Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Very Veggie Pizza with Sourdough Crust

Re-heated Very Veggie Pizza with Marinara Sauce and Sourdough Crust

Did I mention that I eat a lot of pizza? Many variations of the same theme. In an effort to get out of my “pizza rut” I decided to make a different sauce and crust. I have a sourdough starter living in my refrigerator and it works best when used and replenished often. I try to feed it 2-3 times a week – that way it is active and bubbly. I modified the sourdough pizza dough recipe from Breadtopia.com. If you want to learn how to make bread this is an excellent site. Eric has great videos on bread and pizza making. If you follow his advice you’re going to get some tasty bread.

The sauce is called “Best Marinara Sauce Yet” from allrecipes.com. I do not care to buy bottled pizza sauces primarily for two reasons: 1) They’re really not all that great and 2) It’s so simple to make at home. I made half a recipe of the marinara sauce and split it up for some spaghetti and the rest went on my pizza. You could make the full recipe and freeze it to keep on hand. I will definitely be making this sauce again.

The topping is my usual mélange of garlic, spices, wine, mushrooms, finely chopped broccoli, a bit of fresh spinach and half a zucchini.

I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying it is to make pizza from scratch. There is no comparison of home made pizza to take out or even pizza from the latest and greatest pizza joint in your neighborhood.

Active sourdough starter ready to work!
Pizza Dough
Makes 1 pizza
3/4 cup active starter
1-1/2 TB water
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup unbleached, unbromated all purpose flour
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour

Add ingredients to small bowl. Mix and let rest for about 15 minutes. Knead dough until it’s smooth and elastic. (I use Eric’s method of hand kneading in the bowl. The dough may be a bit sticky but just work with it. I’m always disappointed when I add too much flour. Less is better.) Place dough in oiled, covered bowl and let rise until double for about 3-6 hours. This helps to develop the flavor of the crust. Your little starter friends are doing all the work and it takes time.

About an hour before baking the pizza, preheat pizza stone in oven set to 500 degrees.

After dough has risen, knead for several turns on lightly floured surface and let rest for about 15-20 minutes. Then roll out into pizza shape to desired thickness, crimping edges. I like to give it a light spritz of oil.

Marinara Sauce
Adapted from allrecipes.com; makes about 2 cups sauce. Try to make ahead of time so it has time to cool in refrigerator.
2 tsp olive oil
2-3 TB finely diced onion
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
In a food processor place stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato sauce and white wine. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool before spreading on pizza.

Pizza Topping
This is a lot of topping for one pizza. I like to make extra to have some left over to add to pasta dishes. Resist the urge to use all of it; if you do, you will over load your pizza. That’s the number one cause of “limp pizza.”

2 tsp avocado oil
6-8 mushrooms, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 heads of broccoli, finely chopped
salt, pepper and wine to taste
1 cup or so of fresh spinach
1/2 zucchini, chopped
chopped sun-dried tomatoes
chopped kalamata olives

Add oil and mushrooms to sauté pan and cook until mushrooms begin to release moisture. Add garlic and broccoli, spices and wine and cook for a couple of minutes. Add spinach and zucchini and cook until spinach is limp. (Do not overcook. The broccoli should still be crisp; it will finish cooking in the super hot oven.) Dump into strainer to cool and drain.

Assemble Pizza
Place rolled out dough on a piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel. Spoon the marinara sauce on the dough and spread to edges. I also like to add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the top of the base. Add the cooked veggies and anything else such as kalamata olives. Slide pizza into oven on top of pizza stone and bake for 6 minutes; carefully slide parchment paper out from underneath pizza and cook for about 6 minutes until lightly browned on edges.
Bon apetit!


  1. Nothing wrong with eating lots and lots of pizza. :-) Even re-heated that slice of pizza looks awesome! Love the sourdough crust!

  2. Yeah, I'll probably be making it again next weekend!