I've been making the same pizza base (this one) for years as it is simple, quick and tastes good. I've been reading a lot about slower ferments recently, using sponge methods where some or all the flour is made into a softer batter which ferments for an extend period before the finished dough is made. This develops flavour, and if it's anything like a sourdough, texture too. With an afternoon of TV watching planned I decided to experiment and set a sponge going at lunch ready for the evening pizza. There's a bit of an excess of cheese in the fridge so I decided to go with four cheeses (quatro formaggio) on top.
The crust was good eating. Not sure I could notice a huge difference in flavour (maybe a nuttiness from the semolina) but there was a definite positive change in texture. As I expected it had developed sourdough characteristics, namely a thicker, chewier crust and the crumb was similar too, again a bit of chew to it. Definitely worth a go if you're happy to spend the extra time.
Sponge Method/Slow Ferment Pizza Base, one 30cm thin crust pizza
60gr strong white flour
1 ts dried yeast
Final Dough Ingredients
90gr strong white flour
5ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 ts salt
Mix the sponge ingredients, cover the bowl with teatowel and leave to ferment for 4 hours.
Add the final dough ingredients, knead till smooth, dust in flour, put back in a clean bowl and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Roll out and use as any other base. Once topped it will need 5-8 minutes in the top of a full heat oven too cook, preferably on a pizza stone.
Four Cheese/Quatro Formaggio Topping
1/2 a tin of tomatoes, drained and finely diced
1 ball of mozzarella, well dried with kitchen roll
20gr gorgonzola piccante, or other blue cheese
20gr provolone piccante, or other firm strong cheese
20gr of parmesan
1/2 ts dried oregano
First off cut the mozzarella into about 10 pieces and dice the other cheese into 1cm cubes.
Spread the base with the tomatoes then place the mozzarella over the top before scattering with the other three cheeses.
Scatter with the oregano then give a little drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.