Saturday, January 19, 2008


I have always wanted to bake sourdough bread. I had a few false starts towards that goal that never seemed to work out. Well, now that I have time I've decided to try again.

My friend, ElizaBeth, gave me a friendship starter which I managed to kill. So when we moved into the house I started another one. I also mixed together a sourdough starter. The instructions off the Internet claimed when it was bubbly and frothy it was ready to use. That happened in about 10 days. However, it didn't have that sourdough yeast smell I'm used to from the San Francisco breads we bought when we lived there. More reading on the Internet confirmed that a good sourdough needs about 2 months to really acquire the flavor and smell. So I let it go another couple weeks. About a week ago I put in the flour and water and the smell was perfect. I finally had some time to devote to the task so yesterday I made sourdough pizza crust.

May I say WOW! It was perfect (okay, I skimped on the salt and immediately noticed, but really it was almost perfect!) I baked it in an electric oven on a pizza stone which I'd also never used even though I've owned it a gazillion years. I didn't have any meat so I made a veggie pizza - bell peppers, onions, olives and mushrooms, with homemade pizza sauce (1 small can of tomato paste, 1 can water, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt - slowly heat to boil, then turn off and apply to pizza crust). I topped with mozzerella cheese. Then I baked the whole thing together - pizza crust and toppings. If you want a crispier crust supposedly you cook the crust alone for a bit.

This is the SECOND pizza. We ate the first one all up! BTW, this second pizza was frozen without cooking - I put the whole thing together, froze it, thawed it out about an hour before and we ate this one for lunch today.

The starter:

1 large glass pyrex bowl with lid
1 cup flour
1 cup water

Mix well, cover with a lid. Every 24 hours, stir and feed the starter with a half cup of flour and a half cup water. Keep it in a warm area. Mine is on the back burners (not used) of my Corning glass stove top. The residual heat from cooking and baking on the front burners & oven kept it warm enough. Some days it'll be bubbly, some days it will have a clear liquid on top. Stir it all back in and keep going. In 10 days, you have a decent starter, but like I said, I wanted more of that sourdough yeast smell and taste, so I let it grow for 2 months.

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