Last Updated on December 28, 2020 by Fiona
An Easy Sourdough Pizza Recipe with Sourdough.
Having recently joined the growing number of people making their own sourdough bread, I’ve been busily feeding and discarding my starter for the last week or so. And, I’ve been just a little shocked. All that gloop going in the bin – it seemed wasteful to me. So, I’ve searched the internet for a solution and found a wealth of ideas to use up the sourdough discard.
Ever wondered how that posh sourdough pizza base comes from? Well, I have an answer – it is easily made from the discard starter perked up with a little extra flour and olive oil. I’m sure commercial pizza-makers don’t use the leftover starter from bread-making. But, for a small household like mine, it’s a great solution and one which is closer to the origin of pizza than you might imagine.
Pizza as we know it today is an evolution of early bread making, from before the days of commercial yeasts. Wiki talks about a number of early precursors – round cakes like pita bread that were topped with vegetables and appeared in the Aeneid (ca 19 BC), a flatbread called Plakous that was flavoured with herbs, onion, cheese and garlic and enjoyed by the Ancient Greeks…or even Persian soldiers baking flatbread on their battle shields in the 6th century BC. Of course, there were no tomatoes at that time, so it wasn’t that much like the type of pizza we eat today. Even in 16th Century Naples, Pizza was really an affordable streetfood. By the mid 17th century, pizzas were topped with oil and tomato – and had become a delicacy. The Pizza Margherita, garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to represent the national colours of Italy was created by a Neopolitan pizza maker in honour of Margherita of Savoy, the Queen Consort of Italy at the time.
In fact, there are very few rules about what you need to top a pizza. Even tomatoes are not necessary – Pizza Bianca, for instance, is NEVER made with tomatoes and usually includes a mix of mozzarella or other cheeses together with ham, vegetables and olive oil. I still use pizza as a way to use up scraps of vegetables, meat and cheese in the fridge and I have to confess I’m rather taken by the idea that I can use scraps of sourdough starter too.
Here’s another set of toppings – you add a handful of rocket or arugula right at the end while the pizza is still piping hot so that it just wilts a little but still has texture.
Here’s how to make your own rustic style pizza. This one is the right size for four moderate eaters or for two really hungry people. And, it’s a great way to make use of your sourdough discard. If for some reason you are not making sourdough bread, then simply substitute 7g of fast-acting yeast and increase the quantity of flour to 400g.
Sourdough Pizza Recipe
- 150 g sourdough discard
- 250 g white flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 dessertspoon olive oil
- 1 tsp honey or caster sugar
- 125 ml warm water
- 1/2 red onion finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp tomato passata
- 1 tomato
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 2 slices parma ham or similar
- 12 olives stoned and sliced
- 1 ball mozzarella
- 2 tsp olive oil
- vegetables of your choice - mushrooms, peppers, courgette etc
- Salt and pepper
- Put the flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix
- Make a well in the middle and add the sourdough starter, oil and honey (if using)
- Use a fork to pull in the flour, then add warm water till you can form the mixture into a dough
- Knead on a floured board for 10-15 minutes or using the dough hook of your mixer for 8-10 minutes
- Cover and leave to rest for at least an hour until the dough has doubled in size. This may take up to 4 hours. It's safe to leave the dough out for up to eight hours until you are ready to bake.
- When you are ready to bake your pizza preheat the oven to around 250c
- Take the dough and roll out or stretch into one or two rounds on a sheet of silicone baking paper
- Smear the top of the dough with passata
- Sprinkle over the minced garlic
- Layer on the remaining vegetables leaving the sliced fresh tomato till the end.
- Top with shredded ham and mozzarella and season with salt and pepper
- Slide the baking paper onto your pizza stone or steel or onto a large baking sheet
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melting and the edge of the pizza is golden brown
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