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Colombia Sourdough and Sourdough Pizza

JMonkey's picture

Colombia Sourdough and Sourdough Pizza

MountainDog's blog entry on overnight Colombia loaves struck my fancy, so I made a single loaf for the family. What a hit with my family!

I was a bit pressed for time in the morning, however, since I need to have the loaf ready to make sandwiches (I get up at 5am for work, and I work from home). They should have risen another hour, probably, so the crumb was not as open as it could have been, but the loaves tasted fantastic. It's amazing what a small amount of toasted wheat germ and barley malt will do for a loaf's flavor and color.

Earlier in the week, I also made sourdough pizza.

It's easy to do, and, since I made four doughballs, it allows me to bake a couple and then put a couple more in the freezer for another time. All I have to do is put them in the fridge the night before, and then take them out a couple of hours before I'm ready to shape the pies.

Here's how I do it:


  • Whole wheat flour: 60%
  • All-purpose white flour: 40%
  • Water: 80%
  • Olive oil: 5%
  • Starter accounts for 2% of the flour at 60% hydration


  • Whole wheat flour: 420 grams
  • AP flour: 290 grams
  • Water: 572 grams
  • Salt: 15 grams
  • Olive oil: 36 grams
  • Starter: 25 grams

The night before, I first dissolve the starter into the water, and then add the salt and the oil. Finally, I mix in the flours, until everything is nicely mixed. Then, let it rest for about an hour, and then do three stretch and folds with about 20-30 minutes between each. I then cover the dough, and let it rise all night.

The next morning, I see whether the dough has risen enough (8 - 10 hours is usually enough) and then divide it into 4 doughballs of about 340 grams a piece. Two dough balls go into the plastic baggies in the fridge, while the others go in plastic baggies in the freezer.

I remove the fridge doughballs two hours before baking, and shape them into tight balls. I then cover each with a cereal bowl. While they warm up, I prepare the toppings.

Tomato sauce (for two pies)

  • 1 14 to 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • Oregano: 1/2 tsp
  • Basil: 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, diced
  • Lemon juice or red wine vinegar: 1 Tbs

I mix this up, and set it aside, adding salt if it needs it. Some canned tomatoes are already well salted. With the brand I use, though, I usually have to add 1/2 tsp or so.

Cheese blend (for two pies)

  • Whole fat mozzarella, grated: 4 oz.
  • Parmesan, grated: 2 ounces
  • Feta, crumbled: 2 oz

Other toppings are, of course, up to you. I like chicken sausage, black olives and mushrooms, myself. Roasted red bell peppers are awesome. Fresh tomatoes are great (under the cheese), when available, as are fresh basil leaves, added just after the pie comes out of the oven.

Shaping the pie
First, an hour before I'm ready to bake, I insert a stone and set the oven as high as it will go. When I'm finally ready to shape, I generously dust my peel with semolina flour or cornmeal. Then, I make a small pile of AP flour next to where I'll shape. I coat my hands in flour, take a dough ball, coat it in flour on both sides, and then place it on my knuckles. I bounce the dough on my knuckles in a circle, gently stretching the dough with each bounce. When it's halfway there, I place it on the peel, and stretch it all the way out. make sure you stretch the edges apart -- don't stretch across the dough, because the center will be fairly thin and will tear.

Before adding the toppings, I make sure that the pie will move on the peel. Then I add sauce, cheese and toppings and then bake on the stone for 9-11 minutes. I let it cool for a few minutes on a rack before cutting into slices.


dmsnyder's picture

And nice write-up, too, JM!


JMonkey's picture

I've got to say, the work you've been doing lately has simply blown me away. Your baking is now at such an incredible level! It's really inspiring.

Glad you liked the post! Mountaindog deserves the thanks -- those Colombias are something else.

mountaindog's picture

Wow, that crust is gorgeous! I can take no credit, it's Glezer's recipe and you certainaly handled the dough like a pro. I'm curious, what time roughly did you shape the boule vs. bake (i.e. how many hours and at what temp did they proof?). Maybe a slightly warmer location would have saved you a little time in the AM but really they look great.

Next on my list is to try your 100% whole wheat hearth bread.

And pizza, you are inspiring me to make pizza! Haven't made it in years and really should, thanks for the recipe, esp. the sauce. I like to use a little red wine vinegar in my tomato sauce as you do.

JMonkey's picture

I baked it for just over 40 minutes, so I think it's just a function of doing, as Hammelman would say, a "bold bake." But the malt helps a lot. I think later this week, I'll try an overnight version at room temp that uses a much smaller amount of starter -- something like 2-5% of the flour.

I'd like to take credit for the sauce and the cheese, but really, they're from Peter Reinhart's American Pie. Now THAT'S a great book. Have you read it?

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hey JMon

Thats one nice Columbia you baked up mister.  I was curious,  did you go with a short bulk and shape and then a loooooong cool proof as you mentioned on your post to MtDog?  I would love to be able to do this as it would give me another way to be a family guy and bake great bread.  I always think about  this long ferment  method whether it be in the bulk, or shape and rise as a short cut.  If you think about it though it's really a long cut.  I think we might have the advantage of time on our hands as home bakers that the pros don't have.  I also think that this time spent rising slowly might have the greatest effect on the breads flavor.  Trumping even whether your starter is liquid or stiff, fridged or not, even extra builds.  This is just a personal theory and unprovable at this point though.  Looking forward to your thoughts on this.  Thanks

Da Crumb Bum