I just registered for this forum today, though I have lurked here off and on for a bit over a year. Up until recently, I probably only made pizza at home a handful of times a year. I have adopted bread, and specifically sourdough, as a new hobby, spending quite a bit of time on that over the last many weeks. Of course, since I love to eat pizza, it was natural that while making all this dough (baking a couple times a week), my thoughts turned to sourdough pizza.
So, tonight was the first pie created using my starter that is about 1.5 months old at this point. I have been using it effectively in artisanal type breads, and it's leavening strength is quite good. Tonight's pie was a simple one with a basic sauce (canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic pwdr, oregano, basil, sugar), cheese (what I had on hand) and diced ham. I was unable to take pictures, but it turned out quite nicely......Great color on the crust both top and bottom, the right thickness on the crust to support the limited toppings, and it was nicely airy. I didn't particularly detect much in the way of sour flavor, but I can play with both starter amounts as well as ferment time to adjust that.
The "flaw" (not really a flaw, just not what I want it to be) that I found was the crust itself was just a bit too chewy for me. I'd like to adjust the next batch, but would love to get some insight into what variables will affect chewy vs. crispy. Here are the details of my dough and process:
Starter - 90g (100% hydration, white flour)
Flour - 290g (KA unbleached bread flour)
Water - 170g
Salt - 6g (Morton Kosher)
Oil - 3.5g
Hydration = 64%
Starter was built to size over a couple of refreshments, and then added to the rest of the ingredients. All ingredients were mixed with the paddle attachment of my KA mixer, until they came together in a shaggy mass. I then allowed the dough to rest for about 30 minutes to allow for thorough hydration. After the rest, I used the dough hook attachment to knead with the mixer for about four minutes, and then kneaded by hand for another 7-10 minutes until the dough was smooth and developed.
At this point, the dough went into the fridge where I allowed it to bulk ferment for 2 days. On pizza night, I pulled the dough out of the fridge and allowed it to come up toto temperature on the counter four about two hours. The dough was then removed from it's bowl, and I began to shape it into a 15" round (started with my fingers pressing the dough into a circle, then stretched with my knuckles to get to the final size. I had to pause and let the dough rest once to get to my final 15". I dressed the dough first with a thin coating of olive oil and some salt, then a light layer of sauce, cheese, and the ham.
The dressed pie went onto a stone at just about the middle of my DCS electric oven that had been preheated to 550 degrees for about 45 minutes. I still have trouble with the dough sticking to my peel, so I dressed the pie on parchment, and slid that into the oven, removing the parchment after about 6 minutes of baking. The pie took about 12 minutes to finish up (yes, need to work on my oven configuration to migrate to a true NY pie, but good enough for now.) Everything looked/tasted great, just want a little more crisp on the crust.
I thank you in advance for your input, and please let me know if there are any details I left out that would help you help me with my crispy quest.