I know what you’re thinking, what in the world is unfed sourdough starter? Unless you’ve learned about making sourdough from scratch, you’re probably out on a whim here. But don’t you worry because I’m about to give you all the deets!
For a while I’ve been interested in bread making. I’ve heard people say they love it or they hate it. All this over proving or under proving, getting the texture right, it’s not light and fluffy or it’s too dense and chewy. There are many, many, many ways to make bread, and yes, there’s so many factors in which it can go wrong, but sourdough caught my attention and I just had to try.
Being able to literally start your bread from scratch without commercial yeast is crazy! You’re pretty much keeping a jar of dough alive. You have to feed it like a pet. If you asked me if I wanted to take care of that a couple years back I would’ve given you a hell no! But now… ooooh now it’s a different story. You see, I’ve had freshly made bread, bagels, garlic knots, and pizzas, and I can’t go back. My tummy wants all the carbs… well all the yummy ones at least. And this pizza crust I’m sharing is fantastic! It pairs with anything and can be whipped up the same day you decide you want pizza (who am I kidding I want pizza everyday haha). But really, I have this almost every week and have adapted it and put on all the toppings you could think of, and it still tastes great. It’s become my go-to and will be a staple for years to come.
Alright so let’s get to the starter. If you already know about all this, feel free to skip past it! Anyways, a starter is basically unbleached flour & water that has been mixed together & has had the time to reach the perfect fermented state in which you can use in place of yeast. While it reaches that state, you need to “feed” it, meaning, you add the same amount of flour & water as the 1st time you started it off with and mix it in. You’ll have to scoop some out and toss it away before adding more the next day, and the day after that, but after about a week, it should smell just right, like that tangy sourdough bread smell we all love (not gym socks). Then and only then will you know your starter is “ready”.
What I’ve learned is that if you’re not making bread every other day, once your starter is “ready” you can leave it in the fridge and fed it once a week, instead of remembering to feed it everyday & discarding so much of the starter. But this recipe is for all that starter that you end up dumping out! If you’d like a how to on making your own starter I’d recommend getting this book called Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa.
I read a lot online on how to start my own before jumping in, but Emilie makes is so so simple and she has a ton of yummy recipes in there as well. If you’re not too keen on buying cookbooks then I’ll recommend King Arthur’s site where they explain a bit more in detail about starters and how to maintain them with step by step instructions.
UNFED SOURDOUGH PIZZA CRUST RECIPE
- 1 cup unfed sourdough starter
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to the lowest possible temperature.
- If using herbs, with a mortar and pestle, grind down the herbs till powdery.
- In a mixing bowl attached to a stand mixer, scoop in the unfed sourdough.
- Pour in the hot water and whisk lightly.
- Switch to kneading hook and add all the other ingredients.
- Slowly knead until a smooth ball of dough forms (~10 mins). The dough should feel wet, but not stick to the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add water 1 tbsp. at a time. If the dough is too wet, add flour 1 tbsp. at a time.
- Lightly oil an oven proof bowl, and put your pizza dough in, covering it with plastic wrap.
- Turn OFF your oven and place your dough inside to proof till doubled in size (~1-2 hrs.)
- Once the dough has doubled, turn it out on a lightly floured surface & cut into 2-4 equal pieces. Cutting it in 2 pieces will give you 2 large pizzas, and cutting it into 4 will yield 4 small individual sized pizzas.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, lightly dust with flour.
- Once they are rolled out, place pizza crusts on pizza stones (or if you’re like me and don’t have those, place it on a pan lined with parchment paper).
- If you’d like a thicker crust, this is the time for your second proof. Cover your pizza crusts with plastic wrap and let it sit till it fluffs up to the desired thickness.
- If you like thinner crusts or don’t want to wait (also like me) you can now preheat your oven to 450°F & “decorate” your pizza with whatever toppings you like.
- Bake the pizzas for 13-15 mins for thin crusts. For thick crusts, bake the crusts for 7 mins before putting on your toppings, then bake for another 10 mins.
- Serve hot straight off the pan or move to a cooling rack to keep the crust crispy.
*Toppings can be place after the sauce/cheese has been baked as well, like the peach, prosciutto, and burrata pizza shown up up above.
for the peach, prosciutto, & burrata pizza
- 1 out of 4 thin pizza crusts.
- 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Handful of arugula.
- 2 peaches (grilled & sliced)
- 4-5 slices of prosciutto (torn into pieces)
- 1 ball of burrata cheese.
- Salt & peper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 450°F
- Spread the cheeses evenly over the crust & bake for ~13 mins or until the cheese begins to brown & bubble.
- Take it out and transfer to a cooling rack as you place on the toppings.
- Spread the arugula even on top of the cheese, then place the pieces of peach & prosciutto on top, and lastly tear the burrata over the whole pizza.
- Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper, slice and enjoy!
*All opinions in my written posts are entirely my own, the links above are NOT affiliate links.