I have been trying out a few new sourdough pizza base recipes and I am happy with this improved version.
Simplicity and versatility are high on my list and this one ticks both those boxes.
Its a great way to use up discarded starter or can be made with active starter too.
The addition of semolina and a few tablespoons olive oil make all the difference to the flavour and texture.
A few tips for a nice crisp base, preheat your oven to high and preheat your baking tray. This can make it difficult to transfer your pizza but using a pizza paddle to literally slide it on works well.
To be honest I just preheat the oven then put the pizza base on a cold tray then add the toppings, its easier and I don't have a pizza paddle!
So here is my recipe
Ingredients for 4 large or 6 medium pizzas
500g pizza flour or plain flour
300g starter or discard
250 ml warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
50g semolina or fine polenta
10g salt, 2 level teaspoons
Measure the flour, semolina and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Mix the warm water with the starter and oil in a jug.
Add to the dry mix in the bowl and knead until it comes together into a fairly smooth ball. Takes around 5 minutes.
Cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature for a few hours until roughly doubled in size.
Put the dough onto a floured surface and use your knuckles to knock the air out of it.
divide the dough into 4 or 6 pieces depending on the size of pizza you want.
Roll out thinly, add toppings and bake in a hot oven for around 15 minutes until the base is crisp and golden.
I had extra dough so just put it in the fridge in a tupperware dish and used it the next day to make pizzas for lunch.
Alternatively you could make the dough in advance and just leave it in the fridge until you need it, bearing in mind it will become more sour the longer you leave it! I imagine it would be ok for 2 or 3 days!
If you don't have sourdough starter then you can use instant dried yeast, here is the amended recipe.
Standard Pizza Base
500g plain or strong white flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant dried yeast
325 ml warm water
1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
Put the flour in a large bowl with the salt and yeast.
Add the oil and water and knead for 5 to 10 mins, until smooth.
Put the kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for a couple of hours, until roughly doubled in size.
Proceed as sourdough recipe.
I absolutely love foraging for sea buckthorn berries, they have so many benefits especially for skin and hair health and are up there among the most nutritious superfoods on the planet, almost as good as the acai berry, which comes all the way from Brazil.
The good news is Sea Buckthorn grows really well in Scotland and can be found growing all along the coast and can be harvested over a fairly long time, from mid September up until the first frosts!
So what’s so great about sea buckthorn berries…
The fatty acids are anti inflammatory, rejuvenate the skin, repair damage and minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They are converted to prostaglandins, which protect against infections, prevent allergies and reduce inflammation.
Vitamin E is a great hydrator, increases and maintains moisture content leaving the complexion smoother and more plumped.
Vitamin C and Carotenoids stimulate collagen production, protecting and refining the surface of the skin and protect against damaging and ageing free radicals.
The combination of this unique profile facilitates oxygenation of the skin, increases blood circulation, removes excess toxins and easily penetrates the epidermis which floods the skin with healing vitamins and antioxidants.
Harvesting the wee orange berries isn’t easy, since they are attached to the branch really closely and are extremely juicy and literally burst if you try to pick them!
So you need to take a pair of secateurs and snip off whole branches, remembering to leave plenty of berries for the birds, who I am sure know how beneficial these berries are!
The easiest thing is to put the branches into the freezer, ideal if you have a large chest style freezer, then the frozen berries just pop off!
Sadly my freezer is full so I have to do it the hard way, you will need a pair of rubber gloves, a basin and a fork. Just use the fork to prise the berries off, some of them will burst but it doesn’t matter, so long as the juice ends up in your basin, its all good. Enlist in a few helpers and put some fine tunes on and you will have a basin full of berries in no time.
You need to check for any wee insects and give them a chance to escape, so go and have a cup of tea and put the berries outside for half an hour or so.
Give them a quick check for any thorns or woody stems and remove them.
Then you need to mash the berries to a pulp to extract all the lovely juice, a pestle and mortar works well, a large rolling pin, a potato masher or anything else heavy.
Transfer the mashed berry pulp to a sieve over a bowl, and use a metal spoon to press out as much juice as possible. I transfer the remaining pulp to a muslin nut milk bag and squeeze the rest of the juice out by hand. It’s precious and I like to collect as much as possible!
The juice is a gorgeous vibrant colour, its really tart so you can’t drink lots of it but I like to have a wee shot glass or mix it with some orange and passion fruit water kefir which is delicious.
It’s a hard flavour to describe but its very distinctive, almost citrussy with a hint of pineapple. Many people add loads of sugar to it to make a syrup but I’m not a fan of sugar so I prefer to use it neat!
The low pH preserves the juice beautifully, I still have some from last year and its still fine although obviously some of the vitamins and antioxidants will be less effective. This year I am going to freeze some juice in ice cube trays for maximum preservation of all the good stuff!!
So back to uses of this incredible berry, you can literally just apply the juice neat to your skin, but try a patch test first incase you have a reaction to it.
I have incredibly sensitive skin but am fine with sea buckthorn, it actually gives you a lovely glow, almost like a healthy tan!! And it protects the skin against free radicals and sun damage so another reason to use it!
I will be mixing the juice with my homemade hair conditioning spray, my unscented shampoo, my kombucha toner and my kefir face masks and downing regular shots of juice!
If you don’t want to go to all the bother of foraging your own sea buckthorn, you can buy capsules and oil for internal and external use.
These will be more effective than home pressed juice, since the seeds and the pulp will be processed to extract all the beneficial oils and all of the beneficial compounds, although depending on the process involved some could be lost or damaged. Generally cold pressed is the best since heat destroys antioxidants and vitamins.
I use Sea Buckthorn capsules for dry eyes, they really make a difference. In fact dryness anywhere in the body can be alleviated by using sea buckthorn oil or capsules.
This really is miracle stuff for the skin, I can’t recommend it highly enough!!
So what are you waiting for, take a wee trip to the seaside, take a picnic, some gardening gloves and a pair of secateurs and lookout for these super berries!
I love these wee radishes, they are such a gorgeous colour and look great sliced in salads or added to stir fries at the last minute . One of my favourite ways to use them are in a delicious potato salad. Cold potatoes are high in resistant starch, which our gut bacteria love!!
These wee bombs are also a great digestive aid and will get your digestive juices flowing! The brine is a beautiful pink and can be used in salad dressings or just drink a small glass as a great tummy settler!
The brine is packed with probiotics and is really delicious!
🍃 Health educator🍃