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Archive for July 10th, 2009

sourdough pizza with chorizo, parma ham, red onion and chillies

After the success of the last sourdough pizza, Erika suggested having it again one night this week. Friday is definitely the night for pizza as not only is it the end of the week, but it takes three or four days to get the sourdough starter refreshed and the dough mixed in preparation.

My sourdough starter is getting towards being a year old. The bread it makes is wonderful and I’ve had some real successes since its birth: in fact I stopped baking any commercially yeasted bread for ages. It amazes me that the natural yeast living on the flour is enough to raise bread and result in a wonderful, soft loaf that stays fresh for days. A variation in the types and quantities of flour can yield light and airy white bread for sandwiches or dense rye bread which is perfect with some ham or strong cheese.

He’s been a bit neglected recently (yes, my starter is part of the family) and when I took him out the fridge he smelt rather iffy. I ended up taking just a teaspoon of the starter and mixing it with a small amount of flour and water. Two refreshes later it still wasn’t as active as I’d have liked but I was out of time and had to make the pizza dough. This meant that it was a bit sluggish rising, but thankfully after two days in the fridge there had been some activity and we set to work making the dough.

With the oven cranked up full, we created a simple tomato sauce using the same recipe as last night – garlic, diced onion, halved cherry tomatoes and some dried basil. A few minutes in the pan to soften then it was blended to make a smooth sauce. I topped my pizza with slices of chorizo, parma ham, red onion, red chilli and mozzarella; Erika had sweetcorn, red onion, mozzarella and more cherry tomatoes.

The base wasn’t as crispy as the last time which was a little disappointing but the pizza was delicious all the same. Erika was a bit disappointed as hers went a bit soggy due to the sweetcorn and tomato – a lesson here is to try and remove as much liquid as possible from your toppings in order to stop this from happening. Regardless, this is a million miles from your average takeaway pizza and despite having to get prepared a few days beforehand it is well worth the effort.

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