The Sourdough Saga Continues

For the third part in my experiment, I tried making my Ezekiel pizza crusts without commercial yeast and using only sourdough as the leavening.  Here’s how it went:

I went to the bread machine and pulled out a wad of dough that looked like it hadn’t risen at all.

I hand tossed two pizza crusts using that dough and let them rest in a warm place.

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I did everything the same as I usually do with pizza crusts.

After resting, when it should have risen, it just sat there.

After baking, it showed some sign of having risen and even puffed up with a few air pockets as you can see below.

 

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I feared it could be awful, but it seemed to have a little air so I built pizzas on it.  As it happens, I make a very heavy pizza with lots of cheese and toppings so I didn’t go easy on these 100% sourdough crusts.  They stood up to the sauce, cheese, bacon, ham, and pepperoni I loaded on.  Even after the second baking with toppings, the pizzas were great.

The crust wasn’t too chewy or too hard.  In fact, it was just right.  Solid enough to hold up the toppings, but soft enough to bite through easily (even for my little guy with the loose front tooth).

Sourdough Experiment Summary

All in all, I’m glad I did this experiment in three phases.  If you haven’t been following along, here’s a summary:

  1. Using the usual amount of yeast and 1/2 Cup sourdough.  Results: Epic lift, fluffiness and flavor.
  2. Using half the usual amount of yeast and 1/2 Cup sourdough.  Results: Good lift, fluffiness and flavor but slightly less height than #1.
  3. Using no yeast and 1 Cup sourdough. Results: Flavorful, edible, flatbread.  I could use this method for pita bread or pizza crusts but not for sandwich rolls.

I suspect that if I were making a loaf of normal white bread, the sourdough would have been enough to lift it for slicing or sandwich rolls, but the fact is I’m using heavy grains and sprouts and a good fluffy Ezekiel bread will need the added oomph of commercial yeast.

For now, I’ll continue using sourdough for the health benefits and cut back to half the yeast in my basic Ezekiel recipe.

It was still a fun experiment!