Swampish vapours from the hibernating starter signalled the beginning of its demise. Two days later black mould had invaded the surface of the paste, and that was the end of the culture that had survived for nearly three years. Will brew a new culture in the spring, in the meantime have been experimenting with flours and methods. Here is the current regimen.
|Dry yeast||3 teaspoons|
|Olive oil||1 good slug|
Whisk the flours and yeast together in a large bowl for thirty seconds and then scoop a deep well in the centre. Pour in the water and oil then mix to make a shaggy, sticky dough. Cover and allow to stand for an hour. Knead on a lightly floured bench for a minute or so, then oil the bowl, flip the dough in the bowl so that it is coated with a thin slick of oil, cover again and refrigerate overnight.
The following morning, tip the dough onto an oiled bench then stretch it as thinly as possible, before folding into thirds. Repeat the stretch-and-fold process two or three times more, until the dough loses its elasticity. Return the dough in the oiled bowl to the refrigerator for at least an hour. Repeat this process once or twice more throughout the day.
An hour before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator so that it has a chance to warm to room temperature before it is shaped into pizza bases.
Stretch & massage dough so that is about 5mm thick. Slice into tray-sized slabs and ease onto paper-lined and oiled trays. Collect trimmings, knead lightly and roll or stretch to make four large bases. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes while oven is preheating to 220°C. Brush with oil or spread with tinned, peeled, and chopped tomatoes mixed with a little tomato paste. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the bases from the oven. Allow to cool slightly before adding toppings then return to the oven to bake until bases are crisp.