How to Make Delicious Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough

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Sourdough baking is a delightful and rewarding hobby, but it often leaves bakers with a significant amount of sourdough discard. Instead of throwing away this excess starter, why not use it to create a delicious, crispy, and flavorful pizza dough? This article will guide you through the process of making sourdough discard pizza dough, offering tips and tricks to perfect your homemade pizza.

Why Use Sourdough Discard ?

Sourdough discard is the portion of your starter that you remove before feeding. While it’s often thrown away, it still contains plenty of live, active cultures that can enhance the flavor and texture of your baked goods. Using sourdough discard in pizza dough not only reduces waste but also adds a unique tangy flavor and a chewy texture that’s hard to achieve with commercial yeast alone.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sourdough discard
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast (optional, for quicker rise)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast (if using). Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
    • Add the sourdough discard and olive oil to the yeast mixture, stirring to combine.
    • Gradually add the flour and salt, mixing until a shaggy dough forms.
  2. Knead the Dough:
    • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time.
  3. First Rise:
    • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 2-3 hours, or until it has doubled in size. If you’re using only sourdough discard without additional yeast, this rise may take longer, up to 6-8 hours.
  4. Shape the Dough:
    • Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the gas. Divide it into two equal portions for two medium pizzas or keep it whole for one large pizza.
    • Roll each portion into a ball and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Prepare the Pizza:
    • Preheat your oven to the highest temperature (usually around 500°F or 260°C) and place a pizza stone or an inverted baking sheet inside to heat.
    • On a piece of parchment paper, roll or stretch the dough into your desired shape and thickness. Transfer the parchment paper with the dough onto a pizza peel or a flat baking sheet for easy transfer to the oven.
  6. Top and Bake:
    • Add your favorite pizza toppings. Traditional Margherita toppings like tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil work wonderfully with sourdough crust, but feel free to get creative.
    • Slide the parchment paper with the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet.
    • Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
  7. Enjoy:
    • Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. Enjoy your homemade sourdough discard pizza!

Tips and Tricks

  • Hydration: If the dough is too sticky, add more flour; if it’s too dry, add a bit more water.
  • Fermentation: For a more pronounced sourdough flavor, let the dough ferment in the fridge for up to 24 hours during the first rise.
  • Baking: A hot oven and preheated stone or baking sheet are crucial for a crispy crust.

What to Serve with Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough?

1. Fresh Salads:

  • Caesar Salad: Crisp romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and a creamy Caesar dressing.
  • Caprese Salad: Slices of fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and basil drizzled with balsamic glaze.
  • Mixed Green Salad: A variety of fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette.

2. Appetizers:

  • Garlic Knots: Made from the same dough, brushed with garlic butter and sprinkled with parsley.
  • Bruschetta: Toasted baguette slices topped with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil.
  • Stuffed Mushrooms: Mushrooms filled with a savory mixture of cheese, garlic, and herbs.

3. Desserts:

  • Tiramisu: A classic Italian dessert with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese.
  • Gelato: Creamy and flavorful, available in a variety of flavors to suit any palate.
  • Chocolate Lava Cake: Warm, gooey, and rich, perfect for a decadent finish to your meal.

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