Written Recipes
Pizza Margherita ( A One Day Sourdough Crust Formula)
Teresa Greenway

I said in an earlier post that I would come up with a one day sourdough formula for a pizza crust. Well, I have one I think you’ll like.

I really enjoy the simplicity of Pizza Margherita. Wikipedia says: In 1889, during a visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Italy was served a pizza resembling the colors of the Italian flag, red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). This kind of pizza has been named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita.

Well, mine does have all of those colors so I guess you could say this is a Pizza Margherita.  I love basil, the smell and the flavor is just right on a pizza. I often cannot keep it for long and a trip to the market is an hour for me, so I sometimes will freeze it while it is still fresh. It doesn’t have the eye appeal that the fresh basil does, but at least I have it when I need it. This pizza is sans fresh tomato and fresh basil (I used the frozen basil), but it still tastes terrific! The toppings include a crust spread with olive oil, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves.

Formula for One Day Sourdough Pizza Crust:

Early in the morning, in your dough folding trough or mixing bowl mix together:
•    12 oz/340g of vigorous sourdough starter at 100% hydration, which was fed the night before
•    9 oz/255g water
•    4 oz/113g evaporated milk
•    1.5 oz/42g oil (I like to use olive oil)
•    4 oz/113g white whole wheat flour
•    9 oz/255g bread flour

Mix all of the above ingredients together until you have a nice mass of dough. Then let the dough rest (autolyse) for 15 minutes. After autolyse is over, stir in:
•    .6 oz/17g salt  (stir in well before adding the rest of the flour)
•    10 oz/283g bread flour
•    (it can be fun to add a pinch of garlic powder or granulated garlic to the dough - ¼ teaspoon should be enough)

This will make 3 lbs 2 oz /1420g of dough at 65% hydration.

Knead all ingredients together for two or three minutes and then allow the dough to ferment in a covered container at room temperature for six hours. During the six hour ferment time, fold the dough four or five times to strengthen the gluten.

Peter has a good video on youtube.com on how to fold dough. Once the six hours is done, divide your dough into two pieces (weighing about 1.5 lbs each). Shape into rounds and spray with oil, cover and let set for 20 minutes.

Roll/stretch out your dough into a large pizza round, 14 – 16 inches and set the dough on top of a baking parchment paper to proof. Let the dough proof for 1.5 hours. Then top with your preferred toppings and slide pizza onto a very hot preheated baking stone at around 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes with 12 minutes being average.

The oven/stone is not as heated as hot as usual due to the milk in the dough which adds color and lightness to the dough but will make the dough burn a little easier as well. Make sure your stone is up about 1/3 of the distance of your oven from the bottom.


Tony Gemignani's Original Tomato Pie w/Cheese
Brad English

How do you celebrate, or explore a new ingredient you are looking to use?  If your ingredient is a can of Bianco DiNapoli Organic Tomatoes you got your hands on, you don't need to look too much further than Tony Gemignani's Orginal Tomato Pie with Cheese.  I remembered this pizza and thought it would be the perfect platform for these tomatoes to shine.  I was on a tomato quest after all.  This pizza is simply a celebration of the tomato.  Tony's Pizzeria Napoletana even offers a limited number of pies per day be made with the Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes for an additional charge.  It's worth it!

Tony has a couple versions of this pizza: The Original Tomato Pie, Original Tomato Pie with Cheese, and Jersey's Original Tomato Pie. The basic concept is Tomato - hand crushed tomatoes spread on the dough.  It is finished with a little pinched italian sausage, fresh oregano, olive oil and sea salt.  The Jersey version uses sliced mozzarella and adds some parmigiano as well.  They all deliver tomatoes to you on a platter, or pizza crust.  Delicious!

I mention this in some of my other recipes from this day, but it is worth repeating.  My son was eating one of the pizzas I had been making that day.  For all of the pizzas I was making, I was only using these tomatoes hand crushed - nothing added.  He sat at the table as I made this pizza and out of nowhere he said, "Dad.  Great sauce!"  He had no idea what I was doing.  The sauce stood out that much. That's impressive.

