Discovering Sourdough Pizza

Do you want to improve the taste of your homemade pizza? Make it with sourdough! Start with a basic recipe and you will notice the difference in taste right away. Don’t know how to make a sourdough starter? Watch the video at the end of this post!

King Arthur has a sourdough pizza crust recipe that includes adding 1/2 tsp of commercial yeast. I began making sourdough pizza with this recipe and it makes a great pizza dough. The King Arthur Pizza Flavor listed in the recipe is full of unnecessary ingredients. Instead, I add a touch of honey and reserve the spices for a rich Italian tomato sauce topping.

More recently, I discovered another delicious sourdough pizza dough! It requires overnight refrigeration, which improves the taste. No commercial dry yeast is used. This recipe makes a thick pizza crust full of air pockets that are associated with fermented sourdough. This pizza has a flavorful soft layer beneath the sauce ( Trick: Don’t add oil directly to the dough before adding the sauce). I always bake my pizza on an oven stone (this makes a big difference in the crispiness of the bottom crust). Avoid the bitter flavor of burnt cheese topping by adding it during the last few minutes of baking.

These pizza photo toppings include crushed tomatoes, with added basil, 1 tbsp of capers & olive oil. Vegetables are sauteed onions, garlic, slightly pan-fried broccoli, romano cheese, and feta. Sprinkled oregano and pepper are added once out of the oven.

Try making your own sourdough pizza using the links below.

Mangia! — Carole

King Arthur Sourdough Pizza (with commercial dry yeast)

Sourdough Pizza Crust by Baking Sense

Don’t know how to make sourdough? Below is an entertaining fun video about how to make a sourdough starter. The kids and the dog are so cute!

How to Make Sourdough with homesteader Jill Winger

Great Biscotti Recipes for Beginners

The first time I truly enjoyed a biscotti was while relaxing at Muddy Waters, a cozy cafe in downtown Burlington, Vermont. During my short lunch break from the school library, I would take time for myself among the cafe’s dark woody walls. Cuddled in one of their comfy chairs with a cup of coffee and a crunchy coffee-dunked biscotti, I could finally unwind.

Since retiring, I hoped to replicate the comfort of a warm cup of coffee or tea with homemade biscotti. It turns out that making biscotti is a relatively simple process! My preference is a biscotti without a lot of butter. Fortunately, I discovered a terrific beginner recipe, Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti created by Stephanie Jaworski. She has many biscotti recipes and video online for beginners.  

My recent biscotti recipe (and images) is from a website called, She Loves Biscotti created by Maria Vannelli. Her website specializes in biscotti along with other Italian recipes. The Almond Biscotti from her website did use olive oil. I added a half cup of cranberries and reduced the toasted almonds to half cup. These biscotti taste great and freeze well.

The fun thing about biscotti is that if you get a good basic recipe, you can adapt it with different dried fruit and nuts. This season, I wanted to make my biscotti more festive by dipping them in chocolate and covering them with chopped almonds and coconut. They look great for the holidays if I don’t eat them all first!

Here are links to the pages mentioned. Have fun making biscotti this holiday season! Comment any thoughts that you have. I’d love to hear from you.

Maria Vannelli’s Almond Biscotti recipe

Stephanie Jaworski’s Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti recipe (Joy of Baking)

Take a look inside Muddy Waters, Burlington, Vermont open 7 days a week!

Natalya Syanova’s Bread Baking

I loved walking home with a warm loaf of bread and breaking off a piece of fresh, delicious crust to chew along the way.” — Natalya

A molasses-flavored sourdough bread I have made several times was discovered on a site named, Natasha’s Baking. It’s soft rye bread with a touch of sweetness. The bread has a golden brown crust and rises perfectly each time. The directions are straightforward with a few “options” for adding dry milk and .5 grams of dry yeast (which I do add). It freezes very well and retains its delicious taste.

Curious about Natasha, I began exploring her background and what other baking adventures she might be undertaking. My research led me to somewhat limited information, but I was delighted to discover that she not only shares her recipes online (her Baker’s Journal) but also offers courses online and is a published cookbook author. A cookbook I was most interested in was titled,

Sourdough Baking with Kids: The Science Behind Baking Bread Loaves with your Entire Family

Through our public library’s interlibrary loan system, I was able to obtain a copy to preview. After reading the introduction, I learned that Natasha is Natalya Syanova who grew up in Ukraine. As a mother in the United States, she wanted to create healthy eating habits for her children. She began by introducing them to the wonderful taste of homemade bread that she remembered in Ukraine.

After exploring her cookbook and trying many of her recipes, I conclude that it is a terrific beginner’s sourdough bread cookbook that teaches adults sourdough baking and how children can join in! It describes how to begin making sourdough starters and has important suggestions for good baking habits. This cookbook is filled with delicious recipes and lots of information about types of flour as well as step-by-step instructions for making sourdough starters.

This cookbook is definitely one that Vermont Food Librarian would recommend as a holiday gift for any parents who want to enjoy sourdough baking with their kids!

Happy Holidays, 2022! — Carole