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Heritage Sourdough Pizza Crust

Makes (5) 11-12” thin pizza crusts.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine all the flour and water and mix into a shaggy dough. Let it rest for one hour. (This is called a presoak or autolyse).
  • After the one-hour presoak, add the salt to the dough and mix well
  • Add the sourdough and mix thoroughly to combine it into a smooth dough by kneading for about 5 minutes.
  • Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide the dough into the desired sized dough balls by weight. Each ball will be approximately 1 ounce per inch for thin crust pizza. i.e. a 12-oz ball will make a 12-inch pizza. When we make this recipe, we make (5) 11-12” thin crusts.
  • Round each portion into balls, cover, and let rest 2-3 hours or until the dough balls double in size. Use whatever container you have. Some people like to use individual oiled bowls or a cake pan covered with plastic wrap. We use a plastic proofing box with a lid. Whatever you use, you need to leave enough room for them to proof without touching each other - at least 3 inches apart. (Remember they should proof to almost double in size and this may take more or less time depending on the temperature of the water you used in mixing the dough, and the temperature of the room where they are proofing.) Under proofed dough is difficult to stretch into a pizza crust.
  • Note: The dough balls can also be made up the day before and put in the refrigerator in a covered container. Place in the refrigerator right after you make them into dough balls. The next day take them out and let them proof for 1-2 hours or until they are nearly double in size. The extra-long proofing in the refrigerator adds flavor.
  • Now the dough balls are ready to be made into crusts. There are several ways to do this including pressing gently into a flat round and tossing in the air, or holding the crust by the edges and letting gravity stretch it. Avoid rolling it with a rolling pin.
  • Heat the oven and pizza stone to 450-500F for at least 30 minutes. Make sure your stone is rated for high heat.
  • Use a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet dusted with flour (rice flour works best). Gently lay your stretched crust onto the floured peel and add your sauce and toppings. The more quickly you work at this stage the better. When you dilly dally, you run the risk of the dough sticking to the peel. Tip: if your pizza won't release easily, lift up one edge of the crust and blow under it.
  • Watch carefully as ovens bake differently. When the crust is brown on the edges and the cheese is bubbling in the middle, it’s done. This will vary by oven and the amount of toppings. Generally, it will be 6-10 minutes.
  • Tips: Make sure the dough balls are proofed close to doubled in size before shaping into crusts. If you over proof and the dough becomes limp and sticky, use more flour when handling and shaping into a crust.
    If your crust tears when you are shaping it, roll it back into a ball and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. This gives the dough time to relax and it will be easier to stretch again.
    Dough balls can be frozen. When you are ready to use them they will thaw and proof overnight. Again, the time may vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
    Enjoy and let us know what you (or your pizza party guests) think of this sourdough pizza crust recipe.
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