Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Gaming Food: Sourdough Crust Pizza

There's no question, Pizza is the number one go to food of Gamers everywhere.  Whether it's Tabletop Role Playing Games, Video Games, Board Games or Poker, Pizza is King.  Not only is pizza convenient, and (assuming you live within the delivery area) quick - it's actually pretty economical - each player can chip in a few bucks and enjoy some hot slices packed with protein and carbs for a long night of gaming.

Sadly, one downfall of living in the toolies is No.Pizza.Delivery.  Admittedly, I've sufficiently spoiled my husband with homemade cooking to the point that he'd rather eat my cooking in most cases anyway, but there are times when it would just be so much easier to pick up the phone and order in. Gaming Night is definitely one of those times.

For the most recent Gaming Night with my group of gaming friends, we decided to set up a Make-Your-Own Pizza Bar with flatbread from this post (and video).  Then we had to reschedule our Game Night and Steven and I ate some pizzas with the flatbread and toppings.  The following week when we were once again scheduled to play, we decided to try again with the pizza bar, so I replenished some of the toppings, but forgot to pick up extra flatbread (Gaming is hungry play and you just never know how much each gamer will eat).  I didn't realize, until I'd already driven all the way home, that I had forgotten the extra flatbread so I decided to make some Sourdough Pizza Crust with a sourdough starter my sister gave me a few weeks earlier.

To make the crust, I started with my Mom's Pizza Dough from this Breakfast Pizza post and substituted 1/2 Cup of the Sourdough Starter for 1/2 Cup of the water in the recipe.  I measured out the starter into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, then topped it off with the remaining water to total 1 1/4 cups of liquid.  I used cold water, so I wouldn't kill the starter and set it aside for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in the bowl of my mixer, I measured in 1 Cup of the flour and the salt.

Next, I added the 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil to the starter and water mixture and added it all to the flour and salt in the mixing bowl and turned the mixer on low and let it combine everything together and form a sponge.  I let it sit for about another 20 minutes, just to ensure that the yeast in the starter had a chance to activate.

Next, I added the final cup of flour and let the mixer finish combining everything until it came together in a beautiful, soft dough.  I lightly kneaded it and formed it into a ball...

...then sprayed the mixing bowl and top of the dough ball with a misting of Olive Oil, covered it tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise - it was a cold day so I took advantage of the heat from our wood stove and it did an admirable job.

This was only the second time I'd made bread using my starter, but it seems to take a lot longer to rise - so be patient and be sure to allow plenty of time to let the dough do it's thing.  We were playing on Sunday this time (it was Memorial Day Weekend), so I made the dough Saturday morning and it had all afternoon to rise.  Once it had doubled in size, I divided it into 4 roughly equal dough balls, placed them in zip-close bags and put them in the fridge to hold until Game Night.

The next step was to make my favorite pizza sauce and pre-cook some sausage.  I much prefer grating cheese by hand for things like pizza, it just melts so much better, but when it comes to Game Night, minimal preparation is key for achieving maximum playing time so I purchased pre-shredded Mozzarella as well as pre-sliced salami and pepperoni.  But alas, the sourdough crust was not to be - for we ended up having more than enough flatbread for the whole group - which is just a well because taking time to roll out pizza dough when we finally took our dinner break around 8:00 pm was just not going to do....  So Memorial Day rolled around and guess who had Sourdough Pizza for dinner?  You guessed it, yours truly and hubby!  :)  Here's how it all goes together:

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board...

Top it with an even layer of sauce (Steven & I both prefer extra sauce, so ours are thick layers)...

Add salami and pepperoni...

...and any other flat toppings you prefer... those with toppings such as sausage, olives, bell peppers and onions...

...finish them off with a nice layer of shredded Mozzarella cheese...

Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted and starting to turn golden brown in spots.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Do you have a Game Night or other activity you enjoy with friends?  What are your favorite foods to eat when you get together?  I'd love to hear about them!

Until next time - Ciao!


  1. Alright, does that mean I have to make a sourdough starter for my pizza? I'm pretty lazy and don't have a starter on hand at the momement. What I DO have is beer. Another recipe you may want to try and will provide you with a great pizza only a couple of hours after you start is:
    Although I have a couple of recipes that make better pizza dough, the combination of speed and a nice thick rich dough with a touch of beer flavor make this the one I make the most often. I'm a huge fan of King Arthur Flour companies recipes and how they offer help with any recipe gone wrong. Fantastic resource! Thanks for the sour dough recipe, I'll try it next time I make some starter. :)

    1. Hey Carol, I'm definitely interested in trying this, I love beer bread. I'd be happy to send you some starter if you'd like, you can private message me your address on Facebook since we are already connect there. There is also a good video on making your own on the YouTube Channel "Breadtopia". Thanks for the tip and the link.