Level of difficulty: quite easy
The Jim score: 8/10 for the anchovy one, 9/10 for the meat one (this is because if chorizo were personified, The Jim would marry chorizo).
As Dave well knows I have been fighting the sourdough fight for what feels like centuries. My starters kept dying, smelt like cheese or rancid beer. There was night time baking (waiting until 1am for the dough to rise), baking where the bread was as solid as a brick and baking when I thought it was cooked but on opening had that stodgy, raw, decidedly uncooked texture. So after a lot of whinging from me, Dave counselled me and was charitable enough to send me some non-stinky starter and since then Bernard (the starter) and I have been firm friends creating more than a handful of successful baking weekends. I feed him regularly and only give him pre-boiled tap water. So far so good.
It was with trepidation that I embarked upon this challenge. For over a week there was a lot of careful looking after Bernard as I prepared for ‘The Monday Night of Pizza Making’. Bernard was fed, watered, put somewhere warmer, fussed with, stirred, worried about and fed again. Nights were spent discussing flour quantities and Bernard’s health with The Jim (who was already asleep).
And so to the challenge. It ended up that I reverted to my bad habit of winging it a little. I read a lot of different recipes and in the end went for a kind of mixture of how long to prove the dough for and what quantities to use, but I suppose it’s loosely based on the pizza recipe from Classic Sourdoughs and I enjoyed this fellow’s video.
The quantities below made 4 pizza bases.
1 cup of (spoilt, waited on hand and foot) sourdough starter
4ish cups bread flour (I used 3 and a bit cups of white flour and a cup of wholemeal flour) – this is also dependent on the viscosity of the starter – Bernard is like a thick pancake batter.
Couple of table spoons olive oil
1 teaspoon table salt
So pizza dough topped, they went straight into the oven and I didn’t dare open the door again (for fear of letting out the heat) until they’d been in for 10 minutes. I checked, then left them in a little longer (I hate a sloppy middle). And after about 15 minutes total, out they came for eating.
Well done – they both look excellent!
Oh they do look good.
I particularly liked the story of Bernard. These creatures who live in our fridges do have minds of their own. I make kefir too, so we have a family of live things. I think I need names for them!
I’m with Jim, spiced meat over anchovies although I’m a pizza tart and really just love everything on at once. I really love pepperoni, but we can’t get good pepperoni here.
I haven’t had a real pizza for well over a year. I went wheat free to see if it would help my thyroid problem. I really miss pizza. I’m not sure wheat free makes any difference either, so I think I’m about to cave in and beg Dave to make me one. I can do a wheat free crust, but it’s not the same.
Those pizzas look delicious, om, nom, nom.
And… you kneaded dough, for 30 minutes, BEFORE WORK? Respect!