I received an interesting email the other day from a fellow foodie tweeter, Sarah from Brock Hall Farm (lovely goats cheese – check it out if you’re lucky enough to live anywhere near an outlet), based in Shropshire. Sarah was abroad, within easy access of a wood-fired oven, and indebted to some friends to whom she had promised sourdough pizza from the wood-fired oven. So in popped the email, asking me for a magic recipe to make psuedo-sourdough pizza in one day. Now for any bread-heads out there you’ll know you need at least five days to start a sourdough starter from scratch, but a psuedo-sourdough, that’s definitely a possibility if you’ve got 24 hours. Below are my instructions to Sarah to make the dough for her psuedo-sourdough pizza, and below that Sarah has kindly shared her recipe for the tomato sauce reduction – enjoy!
Psuedo-sourdough pizza dough (makes 6)
Day before baking
150g strong white flour, or ’00’ if you can get it
3g fast action dried yeast
130g tepid water
2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stir thoroughly. Cover with a plastic bag and leave overnight, or for at least 8 hours (the longer the better for a nice sour flavour from the yoghurt). This called a ‘sponge’.
Day of baking
300g sponge from above
460g strong white flour or ’00’
240g tepid water
15g Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Optional, I prefer to add olive oil on top of the dough when rolled out, but you could add it now as Sarah did)
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and than knead on a clean work surface for around 10 minutes. Don’t add any extra flour, that’s cheating. Place the kneaded dough back into an oiled bowl, cover it with a plastic bag, and leave to ferment for up to 2 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. It will roughly double in volume. Divide the dough into 6 150g pieces, and roll each one out to a round a few millimetres thin. Add your tomato sauce, toppings and some nice cheese and bake in a hot hot (250C, gas mark 10) oven for 10 minutes (directly on a pizza stone if you have one), or in a wood-fired oven for about 2 minutes.
Sarah’s tomato reduction
1.5kg vine ripened tomatoes, (the more aromatic the better), skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Freshly chopped oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan, without colouring the garlic. When translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and simmer quite vigorously for about 10 minutes until they have reduced into a firm and fragrant sauce. Add salt, pepper and fresh oregano and continue simmering and tasting until you are satisfied with flavour and consistency. It should be more of a thick paste than a thick pasta ‘dressing’. You may need an extra glug of olive oil to emsulify it nicely. Click on the thumbnail images below to see how Sarah’s pizza’s turned out.