My favorite foods are pretty simple: bread, cheese, onions, and peppers. So when I have the chance to combine those at once, I’m going to take it. Pizza is what got me into bread baking, so it seemed logical that my first post should be one of the best pizzas I have made so far.
After spending a summer experimenting with sourdough starters, hydration, proof times, oven temperatures and just about every other variable imaginable, I finally found a combination that led me to a delicious pizza with a crust like I had pulled it out of a wood fired oven.
When I made this I didn’t think that I’d be blogging about it, so you’ll have to excuse the
shortage of pictures.
When the dough is ready to be shaped, crank your oven up as high as it goes (mine tops out at 500). If you’ve got a pizza stone make sure it’s in there, and place it on a rack as close to the top as possible. This is because once we get the oven piping hot, we’re going to use the broiler to get that wood fired feel.
Prep your dough according to the recipe below, and place it on whatever you want to use to transfer it to the oven. That could be a pizza peel like I’ve got, back of a cookie sheet, or really any other sturdy and portable flat surface. Whatever it is, make sure it has plenty of flour or corn meal on it to allow the pizza to easily slide off later.
How much you put on is up to you, but be careful not to overload the thin crust. Sautee up your toppings, sauce up your dough, and shred your cheese.
Pizza topped? Oven hot? Then it’s baking time. Toss your pie on the hot stone (carefully!) and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. This is mostly to get the bottom of the crust crisp. After that, switch the broiler on to high and let it go for another 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye. This will help cook the rest of the crust, melt the cheese, and give it that nice char which makes it look and taste so good.
If you’ve got the self control, let it cool for 5 minutes before slicing and eating.
Pepper and Onion Pizza on a Sourdough Crust
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup sourdough starter (unfed)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- Optional seasonings for crust (garlic powder, oregano, etc.)
Note: If you don’t have a sourdough starter, I’d up the water amount to 3/4 – 1 cup and add 3/4 teaspoon of yeast to help quicken the rise.
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 8 oz. can tomato or pizza sauce
- 1 cup shredded (or sliced) mozzarella
- Stir down your starter and measure out 1 cup to put into a mixing bowl.
- Add your flour, water, yeast, salt, and any other seasonings. If you’re using a stand mixer use your dough hook and mix it for 5-7 until smooth. It should be a little bit sticky, so add additional flour or water as needed. Kneading by hand should take 10-12 minutes. Place your dough in a greased container and let it rise until it’s doubled in size. For me this took about 3 hours, however depending on your starter (or how much yeast you use) it may be more or less.
- This will make 2 thin crust pizzas, so divide your dough in half and save the rest in the fridge. It will keep for 3 days. Shape your pizza to desired thickness and let it rest for 15 minutes. You might notice it start to shrink back. That’s ok, just let it rest a bit more if that’s the case.
- Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let the shaped crust rise for another hour.
- This is also a good point to turn on the oven to 500° so your stone (and oven) have time to get nice and hot.
- Sautee up your onions and peppers and sauce the pizza. Top with veggies and cheese as desired, making sure not to overload a thin crust.
- Transfer the pizza onto the stone and bake with the door closed for 2-3 minutes. Then turn the broiler on to high and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes with the door open, keeping a close watch on the pizza.
- Carefully remove it from the oven and let it cool briefly before cutting and serving.