I have no idea why it took me so long to do this! The dough is incredibly soft and smooth (a baby’s bottom would be an appropriate metaphor), it doesn’t tear when stretching it to size and it bakes to a sturdy, slightly chewy, utterly delicious crust. It was so good that I’ve decided to split Betty into two just so I can have a pizza-specific starter in the fridge for further pizza experimentation. The new starter will be called Peggy-Sue… because Peggy is short for Margaret… as in Margherita… as in… yeah, you get it. 😉
These pizzas were topped with…
fresh tomatoes, black olives and basil, and
fresh spinach and ricotta.
Makes 2 x 28cm pizzas
150g 100% hydration starter
400g Type 0, bread or all-purpose (plain) flour
30g olive oil
Note: I took 100g mature starter, brought it to room temperature for an hour, fed it with 25g each of flour and water and let it ferment for 3 hours.
Mix the starter and water together in a large bowl then add the flour and mix to a shaggy dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
Add the oil and mix in, then add the salt and knead until dough is soft and elastic, 8-10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in a stand mixer.
Place dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled – about 3 hours, depending on ambient temperature.
Turn dough out and cut in half, being careful not to degas it too much. Gently form into balls and let rest, covered, for another hour.
Gently pull the dough out to size and make your pizza as usual.