You can see that for this pizza, I used a lot of sauce.  I wanted the tomatoes to melt into the cheese base, but not loose their juicy tomatoey-ness after baking in my oven for 8-10 minutes.  It came out just right.  Because the tomatoes were hand crushed, they still had some thickness, which was nice to bite into as they held their moisture.  You sort of got explosions of tomato flavor in every bite.  The sauce in this pizza - the way you lay it out and top it - becomes the key note of the whole thing.  With a little mozzarella underneath, you still get that cheese fix, which I think helps set the tomatoes up for your enjoyment even more.  And, with a little spicy italian sausage you have the perfect accent for enjoying the tomato pie.

Tony Gemignani's Original Tomato Pie with Cheese:

Pizza Dough
*I was using a Central Mills Germania Flour Dough (any dough will work)
Grated Mozzarella
Bianco DiNapoli Organic Tomatoes
Pinched Italian Sausage
Fresh Oregano
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Sprinkle a little mozzarella on the dough.
You don't want this pizza to be about the cheese.  It's there on the bottom layer for a reason.  It's performing a supporting role.

Add a good amount of your hand crushed tomatoes.
*Note:  I didn't add anything to the tomatoes, just some fingers and some squeezing.  You want enough tomatoes to make sure it stays moist after cooking for 8-10 minutes.

Pinched Italian Sausage
The pinching creates a thin piece of sausage that will fully cook in the oven.  Since I'm making this at home and my oven only hits 550 degrees, I saute my sausage first leaving it a little pink in the middle so it will finish in the oven.

I put a little oregano on prior to cooking the pizza and then more after - just so I could get a little cooked into the sauce and then some fresh leaves as a finishing accent after.

After snapping a few pictures, the pizza went into the oven.

Give it about 8-10 minutes and out she comes.

I drizzled a little olive oil and dropped a little more fresh oregano on top and got this one to the table, where the family was waiting in line (behind Owen, who had by now identified a new favorite sauce and was using his muscle to make sure he was first in line).  I didn't add any sea salt and found that it was perfect without it. 

This is a great pizza. Thanks Tony!



Cold Fermented Natural Levain Dough
Teresa Greenway

For those of you who like to bake with sourdough, I have a pizza crust that you will find intriguing.  It is handy to use dough which is already fermenting in your refrigerator, and to whip up a pizza for dinner.  Big Bear’s Bread (BBB) is such dough. It is a popular, long fermented type of sourdough bread and is a good choice for pizza dough. The formula for BBB is enough for two large loaves of bread or several large pizzas (about four pounds total).  The dough is made up and then ferments in the refrigerator for several days.  This past week I had a batch of it going and baked up a loaf of bread. It makes a really nice loaf of bread; the dough is higher hydration dough than standard bread and produces a moist open crumb. Since I only baked up one loaf, I had plenty of dough left and decided to make up a pizza for dinner to see how the dough performed for pizza.  It performed really well. The crust came out chewy with an open holey crumb. You can find the formula and technique for Big Bear’s Bread here: http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=1870

To get the dough ready for pizza, take it out three to four hours before baking time. I had the dough made up into a round while it was under refrigeration. I took out the round and pulled it out somewhat flat so it could warm up to room temperature more easily. After an hour I pulled the dough out into a large round, about 16” in diameter ( I have a large pizza peel).

You can easily make two or even four smaller pizzas with this amount of dough (about two pounds of dough).  Once you finish pulling out the dough, the gluten is somewhat tightened so you need to place the dough onto a baking parchment paper or some foil at this time. If you wait to move your dough until later, it will relax and, being high hydration dough, it will be very hard to move.  Spray your dough with oil, cover with some plastic wrap and allow it to set for two to three more hours. It will not look very bubbly, but cold fermented dough is like that and will surprise you once it comes into contact with the intense heat of the baking stone.  When your dough is ready and your oven/baking stone are preheated for an hour as high as it will go (550F for my oven), spread on your sauce and toppings ( I used basil sauce, chicken, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese) and then using your pizza peel, transfer the pizza to the hot baking stone. Bake until done about 10 – 12 minutes.
For dough that is cold fermented, using a similar technique Peter Reinhart made famous with his Pain a la ‘Ancienne bread (Bread Baker’s Apprentice), the Co2 is absorbed into the cell structure of the dough and does not always show large bubbles in the dough while it is rising. However, once the dough is subjected to intense heat, the Co2 is liberated and forms many bubbles as it expands. So don’t be surprised if your dough, which can seem a bit inactive, looks great once it exits the oven. This long fermented dough probably isn’t practical for many folks, but for those that like to have fermenting natural levain dough setting around in their refrigerator anyway, it is a versatile way of using up the extra bread dough.  I would recommend adding an ounce of oil to the formula if you know you are going to use it for pizza dough.

