Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Every Friday night for many years now, it has become a tradition in my home to have pizza. Although it is becoming harder to keep this going now that the boys are in high school, we still manage to at least have it on another night of the week.
I have worked on this dough recipe for quite some time and even to this day I find myself modifying it. I hope you find it as enjoyable as I have. I love the crisp and yet chewy crust, the secret is the use of sourdough starter and whole wheat flour. I'm assuming that you already have a sourdough starter (if a recipe is required I will add it on at a later date).
This dough does take time to develop but it is worth it at the end. You can either start the night before or feed the starter the morning of. Then I proceed with measuring out my other ingredients (flours, water, and salt). The process of the dough is pretty simple mix, bulk fermentation, and finally divide and get ready for the pizza.
Initial stage of mixing is to place the flour, water and starter in good size bowl and mix with a sturdy spatula or a wooden spoon. When it has come together to some extent, I then proceed to mix with my hand. Don't be alarmed the dough is a kind of wet and sticky. Stop when it has been formed into a ball( but looked really rough and really not developed at this point). I then proceed with covering it with a kitchen towel and let it rest at room them but the warmest part of your kitchen for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I proceed to add the measured out salt and the rest of the water. Mix by hand until it comes together and all the water has been incorporated into the dough and you should end up with a smoother dough than you started. At this point you should be able to form it into nice round dough( gluten development is taking place and there is more structure to your dough).
You will at this point allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. When the 30 minute is up, you start the process of stretching and folding of the dough ( visualize your dough into four quarters, you will grab each of these sides one at a time and pull and bring into the center of the dough, when done cover with towel and let it rest for 30 minutes). You will do this for a total of 3 hours....Hint I always keep a piece of paper near by or a post it to keep track of my time, its very easy to loose track at least for me haha.
Turn your oven on to bake at 500 F or as high as it will go. I usually let the oven run for an hour with my baking stone or baking still. I usually do this a little after the last stretch and fold, this way it gives the surface that I'm using to get ready and hot.
After the 3 hours has passed, I lightly flour my countertop and place the dough onto the countertop and lightly dust the top of the dough with flour. Now you can proceed with dividing the dough into 6 equal parts and form it into tight round balls (if more flour is required, don't worry add a little at time, you do not want to add so much that it will ending up toughening your dough) . At this point you have two options, you can let it rest on your counter top for 30 minutes or keep it covered in a dish of your choice in the refrigerator. If you choose the latter, I typically take the dough out at the same time I turn the oven on( let it sit any where between 30-45 minutes at room temp before proceeding to shape). When ready to proceed with shaping your dough follow these steps.....
1) on your lightly floured surface and your hand lightly floured, proceed with flattening the dough into a flat disc.
2) working from the center of the dough push with your fingers outward while trying to stretch it into a disc. Don't get discouraged if the dough gives you problem at this point, let it rest for 10 minutes and proceed (don't fight the gluten).
3) if you feel comfortable, you can pick the dough up and move you hands along the edges. This will allow the gravity to pull the dough into either a circle or sometimes I end up with an oval. Don't fret if its a little misshapen its homemade and it will be delicious either way.
Enough about the dough lets proceed with the marinara sauce. I like to keep it simple at this point given how much time and effort has been put towards the dough. It can be as easy as using your favorite pasta sauce or the option I always opt out for is to cook some fresh ingredients and add some jar pasta sauce. I love the element of fresh tomato,garlic and basil will add, YUM!
Gather the rest of your ingredients: you can proceed with what I used on this particular pizza or come up with your creation. I used pepperoni, sausage, ham, red onion and green bell pepper. If its in the summer time I like to add thinly sliced jalapeños. It seems like the only thing I'm capable of growing in my yard, everything else gets ambushed with all critters( squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks to name a few). It really upsets me but as I'm writing this I'm seeing the humor :)
Sordough Starter 200g
wholewheat flour 100g
00 pizza flour 900g
Sauce: tomato sauce of your choice