sourdough, take 1

For pizza night this week, I tried to use my sourdough starter, which has
been bubbling happily on the counter top since Saturday. I hit up Kari
Williams for some bread-baking secrets, watched a youtube video on the
proper way to knead bread dough, and got to work!

Above is the dough post knead. I though maybe, just maybe, kneading the dough would activate some of the rice gluten chains, so I worked at it for about 10 minutes, flouring liberally as I went. Unfortunately, it never really got stretchy so much as brittle. I ended up adding at least a cup of additional flour to keep the dough form sticking to the counter, and all that made it too heavy to rise properly (It did rise just not quickly enough, expanding a few inches outward. The wooden cutting board had 2 distinct wet rings when I moved the dough, like tree stumps!). So, beautiful as it was, the dough ball needed some edits.

When I moved to dough to punch it down, I added about 1/2 c water, placing it back in the mixing bowl and squeezing the dough through my fingers to mix thoroughly. By the end of this step, the dough was back to being a sticky, unkneadable mess.

But a few short hours later (with a trip to the farmers market in between), behold!

A bubbly, spongy, semi-elastic blob, with a sour flavor that was quite noticeable.
I preheated the oven to 500, got my pans oiled and cornmealed, and it was
time to make some pizzas!

Portion out your dough. I made 1 large thin crust pizza with half the dough,
and two smaller thicker crust pizzas with 1/4 of the dough each. coat one side
in oil so your hands don't stick, and the bottom side in cornmeal, and stretch
the dough in the pan you are using, until it is the size and thickness you'd like.
If the dough rips, patch it with more dough. keep a nice crust around the edge.
This will fluff up as it bakes. Also, if you oil the pan before you cornmeal it, the
crust will have a loud crunch to it, which you may or may not want. I found the
crunch really nice on the thicker crust, but a little too tough on the thinner crust.

Coat your doughs with olive oil and garlic, and cover with toppings! This week's
toppings were: -basil from Happy Boy pesto, wilted bloomsdale spinach from
Serendipity, and fresh mozzarella on a thick crust
-crispy pork belly (can't remember the farm), nectarines from Top Notch Produce,
homemade ricotta and fresh mozzarella on a thin crust

Bake for about 15 minutes.

Serve hot.

And for dessert...

Vegan Chocolate Loaf:

1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c white rice flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
2 T flax seed meal
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1/4 t xanthan gum

1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c agave
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c melted chocolate (I used leftover TCHO ganache from work)
2 t vanilla extract

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Allow it to cool before removing from pan. Cut
with a serrated knife.

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