The Sonny Boy from Pizzeria Bianco
Brad English

I had my large #10 can of the new Organic Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes and I had some pizzas to make.  I started with one from Tony Gemignani, who uses the tomatoes, and thought I'd do a couple from Chris Bianco himself.  I haven't had the chance to make it to Phoenix yet to try Pizzeria Bianco, but I've read much about it.  It is high on my list of things to do, and you will all be the first to know about it, when I get there.

I found Chris' Sonny Boy Pizza on his website and that sounded like something I wanted to make.  It's a simple pizza, perhaps you could call it an artisan version of one of the more popular pizzas on earth: The Pepperoni Pizza.  We all grew up on pepperoni and, although I still love a good one today, I am happy to find that more and more pizzerias are experimenting with other salted pork products such as salami. 

Chris' Sonny Boy has tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, salami and gaeta olives.  That's just pure and delicious, simple and straightforward.  That's good pizza!  I was at the store with my list; I tasted some salami's at the deli counter for this and came up with one called a Finocchiona Salami by Creminelli. I couldn't wait! When it came time to find the Gaeta olives they were not to be found!  It was hard to believe with size of the olive bar I was standing in front of.  But, I had to find an alternative. 

Smart Phone:  Google -- Substitute for Gaeta Olives = Kalamata Olives. Done. 

I love salted, brined olives almost as much as salted pork products.  I couldn't wait for this pizza.



My home version of The Sonny Boy Pizza from Pizzeria Bianco:

Pizza Dough
Hand Crushed Bianco DiNapoli Tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella
Finocchiona Salami
Kalamata Olives

As you build any pizza, you sit there and have to find the balance of the flavors.  This is part of the performance art and fun of making pizza.  No recipe will properly tell you how much cheese, sauce, salami, olives, olive oil or salt to use.  You are given a list and it's up to you to blend it together and find the perfect balance on your own.  That's a pretty cool thing about making pizzas at home.  I always say it's fun (I think I've said it a few times here).  This is another reason why.  

You spread the sauce and think about how long it will bake, will it dry out, will it be runny?  You have to find a balance.

I was using these salty ingredients (salami and olives) so I didn't salt the tomatoes at all. 

You pinch off the fresh mozz and lay it around the pizza.  You have to imagine how it will melt into the sauce.  Looking for balance...

You lay down a layer of salami.  Sometimes you may want it wall to wall, or other times, just a hint here or there. 

Add the olives.  To me, these are there to provide bursts of flavor, so not too much.

Into the oven.


The Reward!

Enjoy (and it's fun!).




The Pizza Quest Challenge Pizza Dough
Peter Reinhart

This is a small batch recipe for making the Challenge Dough that is used in the pizza that we will be making for the public for the first time on September 30th in Denver at 7 PM at the Summit Beer Garden, just a few blocks from The Great American Beer Festival.  The ingredients that distinguish this from typical pizza crusts are the flour and crystal malt.  The flour that we are using is called Germania, milled by our friends at Central Milling (the actual mill is in Utah and the main office is in Petaluma, CA).  It is made in the Double Zero style, which means a super fine grind, but with protein levels near 12% (higher than its Italian counterpart and thus more absorbent of water).  In addition to two types of wheat flour in this blend, there is also a small amount of pumpernickel rye flour. The actual amount is a proprietary company secret but in our version, for those who can't get their hands on Germania -- which you would have to buy directly from Central Milling (see the end of the recipe) -- I will give some suggestions below for creating your own version.  The malt crystal is a non-diastatic powder, meaning that the diastase enzymes found in barley malt have been deactivated during heat treatment and thus it is used strictly for flavor and not for it's enzyme function. We use approx. 4% malt to flour, which is a generous amount. Three ways to obtain the malt is through beer making supply stores or to go to your favorite micro-brewery and ask to buy some from them, or, when you call Central Milling to buy this flour, ask them if you can buy a pound of the malt (that's where I got mine). OR, you can buy barley malt syrup from a natural foods market or from your local bagel store, where you can plead your case  -- some bagel shops will sell you some and others won't. The syrup is not exactly the same as the crystal but it still adds that nice malted barley flavor that evokes the flavors of malty beer and makes this an ideal pizza crust to enjoy while you're quaffing down your favorite brew.

