Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter

Focaccia with sourdough starter

The story goes simply like this. Once I though my sourdough starter was ready to be used, the recipe for pizza dough I saw on the wonderful Profumo di lievito blog had to be put to test. And the first baby my sourdough starter produced was so good that I simply decided to stick with this recipe for pizza but also for focaccias. My older daughter who wasn't so happy to eat pizza and complained every time, loved it, too. Not only she loved it, she said it was the best pizza in the whole Universe, and declared it's the only pizza she wants to eat.
So you can imagine, I've been making it often and not only the big pizzas for dinner, but these cute little pizzas that the girls like particularly.
This dough requires some time for preparation, but I assure you it's worth every minute of your time.
It's so light, it tastes fantastic, it's soft with a thin outside crust.
I don't want to go into details of what and why (the author of this recipe explains in his post) because I didn't get much of that myself, but I followed his recipe literally  and it comes out perfect every time. So I'm just following his recipe blindly  ^__^

When I left for a vacation I was a bit afraid for the destiny of my sourdough starter. I refreshed it the evening before we left and then in the morning put it in the fridge. I thought it would be totally dead after ten days. But to my surprise it is still in great shape. I refreshed it twice before using it in a focaccia yesterday. And it looked fantastic.
Unfortunately, the dough is not the only thing growing like crazy in this house. Apart from my belly, it's my feet too, that look like they are about to burst any moment. So I'm leaving you this recipe today, and I'm off to the swimming pool hoping that soaking them in cold water will help a little.
Have a great Sunday!

Pizza  with sourdough starter

Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter
(adapted from Profumo di lievito blog)

* 300 g strong flour (Italian manitoba flour)
* 300 g fine semolina flour (semola rimacinata)
* 470 g water
* 90 g sourdough starter (hydrated at 50%)
* 7 g fresh yeast
* 14 g fine seasalt
*  20 g extra virgin olive oil

For focaccia and pizza:
* extra virgin olive oil
* coarse sea salt, cherry tomatoes, onions, olives, etc.
* pelati tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, etc.

Refresh your sourdough starter 3-4 hours before you start preparing the dough.
Put 250 g barely lukewarm water (at 30°C) into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the sourdough starter and mix it with your hand or a fork until it's almost completely dissolved.
Add the first flour (manitoba) and start mixing with paddle attachment at low speed for about 4 minutes. Proceed on a slightly faster speed until the dough starts coming together. Mix for a further couple minutes using a dough hook.
Seal the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let the dough proof for 3-4 hours, until it doubles in volume.
About half an hour before the dough is ready, crumble the fresh yeast into a small bowl. Sprinkle the salt over it, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. After that add 20 g water and stir well.
Mix the semolina flour with 200 g water, forming a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Add the semolina dough to the bowl with the first dough and mix them together using the paddle attachment, at low speed, until the two are well combined.
Continue mixing at higher speed and pour slowly the yeast and salt mixture. Once it's been absorbed, pour in the oil in a thin streak.
Once the oil has been well absorbed, continue mixing the dough using a dough hook.

                       Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter       Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter

                        Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter      Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter

Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let the dough rest again for 45 minutes.
Now transfer the dough on a lightly floured kneading board. Flatten it gently with your hands being careful not to lose all the air trapped inside the dough.
Fold the upper third towards the middle and then in the same way the lower third. Cut the thus obtained log into two or three pieces. Fold the cut ends towards the middle to shape each piece into a ball.

          Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter     Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter

          Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter     Pizza and focaccia with sourdough starter 

Place each ball of dough on a floured board and cover with a cotton cloth or even better with a bowl (that way it won't dry in surface). Let them rest for 45 minutes again.
For a focaccia: Put the dough into a lightly oiled baking pan. Flatten the dough with your hands to about 1,5-2 cm thick. Pour a little warm water and extra virgin olive oir on top and spred evenly with your hand. Then push your finger energetically into the dough to form the typical focaccia holes. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt (or add other seasoning like rosemary leaves, finely cut onionis, olives, halved cherry tomatoes, etc.). Let the focaccia rest for about 30 minutes and then bake it in a very hot oven, at 200-220°C until nicely golden.
With this quantity of dough you can make 2 focaccias.

