when the pizza bakes.
  • Top the pizza with your favorite pizza sauce and toppings.
  • Place the pizza in the hot oven and bake for about 17 to 20 minutes.
  • Check for doneness by looking at the bottom of the pizza. If it's a nice golden brown, it's done!
Enjoy! ¡Buen Provecho!

Number of Servings: 16 servings in total. Each ball of dough will make one 10-12 inch pizza.

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