In my dreams, I’m flitting about in yoga pants that sparkle like sapphires—and the entire house is made of pizza. I glide over to the living room and fearlessly take a huge bite out of a load-bearing wall. Then, Nate and Alex walk through the front door after a hike, and I have to tell them to remove their shoes so that they won’t ruin the tasty pizza floors. After removing their shoes, they ask:
“What’s for dinner?”
And, in my dreams, my super-powers of sassiness intensify. In shiny, sassy splendor, I tell them: “For crying out loud! We live in a pizza house! Can’t you just help yourselves to the roof every once in a while?”
And that’s when I wake up, chewing on bedsheets, dangling from the dresser, and shouting, “Follow me to the roof!”
My dreams only vaguely resemble reality on Friday nights, which is when I make pizza for the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Team. In fact, I’ve featured a recipe for pizza on this blog before, but I have a new one that’s even better because of a new addition to the Team:
Inside the refrigerator is a Mason jar filled with bubbly, stretchy stuff that I try to keep alive so that I can feed my family. It’s my evil kitchen secret: sourdough starter. Nate and I began our starter back in April, and it is alive! It’s still alive!
For a sourdough starter, you have to have a lot of patience and just trust that it will grow and take over the refrigerator, which is the happiest day in the world.
How to Get a Sassy Sourdough Starter Started:
Day 1: Mix 100 grams of whole grain flour with 150 grams of warm water in a Mason jar, and let the mixture sit overnight.
Day 2: Take out half of the mixture and put in 50 grams of whole grain flour, 50 grams of unbleached flour, and 115 grams of water.
Day 3: Repeat Day 2.
Day 4: Repeat Day 3, but with 100 grams of water.
Days 5-7: Repeat, but with 50 grams of water and 50 grams of unbleached flour.
At this point, you can put the starter into the refrigerator to keep the mixture from bubbling over. It will go “dormant,” and will have to be “awakened.” On the day that you plan to use it for pizza, take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm up (wake up) a few hours in the morning. Then, remove half of the starter and add in 50 grams of unbleached flour and 50 grams of warm water. In a few hours, it should get nice and bubbly. After using the dough for the pizza, add 50 grams of unbleached flour and 50 grams of warm water to the Mason jar. Let it sit for a while. Then, return the jar to the refrigerator, where it can sleep and get stronger and super sassy—but not too sassy. If it turns black or green or pink it is trying to poison you. Dump it and start over.
–At about 12:30 p.m. or so, start the pizza. If the starter is in a Mason jar, it has to be pushed down/flattened with a spoon. After the air has been pushed out and mixed through, measure out ½ cup of the starter and place it into a medium-sized bowl.
–Add in one cup of warm water and whisk the starter with the water until completely blended and smooth. At this point, I also add in one tablespoon of honey.
–In another bowl, measure out three cups of unbleached flour and one teaspoon of salt. Mix these two items together.
–Then, you can just dump the flour into the bowl with the water/starter/honey and mix it together with your hands. The mixture will be shaggy—and you’ll wonder: “How in the world will this ever be a pizza?” Everything will be fine. Just cover the bowl and let it sit until about 4 p.m., which is when the cat needs to be fed.
–At 4 p.m., feed the cat, wash your hands, and shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough back into the bowl again. Cover it, and let it rise until about 6:30 p.m. or so.
Ingredients for the sauce:
–1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes
–3 teaspoons of dried basil
–3 teaspoons of dried oregano
–2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
–3 teaspoons of granulated sugar
–1-2 teaspoons of salt
–1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
–1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
(The measurements above are estimates. Sometimes I taste at the end to see if the sauce needs more of an ingredient.)
Mix everything together and set aside.
–Preheat the oven to 450.
–Roll out the dough—I divide it into three oval-shaped pieces for the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Team.
–Prick the dough with a fork—to let the steam out while baking.
–Add the sauce and your favorite toppings/cheese.
–Bake on the bottom rack for five minutes.
–Then, bake on the top rack for 13 minutes.
Results: We absolutely love this pizza. Our review matches how I would describe the house of my dreams—if I were to see it advertised on Zillow: The Pizza House, located in a wooded nook spanning 5,000 acres, is just full-on pizza flavor from top to bottom. A crispy, tangy foundation supports spacious layers of sassiness. You’ll want to flit about in shiny pants and stick your face in the wall. Delicious!
Your Turn: How often do you eat pizza in a year? What is your favorite pizza?