A D V E R T I S E M E N T
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Using your regular pizza flour, mix equal portions (by weight) of flour and water and set aside in a large, open bowl for 24 hours at room temperature (25C/77F). Next, add to this another blend of equal amounts of flour and water and transfer to a covered container (not aluminum) and allow to mature for another 24 hours. The resulting sour is now ready to use. A good sourdough formula can be made using the sour to replace 25 percent of the flour in a dough formula. Remember that the sour is 50 percent or 1/2 flour, so you will need to use twice as much sour as flour that you are replacing. For example, if your dough formula calls for 40 pounds of flour, you will use 30 pounds of flour and 20 pounds of sour. Then don't forget that there is all that water in the sour, too. In this case there are 10 pounds of water in the sour and that water needs to be subtracted from the water that you will add to the dough. If you dont do this, you will end up making a pot of soup rather than a dough. To perpetuate your sour, you must now replenish it to build it back to the original amount. Since we used 20 pounds of sour we must replenish it with 20 pounds of new flour and water in equal parts. In this case it will be 10 pounds of flour and 10 pounds of water. The sour will be ready to use again in 24 hours. If the sour will not be used on the following day it must be refrigerated and cooled as quickly as possible. Once thoroughly cooled, the sour can be held under refrigeration for up to three days and used in the normal manner, but if it is held for more than three days the sour should be replenished once or twice before it is again used. To do this, remove half of the amount of sour that you plan to use, to this add the same weight of a 50/50 flour/water blend and allow to mature for 24 hours at room temperature. This is a single replenishing. If a double replenishing is to be given, just repeat this procedure for a second time and the replenished sour will be ready to use. It is a good idea to replenish the sour that you have stored in the cooler on a weekly basis to help retain its viability.A good starting formula for a sourdough is as follows:Strong pizza flour 15 poundsSourdough starter 10 poundsSalt 6 ouncesOil 7 ouncesCompressed yeast 0.75 ounceWater (70 F) 4 poundsProcedure: Combine all of the ingredients and mix just until the dough starts to become smooth in appearance (do not over mix). Take the dough directly to the bench and divide into desired weight pieces for thin crust, form into balls, cover to prevent drying, and set aside to rest until the dough balls can be formed into dough skins. Allow the formed dough skins to rest on trays or screens for about 20 minutes before dressing and baking. Sourdough crusts do not bake to a golden brown color, but instead will typically have a light, sandy finished color.