Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sourdough Pizza with Sausage, Onions & Mushrooms

I haven't work in eight days, and I have to say-- I am feeling very rested. My cooking and baking mojo has returned, and bread baking has been going on for the last few days.  The bread baking beast inside me has been awakened! Being on "Staycation" has allowed me the luxury of being at home, in no particular hurry to go anywhere. 

So, a few days ago, I baked my first Baguettes.  My son, who works at a nice restaurant in Carmel (CA) said that I could easily put these in a basket and serve them at a good restaurant. (I think he likes them.) Today, I baked these sourdough sandwich rolls.  These made the most delicious ham and cheese sandwiches, and I will share that recipes soon. I promise.

My son and I adore sourdough bread.  We live just two hours from San Francisco. Whenever I go to The City, I have to bring home a loaf of sourdough bread from the Boudin Bakery. So good.  To me, sourdough needs to have that "bite", but not too much.

Confession: I bought a sourdough starter from my beloved King Arthur Flour website. According to KAF, this starter has been lovingly nurtured since the 1700's.  I guess I shouldn't feel too bad, then, that I fed my sourdough starter for two years, before finally using it! A few times, I neglected my starter, and though I had ruined it. But, you know what? I learned that a starter can be very forgiving, and I was able to bring it back to life. Yes, call me the "Sourdough Starter Whisperer"! 

Last night, I "fed" my starter.  To feed a sourdough starter, you discard one cup of dough, and then
add flour and water and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours. This morning, it was a beautiful sight-- all bubbly and happy.

I hate wasting good ingredients, so I was thrilled to discover that I can use the one cup of discarded dough to make sourdough pizza dough. So, last night, I placed the "discard" into a covered bowl. Today, I removed the reserved starter...

Just so we are very clear-- I am not paid to promote King Arthur Flour. I just love their products and customer service. You can call their "Baker's Hot Line" and get professional advice, too.  I've been buying their Pizza Dough Flavor for a few years. This ingredient really adds some extra flavor to any pizza dough recipe. To the reserved starter, I add more King Arthur Flour all-purpose flour, hot water and instant yeast.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'd know that I enjoy showing step-by-step photo tutorials on how I make a recipe. Well, let's say that as I reached for my camera, today, I had butterfingers. The camera hit the kitchen floor with a sickening crash. My lens came off the camera with bits of broke plastic.  I hoped that the plastic was my lens cap, but it wasn't. Sniff. The camera survived, but the lens is broken.  Not the glass part, thank goodness, but the macro doesn't work anymore. So, the lens is being shipped back to Canon for an estimate that I hope will cost less than replacing it.

So, here we are-- the finished pizza being shot with a wide angle zoom lens. 

I had some leftover marinara sauce,  Italian sausages, sliced cremini mushrooms, an opened can of sliced black olives and a big onion.  I always have an assortment of cheeses on hand, so I use a 4-cheese combo that includes Asiago and Provolone.

I shaped half of the pizza dough, free-hand (still don't know how to toss it in the air), and added the cooked sausage, onion, mushrooms and some red pepper flakes.  I simplified how King Arthur Flour's recipe said to bake the pizza.  Until my new pizza peel arrives, I place parchment paper on an inverted baking sheet. I didn't prebake the crust, because my baking stone gets heated at 450F and has eliminated any "soggy pizza crust" syndrome.

In fact, once I shaped the dough, I only let it rise for about 10 minutes (covered).  By lining up the inverted baking sheet to the preheated baking stone, I use tongs to grab the parchment paper and to slide the unbaked pizza onto the stone. It works!

It feels a little weird to not be able to shoot photos in macro, but this pizza crust was too good not to share with y'all.

I realize that many of you don't have a sourdough starter in your fridge. I hope that I can inspire some of you to change that.  I've made three sourdough recipes in as many days, and I have realized that this doesn't take a lot of labor-- just patience, as you wait for the dough to proof.  Freshly baked, homemade bread, is such a treat. I'm a rock star, to my family, when I bake bread. You can learn some great sourdough  tips, from King Arthur Flour, here.

TASTING NOTES:  The pizza crust was delicious, but I'm a big fan of sausage and mushrooms, together and so I loved the whole dinner (beer included). The crust was perfectly baked at 22 minutes. It was tender, but you didn't taste a LOT of sourdough.  If you read the printable recipe card on this post, I've copied King Arthur Flour's tips on how to achieve more of a sourdough flavor.  To us, we liked the dough as it was. Best of all, I found a way to re-purpose sourdough starter that would, otherwise, end up in the trash. That makes me happy.

I should have a new macro lens, arriving via FedEx in a few days. I'm sad about my lens, but I guess it pushed me into buying the macro I've been wanting for a while anyway.

I go back to work, on Monday, and my blogging might trickle for a while. But, maybe not! I'd say that my knee has healed, well, and I'm no longer in pain.  This is the time of year, when my oven gets a workout with braised dinners and baked goods. I think my men are very happy about that. As for me, I'm rested and got to do things that I enjoy. That makes me very happy--and thankful.

I always post a printable recipe card at the end of each recipe post. If you cannot view it, you might be using an older version of InternetExplorer. You should be able to view my recipe cards with Safari, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
If you still can't view the recipe card, all of my recipes are stored on Key Ingredient, by clicking here.

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Joanne said...

I've always wanted to get into sourdough baking but it kind of scares me! Maybe I need to invest in a KAF starter. Your pizza looks awesome!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I have never worked with sourdough. I have avoided it because the starter sounds like a pain to maintain. But I can resist trying this recipe, Debby. Your pizza is beautiful and we like the same toppings.

Laura Downs said...

I didn't know you could buy a sourdough starter from King Arthur. I might have to invest in that. Did you like the taste in the pizza dough?

Karen said...

That's one good looking pizza! I let my starter die (sad face). I suppose I should make another one!

Bill said...

Pizza with sourdough?? Yum!! I'm loving your latest posts. Gotta try the baguettes too. I've always wanted to play with sourdough and you've given me the motivation. The pizza looks absolutely mouthwatering!! Great post!

Velva said...

A staycation really does lend itself the opportunity to get rested and rejuvenated . The kitchen is where I am when I am in nest mode too.

Sorry about the camera-ugh, still your photos look tasty and inspire me to use King Arthur products.


Christine said...

Utterly delicious looking pizza! So sorry to hear about the lens though. :( You still achieved some really great pics with what you have. I may just have to attempt sour dough this winter. And thanks so much for posting how well your knee's doing! I'm scheduled for early Feb. '14...eek!

Unknown said...

One thing Los Angeles just doesn't do well is bread bakeries. We just don't have decent bread makers (and I include myself in that count). GREG

Danielle Imstuffed said...

I have that bread bug too! Yours look amazing! (great pics too). Mine? Well, not so good. I don't know what happened but it was like a door stop (it even clunked when it hit the bottom of the trash can LOL). I miss my sourdough starter but got tired of feeding it, reviving it and not using it.

Big Dude said...

You are killing me with all these great looking sourdough items. The pizza looks too good.

Maple Garden Quilting said...

Okay, we are making pizza tomorrow night. Friday's are usually the junk food night, so pizza here it comes. Hopefully, just hopefully mine will look as "tasty" as yours.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Hmmm, I'm n0t 100% sure that all pizza is junk food! It's not necessarily health food, but I like knowing what's in my pizza crust and having the option to use turkey sausage. In any case, I hope you enjoy it.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Sorry to hear about your lens...I hope it can be repaired. Your pizza sounds and looks wonderful.

Sydney Fry said...

I can't wait to attempt sourdough pizza crust!