Last week, I posted about getting started with sourdough starter. While I started my starter ostensibly for bread, pizza is what has utterly sold me on the process. I cannot commend this recipe enough, with just a few slight changes I’ll describe.
After trying it several different ways, I think the best crust comes from planning ahead one day before you want the pizza. When you go through the daily discard and feeding ritual, place the discard in another bowl and feed it, just like you do for the main starter, similarly to what I mentioned last week. That should produce just enough “fresh discard” the next day for the pizza recipe and it gives the pizza crust a milder flavor and flakier texture than using several days of accumulation of discard. In sourdough terminology, this is the “levain”.
Doing this the day before, and not just a few hours ahead of dinner, is essential if you want thin crust pizza.
- When you are ready to make it, just take 1 1/2 cups of the day old discard, 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix it by hand until it forms a bit of a ball. Then let it sit for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, break that ball into two and roll each half out as thinly as you can (aim for it to fit comfortably on a large cookie sheet). Place it in the oven without any ingredients for 8 minutes at 500 degrees (F). After 8 minutes, coat the top with oil and then top it with pizza toppings before cooking it for another 8 minutes at 500 degrees.
In trying to get it to be as authentically St. Louis as possible, this seems like a good set of toppings: a hearty sprinkling of oregano on top of the oiled crust, then Imo’s Pizza sauce sweetened a bit with extra sugar to make it more like what you find on the Hill, a sweeter-flavored pepperoni like Hormel and some chopped onion, all covered with a blanket of shredded Provel and sliced mozzarella to finish.
8 minutes later, you will have a pizza you could convince St. Louisans came from some place on the Hill. Seriously.