For pizza: Put the dough into a lightly oiled baking pan (either round or square one) and flatten it with your hands as thin as you prefer it (very thin for a crunchier crust, slightly thicker for a soft one). Should the dough seem too elastic to flatten let it relax for a minute and then continue. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Puree the pelati tomatoes in a blender or with a food mill, mix them with a couple TBspoons extra virgin olive oil and salt to your taste. Spread a layer of tomato salsa over the dough and bake for 5-7 minutes in a very hot oven (preheated at 250°C) on the lower rack. Take the pizza out and add the pieces of mozzarella cheese. Put the pizza back in the oven placing it on the middle rack and finish baking it.
With this quantity of dough you can make two big square pizzas (30x40cm) or three round ones.

Pizza with sourdough starter

Pizza e focaccia con lievito madre
(adattato dal blog Profumo di lievito)

* 300 g di farina manitoba
* 300 g di semola rimacinata
* 470 g acqua
* 90 g di lievito madre (a 50% di umidità)
* 7 g di lievito di birra fresco
* 14 g sale marino fine
*  20 g di olio extra vergine d'oliva

Condimento per la pizza o focaccia
* olio EVO
* sale grosso 
* pomodorini, olive, cipolle, ecc.
* pomodori pelati, mozzarella

Rinfrescate il vostro lievito madre 3-4 ore prima di iniziare per renderlo attivo.
Mettete 250 g di acqua leggermente tiepida (a 30°C) nella ciotola dell impastatrice. Aggiungete il lievito madre e mescolate con la mano fino a scioglierlo. Aggiungete la farina manitoba e impastate con la foglia a bassa velocità per circa 4 minuti. Aumentate leggermente la velocità e lasciate incordare l'impasto. Montate il gancio e impastate per ancora brevemente. Coprite la ciotola e lasciate lievitare per circa 3-4 ore.
Sbriciolate il lievito in una ciotolina e distribuite il sale sopra. Coprite e lasciate riposare per 30 minuti. Poi aggiungete 20 g d'acqua e mescolate.
Mescolate la semola rimacinata con i restanti 200 g d'acqua, coprite e lasciate riposare per 30 minuti.
Aggiungete la pasta di semola al primo impasto (quello lievitato) e impastate con la foglia per qualche minuto finché i due impasti si saranno ben amalgamati.
Aumentate la velocità, aggiungete il lievito con il sale e lasciate assorbire. Versate molto lentamente l'olio. Una volta che olio è stato assorbito, montate di nuovo il gancio e impastate brevemente.
Sigillate la ciotola e lasciate riposare l'impasto per 45 minuti.
Trasferite l'impasto su una superficie infarinata con la semola e stendetela leggermente con le mani. Poi piegate il terzo superiore verso il centro e ripetete lo stesso con la parte inferiore. Tagliate la pasta in 2 o 3 parti, piegando le parti tagliate verso il centro e formando le palline. Mettetele sul piano infarinato e lasciatele lievitare per 45 minuti coperte con un canovaccio o una ciotola.

Per la focaccia: Stendete la pasta con le mani su una teglia leggermente oleata, a uno spessore di circa 1,5-2 cm. Versate un po' di acqua tiepida e qualche cucchiaio d'olio EVO sulla superficie. Spalmate l'acqua e l'olio con le mani su tutta la superficie e poi premete energicamente con le dita formando le fossette che si riempiranno con l'olio e acqua.
Distribuite sopra un po' di sale grosso, pomodorini tagliati a metà, olive, cipolle o altro a piacere e lasciate lievitare la focaccia per 30 minuti prima di infornarla a 200-220°C.
Con queste quantità vengono due focacce.

