Friday 26 September 2014

Smoky Tex Mex Pizza with sourdough base

When I was younger and learning to cook I wished to be the type of cook who regularly made pizzas as one of my stress-free meals.  I am happy to say I have arrived.  Pizza is regularly on the menu in our house, often on a weekend when we have tea on the knee in front of the telly.

Now that I have a starter, it felt only right that I find a reliable sourdough pizza base recipe.  Previously I have made a pizza base that uses sourdough and commercial yeast.  I still make my fast track pizza base occasionally.  Yet I bake with my sourdough starter so regularly that I wanted a base using just my starter for days when I have time.  I have made this one a few time.  My notes are fairly scrappy from the first few tries but this one worked a treat so I am recording it here.

Ideally I would have taken the starter out of the fridge a few hours before mixing up the dough to give it time to come to room temperature.  I could feel how cold it was while kneading.  I made this dough on a day in winter when the house just refused to warm up.  In summer I suspect it would rise a lot faster.

However, pizza is so good on a cold day.  The day before I made this pizza, it was one of those typical Melbourne days that we call "four seasons in one day".  It was a lovely balmy winter day of 19.5 C until we had a drop of 10 degrees in an hour.  I suspect I was feeling the cold on the day I made it because of the sudden change.

I have dreamed of making a good tex mex pizza for some time.  In this one, much past experience came together.  My experience of making rapid refried beans, pizza sauce and Mexican crema helped, as did my recent discovery of poblano chillis.  It was the poblano chillis that really gave me the inspiration I needed.  I am in love with their mild flavour.  While normally I don't use much in the way of chilli I wanted to have rings of these chillis featured.  So pretty.

I decided that a thick bean base might help to keep together the toppings.  One of my major issues with vegan pizza has been that everything falls off in my lap without the cheesy glue to hold everything together.  This one worked so brilliantly that it was only after dinner that I realised nothing had fallen off.  I credit this to the brilliant meltiness of bio cheese.  The paste at the bottom and the sauce on top no doubt helped too.  The only other change I would make to the topping would be to add some crumbled corn chips like one of my old time favourite pizzas.

And the sourdough pizza base?  Oh yes it was brilliant.  I have been making my fast track pizzas a bit thin of late so a thick bready base was such delicious comfort food.  In every respect it was a great pizza - great base, hearty satisfying fillings, and pretty to look at.  You can't ask much more than that.

More vegan pizzas from Green Gourmet Giraffe:

Tex Mex Pizza with sourdough base
An original recipe by Green Gourmet Giraffe
Serves 3-4

Pizza crust: (enough for 2 large pizzas)
300g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
350g white plain flour
200g water
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sweetener
1 heaped tsp sea salt flakes
extra flour and oil for kneading
polenta, for trays

Tex mex topping (enough for 1 large pizza):
2 dessertspoonfuls of pizza sauce* or tomato paste
2 tbsp chipotle sauce or hot sauce
400g tin kidney beans, mashed with fork
2 tbsp tomato paste
75g grated bio cheese
Poblano chillis and red capsicum, sliced
Mexican crema
mashed avocado or guacamole

Mix all ingredients and knead for 20 minutes.  Ideally you will reach the stage where you can stretch the dough thin enough to have it transparent (window pane stage).  Knead on a floured surface if sticky and once it comes together and not too sticky (about 7 minutes for me) rub a little oil on surface from time to time to keep dough from sticking to surface.

Wash and oil the mixing bowl and turn the dough around so it is evenly covered in oil.  Cover with teatowel or clingwrap.  Leave to rise for about 5 hours or until doubled in size.  (Mine rose a lot - I am never good at measuring doubled in size.  It was a cold day - on a warm day it would rise more quickly.)

Preheat oven to 220 C.  Cut the dough in half.  Stretch out each half into a circle on a lightly floured surface.  Scatter large pizza tray with polenta.  Carefully life up circle of dough and pat onto tray.  Repeat with remaining half of dough.  Top one pizza base with tex mex topping (below) and other as desired.

Tex mex topping: Mix pizza sauce, chipotle sauce, kidney beans and tomato paste into a thick paste.  Spread over pizza base.  Scatter with grated bio cheese.  Top with slices of poblano chillis and red capsicum. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.  (After 25 minutes mine was quite brown around the edges.)  Remove from oven and use a spatula/eggflip to loosen pizza around the edges.  Transfer to wire rack until ready to slice up.  Top with avocado and Mexican crema just before serving.  It is best fresh but can be reheated the following day.

* I make my own pizza sauce like this one.  It is a mixture of tomato paste, baked beans and seasoning.

On the Stereo:
Way to Blue - Nick Drake

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food September 2014.  This year for Vegan MoFo my theme is The Letter S.  Today is S for Smoky Fridays.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my 2014 Vegan MoFo posts. 


  1. That looks absolutely divine. I've remained slack about my own sourdough efforts (as in, they haven't begun. Ditto for a vegan Herman friendship cake!)

  2. Now tht is a pizza I really want to try, so much more interesting in flavours and texturesm your right that the topping does fall off with not so good melty vegan cheeses, so am pleased for you this worked. I would personally add some jalapeños ontop :)

  3. Wow, that looks amazing! I am so envious of all your sourdough escapades, I want to have a go at it some time. The nice thick base reminds me of the pizza slices at Fatto a Mano - I had one for lunch at work the other day. It's a good idea to make it sturdy - I hate when all the toppings are too much for the pizza to bear.

  4. This base sounds fantastic! You really are getting extraordinarily accomplished in the baking / bread department :) I make pizza regularly but it doesn't compare to this sourdough version.

  5. You're speaking my language with this pizza!

  6. Ugh... I still buy pre-made pizza crust :/ You are an inspiration. I'll check out your fast track pizza to start. I'm just awful with baking...



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