Almost everyone likes pizza. Almost everyone likes sourdough. Why not put them together? As big a fan as I am of the classics - margherita, pepperoni, even hawaiian (what can I say, I truly believe fruit deserves its place in savoury dishes), I feel that an elevated pizza base deserves an elevated topping. Of course you can add anything you want to your own pizza, but this is how I like to make mine. For this recipe, I assume you don't have a stand mixer or bread maker, but they'll work a treat with this recipe too! Don't have a sourdough starter yet? Check out my recipe here. Keep in mind, proving the pizza dough takes a long time, so be prepared to start early, as for best results the dough should stay in the fridge for quite a few hours.
Ingredients (makes 1 pizza)
25g sourdough starter
125g flour (plus extra for dusting) - I like to use white bread flour, though other flours will work well, particularly "00" flour if you can find it - experiment as you want!
Pinch of salt
100ml warm water
1 red onion
Splash of vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons passata
30g pine nuts
Handful of rocket
In a large bowl, combine the sourdough starter with 70ml of warm water (approximately 35 degrees C, though this doesn't need to be precise)
Add the flour and salt, then mix to a dough.
Knead the dough in the bowl, picking it up and slapping it down against the sides, for about 6 minutes. Add in as much of the remaining water as you feel comfortable with during the kneading process. The more you knead, the less sticky the dough will become. To quote Sebastian the crab, for a lot of bread doughs, pizza included, "Darling it's better, down where it's wetter".
Cover with a clean and slightly damp tea towel and leave in a warm place until it has almost doubled in size (approximately 3 hours, but will depend on how warm your room is).
Knock down your dough (to take some of the excess gas out of it), and tip out onto a work surface. If it's still too sticky, you may need to knead it a little. Work the dough into a nice, taut ball shape and place in a bowl greased with olive oil. Cover and leave in the fridge for as long as you can bear to wait (preferably at least 4 hours, but the longer you leave it, the better - leaving overnight should give good results).
About 40 minutes before you wish to eat your pizza, start preheating your oven to as hot as it will go. Professional pizza ovens can reach 480 degrees C, but not all of us are lucky enough to have one hanging around.
Start making the topping, by slicing up the red onion and cooking in oil with a little bit of salt in a pan at a medium-low temperature. You want them to be nice and soft and caramelised, so make sure you give them a regular stir, and don't let the pan get too hot. Let them cook down for about 30 minutes.
Chop up your garlic cloves and fry lightly in a little oil until fragrant. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Set aside until ready to assemble your pizza.
It's time to assemble your pizza. First you need to stretch out your dough to the size and shape you want it, be that rectangular, circular or otherwise. Gravity is your friend here, let it do some of the stretching for you. Place on a baking sheet.
Spread over the passata, leaving room for the crust, then top with your caramelised red onions, garlicky spinach, dot around some chunks of goats cheese and sprinkle on some pine nuts.
Cook in the oven until the dough has risen and begun to brown off. I cooked mine at 230 degrees C, and it took 9 minutes.
Slice it up, and top with rocket.