adventures in bread-making: sourdough pizza

homemade pizza is a favourite of ours - so fresh and fun to put together; and I love that you can use whatever you have lying around for topping. I prefer to make mine with sourdough starter rather than commercial yeast both for the taste and its aiding digestion-qualities. There are so many recipes on the web, and many that use a combination of both sourdough starter and yeast too - this is the one I've modified and find works best:

You will need (for two largish pizzas):

1 cup active sourdough starter (50% hydration)
1/2 cup warm filtered water
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp sea salt
**optional, 1 tsp dried herbs for a herby-crust**

Combine above ingredients in a large bowl. Then with your hands knead until smooth - about 10 minutes) on a lightly floured surface. Let dough rest in a warmish place to rise for 4 hours. Divide dough in two (or more if you're making mini pizzas). Preheat oven to very hot - 230-240'c. Roll into balls and then flatten each into a disk and using your finger tips or a rolling pin, roll out to desired thickness (I prefer mine thin and crispy), transfer to lightly floured pizza tins, stones or trays - and top with whatever fillings you fancy. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until dough is golden underneath and top is well cooked...

Some of our favourite fillings are:

- creme fraiche + sautéed onion + bacon + fresh thyme
- tomato passatta + artichoke hearts + red capsicum + green olives + anchovies + basil leaves + mozzarella
- freshly shredded green asparagus + drizzle of olive oil + salt & pepper
- olive oil + za'atar spice mix (toasted sesame seeds, thyme leaves & dried sumac)
- pureed tomato/onion + minced lamb + sprinkle of ground cinnamon & sea salt
- olive tapanade + thin slices of zuchinni + goats cheese + fresh rosemary
- caramelised onions + grilled red capsicum + black olives + provençal herbs

Tell me, do you like making your own pizza? what are your favourite toppings?

(and yes, if you look closely, these photos are from our old kitchen in France!)