Commercial yeast, as we know it today, wasn't available until the mid-1800's. Initially, from what we know, all breads were made with "sourdough", meaning it was fermented with "wild yeast and lactobaccili. Commercial yeast prevails today because of it's consistency, long shelf life and ease of use making it ideal for home use. However, using a sourdough starter adds another depth to recipes. If you want to take a journey to the wild side, I highly recommend you dig in and learn about all things sourdough. Go visit sourdo.com.
We're going to revisit Roberta's cookbook (if you haven't already, grab a copy) and produce a pizza dough with a sourdough starter. A sourdough starter adds another level of planning your pizza dough. We are talking several days before it's ready to consume. But the level and depth of flavor that is added, will be well worth the wait.
If you don't have a starter available, think of visiting a baker friend or a local bakery that uses a sourdough starter. They'd be happy to share with you. If not, ask a friend. Take that friendship to the next level.
Create Some Love,
To keep things simple, we made a basic no-cook tomato sauce and topped this naturally leavened pizza with a duo of cheeses, fresh mozzarella and grated aged-provologne. We preheated our Baking Steel for one hour at 500F, with the steel on the top rack. When it came time to bake, 4 minutes on convection bake then we switched to broil to finish her off about 2 minutes.
Recipe : Roberta's Cookbook
250 Grams Bread Flour
8 Grams sea salt
8 Grams olive oil
150 grams lukewarm water
95 grams sourdough starter
In a bowl, thoroughly combine the flour and sat and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the olive oil and luke-warm water and mix in the starter. Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry mixture and begin mixing the two together with your hands, gradually incorporating the dry into the wet. This process will be more like mixing than kneading. After about 3 minutes, when the wet and dry are well combined, set the mixture aside and let it rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. This allows time for the flour to absorb the moisture.
Flour your hands and a work surface. Gently but firmly knead the dough mixture on the work surface as needed. The dough will be moist and sticky, but after a few minutes of kneading it should come together into a smooth mass. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, shape them gently into balls, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Or lightly oil round plastic containers and place inside covered. Refridgerate the dough for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours before using. This process, called proofing, allows for the fermentation that gives the dough structure - which means a chewy, pliable crust - and flavor.
This recipe will yield 2 - 240 Gram rounds of dough.