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Sourdough Pizza Dough

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Ingredients

(serves 6)

Dough:

Dry Acting Yeast                 7g

or

Live active starter           110g

00 Flour                         500g

Warm water                 250ml

Olive oil                             10g

Sea salt                               3g

Semolina flour                 20g

 

Sauce:

Garlic clove crushed             1

Mixed herbs                   1tbsp

Tinned chopped tomato                                                400g

Salt

Fresh Basil

Olive Oil

Method

 

Dough

1. Place the pizza stone in the Aquaforno, and heat up to 350/400 °C.

2. In a large bowl, add water, yeast and oil. (Keep a splash of water out and mix separately with the salt). Start mixing for 3 minutes and once things start to incorporate, slowly add in the flour.

3. Bring it together and mix for another 5 minutes then add in the salt/water mix. (always add salt right near the end as it will affect the yeast from feeding off the flour). If you are using live acting sourdough starter, make sure to feed your starter the evening before or the morning of baking to make sure it’s active. You can check if your starter is ready to use by doing the float test see link below. Use the same method but leave the water, starter and oil for 5/8 minutes to activate before incorporating the flour.

4. Mix the dough until it forms a soft ball. Once kneaded, put the dough on the table top and fold it into itself for 8 minutes.

5. Once kneaded, place back into the bowl and cover with cling film for 60 minutes or if you’re using sour dough starter, up to 3 hours in a warm and damp area until it is double in size.

6. Once doubled in size, knock the dough back and place on a lightly floured counter. Cut into 4 small balls, roll them onto a floured tray and place a kitchen towel over the top and let rise for another 45 minutes or until double in size – sourdough starter will again take longer to rise OR you can place dough into your icebox/refrigerator and keep in there until ready to make pizzas taking out 20 minutes before ready to use to become more pliable when stretching out (preferably in a warm space)

7. Dust a clean surface with 50/50 flour and semolina and then place dough on and roll it out into a rough circle and 1/2 cm thick, add sauce and toppings as you desire.

8. Get yourself a very damp cloth and wipe the top of the pizza stone before adding your pizza this will allow the smoke that’s built up to come off, and slightly help bring the temp down to stop from burning the bottom before the top is cooked.

9. When you’re ready to cook the pizza, sprinkle a little more semolina flour onto the pizza peel. Slide the pizza onto the stone in one forward motion, close the door and cook for 4 minutes until the pizzas are golden and crispy. Make sure that the oven is very hot and feeding the fire little and often will ensure you keep a more even temperature.

 

Sauce

1. In another saucepan, add oil to the heat, add crushed garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, this will allow it to perfume and extract into the oils.

2. Add chopped tomatoes and let cook out for a further 5 minutes.

3. Add salt and mixed herbs, mix

4. Bring to a simmer the take off the heat and let cool add a few piece of fresh basil and the stems to the sauce. You don’t want to make the sauce too hot, just warm enough that the garlic, oil and basil steams and tomatoes have time to marry.

Tips: Water: is something so simple but can cause so much stress when making pizza, or bread dough in general. Most tap water is perfectly suitable for bread baking. However, very hard water will toughen the dough and slow fermentation, while very soft water will soften the dough, making it sticky. In these cases, it’s better to use bottled mineral water.

Weather: it’s the weather. Namely, increased heat and humidity. Flour and yeast, the heart and soul of bread baking, are both affected by your kitchen’s micro-climate. So dough made on a hot summer day naturally rises more quickly than dough made in the dead of winter, when your kitchen is probably a lot cooler. You can help by warming your oven up, then turning it off and having a warm climate for the dough to rise.

 

Aquaforno II

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