The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Pizza on Christmas Eve

texasbakerdad's picture

Sourdough Pizza on Christmas Eve

Christmas has been busy with activities so far. I am trying to stay disciplined and post my bakes, because I am finding the posts useful when I am trying to plan future bakes. I am going to post 3 blog posts today with the different bakes over Christmas I want to keep notes on.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on who you ask, I am short on time this morning, so I will try to keep the posts brief.


  • 100g Spelt
  • 200g Hard Red Wheat
  • 1100g AP
  • 120g starter (8.5%)
  • 35g salt (2.5%)
  • 70g Honey (5%)
  • 980g Water (70%)


  • Mixed dough the night before to shaggy mess leaving out the starter, waited 10 minutes
  • Smeared starter over top and worked into dough, kneading very lightly, just enough to evenly distribute the starter
  • Let dough to ferment on counter for 1 hour then stretched and folder 4 or 5 times and then stuck it in the fridge to retard the fermentation.
  • In the morning, about 9am, pulled out of fridge and set on counter.
  • Stretch and folded every hour until about 3pm.
  • 3pm, preshaped, then waited 15 min.
  • Shaped into pies in 3 stages, with 5 minute rests in between to let gluten rest. 1st stage, slightly flatter than an english muffin. 2nd stage, thick 8 inch pies, last stage 10-12 inch pies. (I didn't really rest 5 min, I had 9 pies, so I would do each stage on all 9 pies and then start back over on the first for the second stage, probably more like 2-3 minutes).
  • Topped and loaded into oven 450dF for about 12 minutes (non-convection).


  • My dough was lumpy, I didn't understand why until I made the same mistake 4 days later while making bread bowls. I poured honey directly onto my flour and it solidified into little balls that had to be hand smooshed... I should have dissolved he honey into the water first, or at least added the honey on top of water instead of dry flour.
  • The pizza and crust was amazing with regards to taste, and rise, and crumb, and cornicione. But, many times I have made pizza, I have been able to throw the pizza in the air to shape, I find that process so much fun, AND, when the dough is like that, the kids can shape the pizza without having to worry about messing it up. Once again, this dough was too difficult for a kid to work with. I need to figure out what I can do differently to make the dough easier to work with. On this bake, I was hoping the reduction of hydration to 70% and the addition of spelt would have gotten me there, but it did not, those changes definitely helped, but not enough. Maybe I will try an even lower hydration next time. I am open to advice on this.

Just showing off some Christmas gifts I made.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Cool, we also had pizza on Xmas Eve - I made enough dough for 10 pizzas! Barely fit in my biggest mixing bowl. Three were leftover and were frozen. I just follow Maurizio's recipe and bake on steel, pizzas are always amazing. Yours look very good! I forgot to take any pictures this time.

And very cute measuring spoons, I'd be delighted to receive something like that!

Benito's picture

Good looking pizzas!

idaveindy's picture

You said the dough was too dificult for a kid to work with.  But did you mean it was too stiff or too loose?

Adding more spelt and reducing water work in opposite directions, I would think. Increasing % spelt would make it more loose / extensible. Reducing water would make it stiffer.

Well, I guess it depends on whether it was white spelt or whole spelt, and whether the spelt is replacing some of the whole wheat flour or some of the AP flour.

texasbakerdad's picture

"But did you mean it was too stiff or too loose?"

Too soft and pillowy. The addition of the spelt helped make the dough more extensible, which was good, I wasn't fighting the dough into shape like I had the previous pizza day.

But, I don't know how to properly describe it. Maybe some youtube videos would help.

The dough was like the 70% hydration dough in this video:

Very very nice dough, but so supple that it takes an experienced hand to work it. Stretch it to fast or too unevenly and the dough rips.

But, it is more fun when the kids can join in on the pie shaping fun, so a dough like in the video below would be better on certain occasions.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

To be 100% correct this one was lunch on Christmas day. We had four pies on Christmas eve, with one leftover dough ball. 


texasbakerdad's picture

Thanks for sharing the pie photo. I don't travel much, I have never been to Illinois, Italy, or New York, so my exposure to different pizza styles has been via different restaurants that claim to properly mimic different styles.

I have to say, I have never eaten a pizza that looks like yours. I mean, it looks like a margarita pizza, but with a thicker crust than I am used too, less basil, and darker sauce. Is your pie trying to imitate a particular style or locale? Just curios and wanting to learn. I heard the pizza's in Italy are very different than what most American's expect.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Just my take on a NY margarita pie. My crust is actually pretty thin. 

peacecow's picture

We also had pizza Christmas eve! Your pizzas looks very good. We're not as creative with toppings. I'm guessing lower hydration would be easier for the kids to work with. I also tried using 00 flour for the first time, and I think that made the dough very elastic and easy to work with.