I’ve wanted to try my hand at sourdough breadmaking for years, so lockdown seemed the perfect time for it – a thought apparently shared by the rest of the UK! One big issue I found, though, was the discard from the starter. With flour like gold dust at the moment it seemed ridiculous to throw it away, so I’ve been experimenting! Enter, sourdough discard pizza dough.
This pizza dough has a gorgeous depth of flavour and tanginess from the sourdough starter, without all the hassle of slow-rising and technicality of a full sourdough. It’s super easy to make, too. I top mine with roasted butternut squash, caramelised red onion, pine nuts and chilli flakes, but you can of course use whatever you like!
Ingredients (for a 14″ pizza):
– 250g unfed sourdough starter
– 125g lukewarm water
– 300g bread flour (I use half white, half wholemeal)
– 1 tsp fine salt
– ½ tsp dried yeast
For the tomato sauce:
– ½ small red onion, finely diced
– 1 garlic clove
– ½ tsp dried oregano
– 200g tin chopped tomatoes (see tip below)
– drop of red wine vinegar
– pinch of sugar
For the toppings:
– ½ small butternut squash (about 275g), peeled
– ½ tsp dried rosemary or thyme
– 1 large red onion, finely sliced
– 100g grated vegan mozzarella (I like Sheese)
– 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
– handful of pine nuts
– fresh basil leaves
– chilli flakes
- Stir any liquid back into the sourdough starter. Measure into a large mixing bowl, then add the water. Mix to combine, then add the flour, salt and yeast. Mix with a dough hook for about 7 minutes, or knead by hand for 10-15 minutes, until smooth and elastic. It will be quite a soft dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place for about 4 hours, or until doubled in size. Alternatively, you can store it in the fridge overnight for use the following day.
- After about 3 hours, preheat the oven to 220°C. Dice the squash and tip into a roasting tray with the rosemary or thyme. Drizzle with oil, season and toss to coat. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender and caramelising at the edges.
- Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the sliced red onion and a pinch of salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until soft and sticky. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- For the tomato sauce, heat a splash of oil in a small saucepan. Cook the diced red onion for 8 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and oregano. Cook for 2 more mins then stir in the chopped tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced by about a third. Season to taste.
- Lightly oil a 14″ round pizza tray (or two regular ones if you’re going free-form). Gently stretch out the risen dough, then use your knuckles to guide it to the edges of the tray. Set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C. Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a border for the crust. Top with the grated mozzarella, then spoon on the caramelised onion and roasted squash. Scatter over the finely chopped garlic and pine nuts, then bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is cooked through. Scatter with fresh basil leaves and chilli flakes to serve.
Tip: For the tomato sauce I often use a 400g tin chopped tomatoes, use half the sauce on the pizza then freeze the rest. If you don’t want to make your own, use passata with garlic and herbs instead.