California Pizza with Sourdough Crust
This is post #3 about sourdough so far this week. We’ve looked at how to make a really rustic and tangy sourdough bread, and then how to use up leftover starter by making yummy sourdough, cheddar, and rosemary crackers. Here’s another way to use up leftover sourdough starter: pizza crust!
It’s hard to think of sourdough without thinking of San Francisco, so I thought I’d create a California-style pizza with sourdough crust, a hint of salsa flavor in the sauce, spinach, and lots of avocado. We make pizza a lot, and this is one of my all-time favorites. And it has my little girl’s stamp of approval, too – she ate 2 1/2 pieces grown-up sized tonight!
Printable Version Here
California Pizza Ingredients
1 c. unfed sourdough starter
2 1/2 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 – 3/4 c. warm water*
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cane sugar
Pizza Sauce & Toppings
2 T. tomato paste
6 T. warm water
4 T. jarred salsa
1 packed cup roughly chopped spinach, rinsed
1 Hass avocado, sliced
3 c. freshly grated monterrey jack cheese (about 1/2 lb)
cornmeal to dust
*My starter always tends to be on the thick side, so I needed an extra 1/4 c. of water.
I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to make this dough; if you don’t have one, you can make this just as easily with a spoon and your hands.
1. If you have active dry yeast, proof the yeast for 10 minutes in 1/2 c. warm water. Skip the proofing if you have fast-acting or rapid-rise yeast – just sprinkle the yeast into water, stir, and move on to #2.
2. Stir the proofed yeast water with the olive oil, starter, sugar, and salt.
3. Stir the flour into the mixture. If the mixture seems dry, add the remaining 1/4 c.
4. Knead the mixture until it is smooth, or use your Kitchen Aid’s bread hook attachment. I used speed 2 for 4 minutes.
5. Cover and let it rise for 3-4 hours. The longer it rises, the more sour the flavor.
6. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450.
7. Stir together your sauce – the tomato paste, water, and salsa. Substitute 1/2 c. of your favorite pizza sauce if you prefer. Double the sauce to 1 c. if you’re making two pizzas at the same time.
8. Roll the dough half into a roughly 12″ circle. If it seems too sticky, add a bit of flour.
9. Move the dough to a corn-meal coated pizza peel or unrimmed cookie sheet if you’re sliding the dough onto a hot pizza stone. Otherwise, just bake it on a cookie sheet. (I fold the dough into quarters to move it on to my corn-meal coated pizza peel and then I unfold it).
9. Smear with sauce and cover with cheese.
10. Working quickly, slide the pizza onto the pizza stone in your oven (or just pop the cookie sheet in the oven if you don’t have a pizza stone).
11. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until the crust is just browned on the edges and the cheese is bubbly.
12. Top with avocado slices, spinach, and enjoy!
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