One of our family’s favorite main dishes is pizza, and there’s nothing like basil pesto on a sourdough pizza crust!
For the last four months I have done a lot of experimenting with sourdough, at least weekly, and sometimes, a lot more! It’s so amazing to me that with just a few modifications, you can create a variety of food with simple variations on a basic recipe. One of the first things I tried to make with the sourdough start, after making the bread, was to make some pizza dough. You do need some sourdough start for this recipe. If you don’t have any, haven’t bought any on-line, or don’t have access to a sourdough start through a friend, you can go here to learn how to easily create your own sourdough start with just 2 ingredients!!!
There are a few great things about creating food with sourdough in general. One great thing about baking with sourdough is that I don’t have to use commercial yeast anymore. It cuts down costs, and it’s a natural way of capturing yeast. I also love that sourdough is healthier to eat because the nutrients are easier to digest as some of the starches have already been broken down in the soaking and fermenting process.
Some people with gluten intolerance can actually eat sourdough bread (seek a physicians advise first). And eating fermented food is great for your body in general, including yogurt and sauerkraut, for all of those great pro-biotic benefits. If you want to read more, I suggest reading what Kitchen Stewardship has to say about sourdough.
This is a recipe that requires some thinking ahead since you soak your bread overnight. I do like thinking ahead the night before and putting my pizza dough together early. I do it right after dinnertime the night before when I am cleaning up. When I get to fixing dinner the next day, it really does make me feel like it’s not a whole lot of work because so much has been done the night before.
The Verdict: I love the flexibility of sourdough! Go here to read about how to make the classic sourdough bread. We love this recipe and use it often to make bread sticks and calzones, too. This pizza is my favorite main dish with the basil pesto on it!!
As an aside, last week I was able to meet another blogger for lunch, Serena, from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch. So fun to meet and talk with another food blogger! Check her out for more recipe ideas! I made this recipe for the lunch, but in calzone form, and also made this recipe into bread sticks. **Updated 3/14.
- 1/4 cup sourdough start. Go here for the easy start recipe.
- two cups of white whole wheat flour (I use Trader Joe's; I know this works with white flour, but we aren't using it anymore, and I get good results with the whole wheat white flour.)
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 t salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Additional 1/2-1 cup of white whole wheat flour
- Combine 1/4 cup of your sourdough start with two cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of water, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Leave in a glass bowl on your counter (if it's a cold winter's night, you may want to leave it close to a heat source) for 16-17 hours covered with plastic wrap. I have used the dough after about 12 hours, and I really don't notice a difference, but may be it's less sour. It will look similar to a sponge, like the picture below, with all of those nice bubbles after the massive hours.
- After the 16-17 hours, add the olive oil, mixing it in your bowl. Add the additional flour, stirring in 1/4 cup at a time, until your dough is no longer sticky.
- Cover your dough, and let the dough rest in a warm area for one hour.
- After the hour, if you are using a baking stone place it in the oven at 500 degree for twenty minutes. If you are using a regular baking pan, you can place it in the oven, too, but the heat doesn't keep as long, and you may need to bake your pizza longer.
- While your baking stone is heating up, place your dough on a floured surface, divide into two balls, and roll out two pizza crusts.
- Take out the baking stone after twenty minutes, and carefully place your dough on the baking stone. Top with your favorite sauce (see pesto recipe below), veggies, meat, and/or cheese.
- Cover the edge of your crust with additional olive oil for a softer crust, otherwise the exposed parts of the crust can dry quickly.
- Turn down the oven to 425, and bake for 12 minutes, checking after 10 minutes. When your cheese is slightly browning, the pizza is done.
- 2 cups of loose fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (sub nutritional yeast for dairy-free)
- 1/3 cup walnut or pine nuts, optional
- 1 T garlic (or more as desired: fresh, minced, or powder)
- Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until you receive the desired consistency. I like it a little chunky, so I watch it carefully.
- You can store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze with a layer of olive oil on top for up to 6 months.
Want other sourdough ideas?
How about Sourdough Doughnuts?
How about Crock-pot Sourdough Caprese Pizza?
Want to know how to make sourdough bread in the crock-pot?