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.