Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Getting started with Sourdough Pizza


Recently I did my first experiments baking sourdough pizza. In this blog post, I would like to share the process, recipe and learnings I collected baking my first sourdough pizzas.

Since roughly a year, I have been trying to learn baking pizza mostly based on watching Youtube videos. At our company, Liip, every Liiper recently got a sourdough starter - the Liipi - so I obviously had to give this a try.

Process & Recipe

After consulting this calculator and my partner, I came up with the following recipe for two pizzas. If you would like to bake a different amount, just multiply each ingredient by the same factor.

Refresh starter:

  • 15g sourdough starter
  • 45g water (handwarm)
  • 65g flower (using the Ruchmehl that came with the starter)

I let the starter rise over night in the oven with the lamp and lid almost closed at ~35 degrees celsius.

Continuing with the main pizza recipe:

First, I'm mixing the starter with the water and knead it together with all the flower. Next, I'm adding the salt and keep kneading it until a ball can be formed. I usually fold the ball two times and then put it for bulk fermentation into the refrigerator. As I was expecting the sourdough to rise rather slowly, I decided to do 48 hours of bulk fermentation in the fridge.

Handling the dough is a process that takes some practice. For me, learning from youtube channels like this one worked pretty well.

Two days later, I take the bulk fermented dough out of the fridge and let it rest for two hours to restore to room temperature. Now, I split the dough and form balls that will rest again 2-4 hours for proofing.

Result & Learnings

The resulting dough balls came to the test. This was my second round of baking pizza with a sourdough. The first one was too sour, this time the sourness was less dominant and the taste was a lot better, no perfect but good to eat and share with friends. I guess after some more feedings, the starter itself will become better or I will need to dig more into the details of nurturing a sourdough starter the right way.

The recipe I had been using had a rather low hydration (60%). This combined with the fact that part of the wheat is coarser grained, I think it makes sense that the doughballs turned out to be too dry for my taste. I will try to add more water next time. Usually 70% works fine for me but I wasn't sure yet if I can handle this well with the combination of flowers. So definitely something to explore with the next experiment.

That's it for my first experience baking pizza with sourdough. I'm glad the dough came to a rise and the outcome was enjoyable. Feel free to get in touch if you would like to exchange about your pizza baking experiments.

Getting started with Sourdough Pizza
Getting started with Sourdough Pizza