I shared my sourdough starter journey in a previous post, and one of my favorite ways to use excess starter is in pizza dough. If you have starter, use this recipe, and if not, use this one. In the first one, it mentions adding “pizza dough flavor” to the dough. No idea what that means. I simply add a bit of garlic salt, pepper, and herbs (thyme, oregano) to my dough. I usually make my dough the night before, but you can make it the same day, just budget in 2-4 hours ahead of time.
I like to make two smaller pizzas for ~*variety*~, so here are two of my favorite combinations, plus a recipe for a classic red sauce, if you want to go traditional!
— 4-ish tbsp pesto (recipe here)
— 2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
— fresh mozzarella (tip: get this from your deli if they have fresh mozz balls)
— 4-5 slices prosciutto (tip: get it freshly sliced from your deli. it’s 1/2 the price and not dried out)
— baby arugula
— balsamic vinegar reduction (optional)
- After par-baking your dough, smear pesto all around. Lay down your tomatoes. Top with mozz. Bake until mozz is bubbling. Top with proscuitto and either A) put it back in the oven to get crispy or B) lay it on top and let melt. Top it all off with arugula and balsamic.
— BBQ sauce
— pulled chicken or pork (use up leftovers here!) or one sliced, cooked andouille sausage
— sauteed, caramelized onions and bell peppers
— fresh mozzarella
— avocado (optional)
- After par-baking your dough, spread BBQ sauce all around. Sprinkle meat of choice and onions/peppers all around. Top with mozz and cook until cheese is browned. Top with avocado.
Classic Pizza Red Sauce:
— 1/4 onion, finely diced
— 4ea garlic cloves, finely minced
— 5ea roma tomatoes (or equivalent of whatever is freshest)
— 2tbsp tomato paste
— olive oil
— 1tsp fresh oregano
— 1tsp fresh thyme
— 1tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
— garlic salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- Sautee onion in olive oil until caramelized. (Take the time, build the flavor, its worth it.)
- Add garlic once onions are golden-brown.
- Once garlic is golden, add tomatoes. Use juices from tomatoes to scrape up any yummy bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce, reduce, reduce. Once the tomatoes are cooked down, add tomato paste and olive oil until slightly thinner-than-desired consistency is reached. Let reduce some more. (Reduction = less water = more flavor concentration.)
- Add herbs, garlic salt, and fresh pepper. Taste. Adjust accordingly.
- Use right away or store for later. Leftovers can also double as a starting point for most pasta red sauces.
Get creative and mix and match ingredients! Pizza is a great way to use up leftovers or vegetables that are going to go bad soon. Making it at home is exponentially cheaper than ordering takeout. I always recommend getting your charcuterie (prosciutto, pepperoni, salami, etc.) from the deli vs. prepackaged. 1) It’s legitimately half the price, 2) it’s so much fresher and softer, and 3) less single-use plastic waste. Also, buy fresh mozzarella from the deli or as a log. Any other cheeses, buy in a block and grate at home. Pre-sliced/pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt as well. Making pizza at home is fairly simple, a fun group activity, and besides prepping dough ahead of time, it’s a quick dinner to throw together after a long day. Plus, who doesn’t like pizza? (A/N: If you don’t like pizza, don’t @ me. Idc. Pizza is dope.)