Sourdough Pizza - No Refridgeration
Okay, this may not be a big breakthrough for more experienced pizza crust makers, but I just got my very best sourdough pizza crust ever by not refridgerating the dough at all and leaving the it out for 20 hours. I've been experimenting with my sourdough pizza crust for a couple of months now (once a week), honestly as a way to use up starter. Therefore, my goal was to use my stiff (about 60% hydration) starter as a large part of the dough. Here is my recipe:
Recipe serves two if you eat a lot like my husband and I, or four if not. About 8 traditional pizza slices.
Yes, my amounts are weird, but I adapted them from a commercial yeast pizza dough so that I could use 25% of it as starter. All I did was shred up my starter into the flour, add the water and work the dough, adding the salt about halfway through (a la Bertinet). I put it in a covered bowl overnight, then stretched and folded it in the morning. I was worried because the dough was very, and I mean VERY, sticky, but I used 3 tbsp of flour during this process. I then stretched and folded again (also using 3 tbsp flour) a couple of hours later, and then one more time about two hours before baking, for a total of three times. The dough remained sticky the whole time - even as I shaped it into a pizza. After topping it, I baked it at 450 degrees for 22 minutes and it was definitely not the dense overly-chewy sourdough pizza crust that I had been making up to this point! It was crisp on the outside with nice large holes (One of these days I'll take the time to figure out how to post pictures!), and had the depth of flavor that I have only gotten from sourdough.
I'm sure that the resting times will be shorter when my kitchen is no longer in it's 65-69 degree winter range. Also, I have no doubt that dough refridgeration will be a possibility, but I haven't refined the method yet. I just wanted to post my first real successful experiment and welcome any input. I'm planning on trying to increase my flour amount in the beginning to cut down on the sticky factor, but for all I know one of you out there has it all figured out already!