The beauty of this recipe is that you can mix the dough, use what you want, and put the remainder in the fridge where it will stay usable for several days.
Mix all the ingredients and knead using your normal method. If you’re new to baking check out the Sourdough pdf under the Library Menu.
Form into a rough ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover. Allow to ferment for about four hours stretching each hour for the first three hours. This is not essential but will improve the dough structure.
If the dough is for use later in the week, it can go in the fridge at this point. If you are using all or part of it today prove all or the remainder for another three hours.
The amount of dough per pizza is a personal matter. 150g will give you a thin crust for a 24cm pizza but you might want to go up to 200g or beyond.
Oil a pizza tin or baking sheet. Shape the dough into a rough round, then press it out to size. You might have to do this in a couple of stages allowing the dough to rest a while before it will stretch to size.
Preheat the oven to as hot as you can get it.
Spread the dough with a thin layer of tomato sauce, add the toppings and bake.
Timings depend absolutely on your oven. My current electric fan oven will bake them in 10 minutes whereas in my previous gas oven they would take 20.
Basic Tomato Sauce
Everyone knows how to make a tomato sauce but here’s a simple one anyway.
Chop an onion finely and fry gently in olive oil with a little salt. After a few minutes add a couple of crushed and chopped cloves of garlic. When they are soft tip in a tin of tomatoes and break them up with a wooden spoon if they are not pre-chopped. Add plenty of black pepper and stalks of parsley or celery leaves or dried herbs to flavour. Simmer partly covered until the sauce thickens.
One Topping to get you Started
There is something quite wicked about the taste of caramelised leeks.
Cut a couple of leeks into 2.5cm slices. Heat a frying pan wide enough to hold the slices in a single layer. When really hot add olive oil and the leeks then cover with a lid.
Don’t forget the leeks get cooked a second time in the oven – what you are trying to do is to brown them well and soften them without creating a mush.
After a couple of minutes remove the lid and turn over the leeks and cook for a minute or two. Cool on a plate.
Wash and quarter some mushrooms and give them a quick blast in the same pan to remove some of the liquid.
Spread the pizza dough with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Arrange the leeks and mushrooms on the sauce plus a few slices of mozzarella plus maybe a sprinkle of crushed chiles.
If you go for the egg option, about four minutes before your pizza is done, remove from the oven, make a depression in the centre with a serving spoon and crack the egg into the depression.
Remove from the oven the instant the egg is done to your satisfaction.