My favorite bread by far is a tangy, crusty loaf of sourdough. Luckily for me, since we loosely follow the Maker’s Diet around here (see why here), sourdough is pretty much the only bread we eat (sometimes I buy Ezekiel bread).
I have dabbled in sourdough making here and there. I took a fantastic class all about sourdough bread at the Kitchen Conservatory a few years ago. That is where I got my first starter. I kept it going for a decent amount of time, making a loaf or two of sourdough every week. Then, we went on vacation or I got lazy (I can’t remember which, but they seem to go hand-in-hand) and it died a sad smelly death.
I’ve since tried to make starter on my own from scratch with little luck. My guess is that the old drafty places we’ve lived haven’t exactly been the best home for growing and fermenting yeast. Thus, I was thrilled to receive an offer from King Arthur Flour to try some of their sourdough starter.
This stuff is extremely user-friendly. Sourdough starter can be confusing, at least for me it has been, but the instructions that come with this starter are straight-forward and everything happened exactly as they said it would. Within a few days it was ready for using.
One of the luxuries of the processed food world I’ve missed since sticking to mainly sourdough bread products is pizza. We rarely have pizza simply because the unfermented dough can cause havoc in the Food Snob’s stomach. Every now and then, we would get a gluten free version from a local place in St. Louis, but for the most part, there have never been any pizza parties in the Food Snob house.
I was really excited to find that King Arthur Flour has a recipe for sourdough pizza crust on their website. Plus, you use unfed starter (which you usually have to toss) – yeah for not wasting anything :)
This recipe was inspired by a flatbread I had a few weeks ago at Waterstreet here in St. Louis. You cannot go wrong with a salty prosciutto and sweet pears and balsamic glaze!
Pear Prosciutto Sourdough Flatbread
1/2 recipe of sourdough pizza dough (recipe makes enough for 2 12″ thin-crust pizzas), rolled out as directed
1 pear, still slightly firm
1/4 cup thinly sliced Asiago cheese
4-5 pieces of prosciutto
1/3 cup + 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1. Core and slice pear into 1/4″ think slices. Place pear slices, 1/4 cup water and 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar in a skillet. Bring to a simmer and let simmer 3-5 minutes until pears are soft.
2. Remove pears from skillet and add 1/2 cup balsamic to remaining balsamic in pan. Let simmer on low until thickened and reduced to a glaze.
3. Pace pear slices on rolled out dough and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Cover with cheese slices and prosciutto.
4. Bake in 450 degree oven on top rack for 5-7 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Ideally you would use a pizza stone, but I don’t have one. I used a basic cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
The sticky sweet balsamic reduction helps to bind together the pears with the cheese and prosciutto for a perfect sweet and salty combo.
It’s somewhat sophisticated and fancy, yet so easy to make. I highly recommend serving it as an appetizer or finger food at your next dinner party.
Tell me: have you ever baked with sourdough starter? If so what do you use it for?
Disclaimer: I was sent flour, sourdough starter and pizza flavoring from King Arthur Flour. All opinions, statements and photos are mine.