Note: This is not a beer dough, that is, I don't use beer as the liquid. You can always do that but I think it is a waste of good beer. Dough is solid beer--you are fermenting the grain in a dough form not a liquid form as you would with beer. So, while beer can work as a hydrating liquid it is somewhat redundant if you have the malt instead. Of course that's up to you and, if you want to sacrifice a pint in the dough to see how it affects the flavor, go for it. As for me, I'll be taking mine from a cold mug.




The Pizza Quest Challenge Dough (makes five 8 ounce/227 g dough balls)

For best results, this dough should be made at least one day in advance--it will also hold in the refrigerator for up to 3 days with good results. Any longer than 3 days and the dough will weaken (start to break down), though it can last for months if shaped into dough balls and frozen in small freezer zip bags.




22 ounces (624 grams) Germania flour or a blend of 20 oz./567 g of your favorite bread or Double Zero flour and 2 oz./56 g of pumpernickel or coarse rye flour or rye meal).  If you don't have a scale, this will be approx. 4 3/4 cups of flour.

0.5 oz/14 g. salt (a scant 2 teaspoons or 2 1/2 teaspoons if using coarse kosher or coarse sea salt)

1 oz./28 g crystal beer malt (light or dark--I use amber) or 1 1/2 tablespoons barley malt syrup

0.11 oz/3 g instant yeast (1 teaspoon)  OR, 1 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast dissolved in 4 ounces of the water for about 3 to 5 minutes

16 oz/452 g  water, room temp. (if using Caputo or another Italian Double Zero, reduce the water to 14 oz/399 g)

--In an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, or in a mixing bowl with a large spoon, mix the dough on slow speed for 1 minute, or until the dough is fully hydrated and all the ingredients are evenly distributed (instant yeast goes right into the flour--it does not need to be bloomed in water, while active dry yeast does need dissolving, as described above, by pulling 4 oz. of water from the total). The dough will be coarse and shaggy at this point, and all the ingredients need to be hydrated.

--Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then mix again on medium speed for 1 additional minute (or knead by hand on a clean, lightly oiled work surface), until the dough is fully developed (you can stretch a small piece very thin without it tearing to make translucent membrane). Adjust the water or flour as needed to make a very soft and supple, very tacky, almost sticky dough. If the dough is too weak to hold together, mix for an additional minute or so. If too sticky to work, sprinkle in more flour as needed. If too stiff, drizzle in a little water, one teaspoon at a time.

--Form the dough into a ball by stretching and folding it, place it into a lightly oiled bowl large enough to accommodate it if it doubles in size, mist the top with spray oil or brush a small amount of oil on the surface, cover with plastic wrap (the whole bowl, not the dough), and let the dough sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough again (either in the bowl or on the counter) and return it to the bowl, mist with spray oil, and cover the bowl again with the plastic wrap. Then, place the bowl into the refrigerator where it will continue to rise overnight before going dormant. As noted above, you can use it anytime for up to 3 days or you can divide it immediately into dough balls and freeze them; they will keep for at least 3 months in the freezer where, when ready to use again, you transfer the frozen dough balls to the refrigerator the day before you plan to bake the pizzas and then treat as you would freshly made dough.

--Remove the bowl of dough 2 hours before you plan to make the pizzas and divide the dough into 5 equal (approx. eight oz.) dough balls. Place the dough balls on a sheet pan or tray that has been lightly misted with spray oil. Keep them as separated as possible. Mist the top of the dough balls with spray oil and cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap, or place it into a can liner, to keep the dough from forming a skin. The dough will slowly wake up and start to swell. If the room is very warm, reduce the wake-up time to 60 or 90 minutes instead of 2 hours.

--Prepare your ingredients and oven for pizza making. A baking stone is recommended. Set your home oven as high as it will go (convection is fine); if using a wood-fired oven, the deck should be about 550 degrees F/288 C, and the ambient ceiling temperature should be at least 800 degrees F/427 C.  The pizzas will take 5 to 8 minutes to bake in a home oven and about 2 to 3 minutes in a wood fired oven.  If using a pizza stone in a home oven, let it preheat for at least 45 minutes.

For more specific details on how to shape or make a pizza, toppings, and sauces refer to our Instructional videos, photos, and recipes, or obtain a copy of "American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza."

To buy Germania Flour and malt crystal, contact Central Milling at (707) 778-1073, or visit their website at www.centralmilling.com/





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