Per la pizza: Stendete la pasta con le mani in una teglia leggermente oleata. Lasciate lievitare nella teglia per 30 minuti. Condite la pizza con pomodoro, sale e olio e infornatela nella parte bassa del forno per 5-7 minuti. Toglietela dal forno e distribuite la mozzarella tagliata a pezzettini. Mettetela di nuovo nel forno, posizionando la griglia al centro e finite la cottura.
Con queste quantità di solito preparo 3 pizze tonde o due grandi, rettangolari.

Pizzette with sourdough starter

Pizza i focaccia s kiselim tijestom
(recept s manjim izmjenama preuzet s bloga Profumo di lievito)

* 300 g brašna za dizana tijesta (tal. manitoba)
* 300 g premljevene krupice durum pšenice (semola rimacinata)
* 470 g vode
* 90 g kiselog tijesta / kvasa (s 50% vlage)
* 7 g svježeg kvasca
* 14 g fine morske soli
*  20 g ekstra djevičanskog maslinovog ulja

Dodaci za focacciu ili pizzu:
* maslinovo ulje
* krupna morska sol
* masline, ružmarin, rajčice, luk, itd.
* pelati, mozzarella itd.

Kvas osvježite 3-4 sata ranije tako da je aktivan.
Stavite 250 g malo umlačene vode (30°C) u zdjelu stolnog miksera. Dodajte kiselo tijesto i miješajte rukom da se istopi. Dodajte prvo brašno (manitoba) i počnite mijesiti s K nastavkom za tijesto na niskoj brzini 4 minute. Povećajte brzinu i pričekajte da se tijesto počne povezivati tj. odvajati od zdjele.
Stavite kukasti nastavak za tijesta pa još kratko mijesite.
Pokrijte zdjelu i ostavite tijesto da se udvostruči (3 do 4 sata).
U manju zdjelicu namrvite svježi kvasac. Pospite preko njega sol, pokrijte zdjelicu i ostavite da stoji 30 minuta.
Kratko pomiješajte drugo brašno (semola rimacinata) s 200 g vode, oformite tijesto i ostavite pokriveno oko 30 minuta.
Kad je prošlo 30 minuta dodajte preostalih 20 g vode u zdjelicu s kvascem i solju i izmiješajte žličicom da se sol istopi.
Dodajte tijesto sa semolom prvom tijestu s kvasom i miješajte mikserom s K nastavkom, na niskoj brzini, dok se dva tijesta ne povežu.
Povećajte brzinu i u tankom mlazu dodajte kvasac sa solju.
Pričekajte da se tijesto poveže, a zatim jako polako, u tankom mlazu dodajte ulje.
Kad je tijesto upilo ulje, stavite kukasti nastavak za tijesto i dalje još malo mijesite.
Pokrijte zdjelu prozirnom folijom i ostavite da se diže 45 minuta.
Istresite tijesto na pobrašnjenu dasku. Lagano ga rastanjite rukama pazeći da ne istisnete zrak.
Preklopite 1/3 tijesta prema sredini, pa ga preklopite slobodnom preostalom trećinom.
Prerežite tijesto na 2 ili 3 dijela (ovisno koliki komadi tijesta će vam trebati).
Svaki prerezani dio preklopite još jedanput tako što ćete tu prerezanu i njoj suprotnu stranicu preklopiti prema sredini.
Okrenite tijesto da je preklop prema dolje i ostavite pokriveno da se opet diže 45 minuta (pokrijte svaku kuglicu tijesta krpom ili većom zdjelom).
Nauljite pleh u kojem ćete peći focacciu/pizzu.
Stavite tijesto i lagano ga pritiskajući dlanovima i prstima razvucite na željenu debljinu (malo tanje za pizzu, 1,5-2 cm za focacciu).
Ako se tijesto ne da razvući i čini vam se previše elastično, pravite pauze, tijesto se opusti i onda se lakše razvuče.
Za pizzu ostavite da razvučeno tijesto se diže u plehu 30 minuta, a zatim stavite gore umak od rajčice (propasirajte pelate, posolite i dodajte par žlica ulja). Pecite prvih 5-7 minuta na najjačoj temperaturi na najnižoj rešetki. Izvadite i rasporedite komadiće mozzarelle. Vratite u pećnicu na središnju ili višlju rešetku i pecite do kraja.
Od ove količine tijesta dobijete dvije velike pizze (pleh od pećnice) malo deblje, istina, ili 3 ako volite tanju pizzu.

