I’m spending the month of December developing some classes for the Meetup group I co-founded, the Los Angeles Bread Bakers. I’m going to put the recipes on the blog starting with this pizza dough, which is based on Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread recipe. If you try this recipe, please send me some feedback.
A note on flours
My favorite flour for pizza is the Italian 00. This will give you a Neapolitan style thin and crispy crust. If you want a Chicago style pizza with a bread-like texture, go with a high gluten bread flour. You can add a small amount of whole wheat flour but I would not exceed 10%. Pizza is not a health food. It’s a special occasion food and I think it tastes better with white flour.
A note on sourdough starter
This recipe requires sourdough starter. If you’d like to make one, check out our how-to video.
Digital scale (always use a scale!)
11-inch cast iron skillet or other oven proof skillet
Pizza Dough Recipe
Makes four small pizzas
- 100 grams sourdough starter
- 500 grams Double 00 or high gluten bread flour
- 375 grams 80° F water
- 10 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) sea salt
1. In lidded plastic container, stir the starter into the 80 degree water until dissolved. Mix all the ingredients with your hands or a dough scraper until water and flour are incorporated. There is no need to knead, just combine the water and flour. Put the lid on the container.
2. Bulk fermentation: 4 to 5 hours. Let the dough sit in your covered container at room temperature. Each hour, stretch and fold the dough pulling the right edge to meet the left and then pulling the left side to meet the right. You can do this stretch and fold without removing the dough from your container.
3. At this point you have a choice. You can divide the dough into 220 gram sections, shape them into balls and then use them to make pizza in another hour or two. I prefer to shape the dough into balls and put them in the the refrigerator, in a sealed container, and use it the next day or even the day after that. A longer, slower fermentation will give you a nice sour taste. Dough can come straight out of the fridge and be shaped into pizzas. You do not need to let it come up to room temperature.
4. Stretching your dough: you can do this by hand, but I prefer to cheat. If you want to do it by hand Peter Reinhart has video here. It’s heresy to admit this, but I use a rolling pin. Stretching by hand is better but using a rolling pin is easier. Your choice.
5. Preheat a frying pan on high heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to your pan. Stretch your dough and put the dough in the frying pan. You have a generous three minutes to add your toppings while the bottom of the crust cooks in the pan. A note on toppings: do not use too much sauce and toppings! Around two tablespoons of sauce will be enough. Too much sauce results in soggy crusts! Start by brushing on some olive oil and then add your toppings. Finish with some salt and/or pepper.
6. After three minutes put the pizza under the broiler until done, probably an additional three minutes. Watch for burning. Remove and place on a rack for a minute or so to cool, then slice and enjoy.
- Classic Margarita: tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil.
- Crème fraîche and caramelized onions
- Feta, figs (dried or fresh), olive oil
- Pistachio pesto: pistachios, garlic, Manchego cheese, ground in a food processor
- Eggs: crack two eggs and top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt and pepper.