Sourdough Toscana Pizza: A Trip Down Memory Lane
As the warm, enticing aroma of a freshly baked sourdough Toscana pizza fills my kitchen, I am transported back to my cherished childhood days in the picturesque Italian countryside. The delightful memories of my nonna, expertly crafting heavenly pizzas in our cozy, rustic kitchen, come flooding back. Her hands, aged and wise, meticulously kneading the dough with love and passion, creating the most divine pizza crust that would make even the most discerning food connoisseur swoon.
In our quaint little town, nestled amongst rolling hills and ancient olive groves, the art of creating exquisite pizzas was a treasured family tradition passed down through generations. The secret ingredient? The use of a family heirloom sourdough starter, which imbued the crust with a unique depth of flavor that simply cannot be replicated by any store-bought pizza.
This homemade sourdough Toscana pizza recipe is not only a tribute to my dear nonna but also a celebration of the rich culinary heritage of the Italian countryside. Each bite of this scrumptious pizza will take you on a nostalgic journey back to the old country, where food was not only a means of sustenance but also a symbol of love, family, and togetherness.
As you gather your loved ones around the table to share a slice of this delectable sourdough Toscana pizza, remember that the true magic of this recipe lies not only in its mouthwatering flavors but also in the memories and traditions it represents. So, buon appetito, and may this pizza bring you as much joy and warmth as it did for my family back in the enchanting Italian countryside.
What characterizes a Toscana Pizza? #
A Toscana pizza is characterized by its unique combination of toppings inspired by the flavors of Tuscany, a region in central Italy. While there can be some variation, a typical Toscana pizza often includes:
- Tomato sauce: A base of tomato sauce made from ripe, crushed tomatoes, seasoned with herbs like oregano and basil.
- Cheese: Usually mozzarella cheese, but some may also use other Italian cheeses such as provolone or fontina.
- Italian sausage: Flavorful Italian pork sausage, cooked and crumbled or sliced.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Chewy and intense in flavor, sun-dried tomatoes add a touch of sweetness and a burst of umami.
- Olives: Black or Kalamata olives add a briny, salty flavor that complements the other toppings.
- Artichokes: Marinated or grilled artichoke hearts add an earthy flavor and tender texture.
- Red onions: Thinly sliced red onions add a mild, sweet flavor and a bit of crunch.
- Fresh herbs: A sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or oregano to enhance the flavors.
The Toscana pizza is typically baked in a hot oven until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly. It is known for its savory and hearty toppings that evoke the rustic flavors of Tuscany.
Enjoy a delicious slice of Toscana pizza with a flavorful sourdough crust. This pizza brings back fond memories of my childhood when my grandma used to make it in our cozy Italian kitchen. This homemade recipe is perfect for a family gathering or a quiet night in.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings: 2 pizzas
Sourdough Pizza Crust #
- 1 cup sourdough starter (active and bubbly)
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 cups cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Toscana Topping #
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup cooked Italian sausage, crumbled
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter and warm water. Add the all-purpose flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix until a sticky dough forms.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes until it becomes elastic and smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour as needed.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place for 3-4 hours, or until it doubles in size.
Preheat your oven to 500°F (260°C), and if you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven to heat up.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 12-inch round pizza crust. Place the crusts on parchment paper or a pizza peel dusted with flour.
Spread half of the tomato sauce evenly onto each pizza crust, leaving a small border around the edges.
Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the tomato sauce, followed by the cooked Italian sausage, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives.
Drizzle each pizza with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Carefully slide the pizzas onto the preheated pizza stone or a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
Remove from the oven and let the pizzas cool for a few minutes. Scatter fresh basil leaves on top and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Slice and serve your delicious homemade sourdough Toscana pizza.