Za focacciu, kad ste tijesto rastanjili, ulijte malo mlačne vode i dosta ulja pa razmažite rukom po cijeloj površini. Energično ispritiskajte prstima cijelu površinu da napravite udubljenja.
Pospite krupnom morskom soli (po želji dodajte i druge dodatke, masline, prepolovljene cherry rajčice, luk). i ostavite da se diže 30 minuta a zatim stavite peći na 200-220°C dok ne dobije lijepu boju odozgor.
Od ukupne količine tijesta možete napravite dvije velike focacce(veliki pleh od pećnice).

Focaccia with sourdough starter


  1. Both pizza and focaccia look marvelous!

  2. Oh, this is so beautiful - and with such rave reviews from your daughter, it sounds like one I MUST try! Now go relax with your feet in a cold deserve it! =)

    (ps...hope you'll share this w/ BYOB this month!)

    1. =) ...thanks for bringing these beauties over, Dajana!

  3. Predivne slikice, a focaccia i pizza jako primamljive!

  4. Lovely weekend treats...I am excited to try this sourdough starter. Thanks for the link. Gonna try and taste these pretty babies ;)
    Anyhoo, we have just recently launched a food photo submission site, that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. Your phenomenal photos have caught our attention. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there! (sorry for the blatant shameless plug)!

  5. What a fun story! The pizza place near us ( has a similar story - They started as a cheese and bakery shop and one night after work, some workers decided to throw some toppings on some of their sourdough for a pizza dinner. They thought it was so good, they opened a pizza shop using only sourdough crust! I can't wait to try your recipe for it!

  6. I love your story and the step by step photos are really great. Thank you for sharing this with BYOB.

  7. Super post. Sviđa mi se tutorial sa slikicama.

  8. Ona prva fotka me uvjerila da ti povjerujem svaku riječ o starteru i svakako ću ga isprobati, a tebi se divim da još ne samo kuhaš ono što moraš, nego i dalje objavljuješ na blogu.
    Nadam se da je bazen pomogao! :)
    Usput, koliko još brojiš? :)

    1. Još su mi uvijek natečena stopala, ali je puno bolje nego što je bilo u subotu i nedjelju kad nisam mogla pomicati prste niti zglobove. Još tri tjedna, navodno, vidjet ćemo :))
      Svakako napravi starter, nećeš se pokajati.

  9. I'm trying your recipe tonight - so excited!

    However, there's something I don't understand: You say to let the salt sit with the yeast for a while and then to add a small amount of water. Doesn't the salt ruin the yeast? I've always heard not to add salt to a dough until the very last moment, because a high salt concentration will kill the yeast.

    1. Hi, Berit. Salt is added directly to the yeast to inactivate it - so you are not using the yeast here as leavening agent (only sourdough starter) and it is added only later in the process for particular reason described by the author of the recipe - shortly, this helps produce gluthatione which, in this case, helps develop alveolar structure in dough made with durum wheat (gluten contained in durum wheat is tenacious and in this way it will get more relaxed). And it is produced from yeast in the process of autolysis, ie reacting with salt. So just trust me, it will cause no problem. Good luck, hope your pizza turns out well Dajana

    2. Thank you so much for your elaborate answer! I tried reading the original recipe, but Google translate only helps so much, and I do not understand much Italian.

      The recipe turned out great - such an elastic and wonderful dough to work with. I only had a rye sourdough starter, but it worked beautifully. Next time I'll make a wheat starter, though.

    3. So great to hear that you liked it. Thanks a lot for your feedback.


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