I have pizza withdrawal. I have not made pizza since I started making sourdough bread.
My first try making sourdough pizza dough…
I made a 2kg batch of sourdough, same as I do for my Tartine Basic Country Bread. After bulk fermentation was complete, I shaped 400g portions of dough into balls and let them bench rest for 40 minutes, whilst the oven came to temperature and I prepared the toppings.
I reserved enough dough to make two more pizzas and stored it in the fridge for a longer, cold ferment. I would normally have let the whole batch ferment for two or three days, but I really wanted to make some pizza the same day, purely for testing purposes…
The cornicione had good flavour. I may have to play around a bit to get the bulk fermentation timing right. The dough balls had good extensibility, but lacked some elasticity, perhaps due to too short a bulk fermentation or too long a bench rest. The dough may have benefited from a second shaping and bench rest to make up for a short bulk fermentation.
The cornicione showed decent oven spring, but I need to work out proper temps and timing with my oven, cooking on a terracotta paving stone. The electric home oven I currently use does not hold a high temperature very well. I may need to move the stones to a lower position in the oven. It is also difficult to get the stone to a high enough temperature to get much colour on the bottom of the crust.
The oven is set at the highest temperature setting and allowed to warm up for 1 hour. Just before I start to stretch a dough ball, I switch the oven to broil. These pizzas were in the oven for between 6-8 minutes.
I may make a couple more pizzas tonight to see how the dough handles after a 36 hour fermentation.
For my next batch, I may turn the dough every 1/2 hour for the first two hours, then store the dough in the fridge for 1-5 days.