The method for preparing Saturday’s sourdough pizza bases is a combination of two recipes:
- A nugget of sourdough from the stash in the freezer reared using Dan Lepard’s instructions for starting sourdough. You’ll recognise the overnight and resurrection methods from his site.
- Three quarters of Bonci’s impasto bianco di grano.
Overnight (or 48 Hour) Mixture
Dissolve 1 nugget of frozen sourdough in 70ml spring water (the chlorine in tap water may interfere with the yeasts in the sourdough) and vigourously stir in 25g each rye and wholemeal flour, plus 50g white bread flour. Cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
There is usually some signs of fermentation by the end of the process: bubbling and an increase in the volume of the mixture. Sadly this was not the case even after 48 hours: the sourdough had lost its mojo. It still had its pleasantly sour odour, so proceeded to make the pizza dough, but took a little of the leaven out to resurrect the mother.
Stir 100g of spring water, 70g of rye flour, and a dollop from the overnight mixture. Cover and leave in at room temperature until signs of fermentation appear (bubbles and an increase in volume). When fermentation has been achieved, stir in 100g rye flour and 70g water, and allow mixture to double again. Freeze tablespoon-sizes dollops, but reserve one, feed it with 70g flour and 100g water and let it hibernate in the refrigerator as the basis for next week’s pizza base.
Dissolve the remainder of the Overnight Mixture using 525ml of spring water in a large bowl. Tip in 750g of strong white flour, 1 and a half tablespoons of olive oil, and fortify the mixture with 2 teaspoons of dry yeast. The dried yeast hasn’t been required before, and hopefully the resurrection process will restore the feistiness of the sourdough. Mix to make a wet dough. Then follow the Bonci technique to fabricate the pizza base. Rest the dough in the oiled and covered bowl for an hour. Tip the dough onto a floured surface, stretch it, and fold its corners into the middle, and repeat. Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover and rest for another hour. Repeat the resting and folding two or three more times, and after the last repetition cover and rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Elizabeth Minchilli captures the Bonci wizardry on her blog.
The resurrection crust did not achieve the gaping holes that Bonci manages to capture in his bases. But no-one suffered in the consumption of this pizza.