from one generation to the next
For years I was intimidated by the mystique surrounding sourdough bread baking. It was a sense reinforced by the scientific sounding language used to describe the processes involved with the development of the dough. The words sounded foreign to my cook’s ear especially when all I wanted to do was make great bread.
In the 1980s I regularly made sourdough bread. It was adequate for our needs and eased the demands placed by a growing family on the household budget, but the quality of that bread was nothing to brag about. I had much more success with yeasted loaves.
I think the sourdough bread I bake now is as good as any professionally made local artisan bread. It’s with great pride that I share my freshly baked loaves. It’s bread made by a cook, using cook’s language and with a simple cook’s understanding of the bread making process. The crusts are crisp and crunchy, the crumb open and moist and the flavour is nutty with characteristic underlying sourness.
Making pizzas with sourdough bases recently I was reminded of the pizza scrolls I made in my bread baking phase in the 80s. My kids would greedily scoff down those warm savoury rolls baked stuffed with tomato cheese and herb. They loved them as an after school snack or to round out a cold winter’s day lunch of soup.
In recent years I’d applied this concept to scone dough so I was sure they be equally successful made with slowly fermented 100% spelt flour sourdough.
I was right.
Sourdough Pizza Scrolls
200g active sourdough starter
600g white spelt flour
400 mls filtered tap water
1 cup thick tomato passata
250g shredded tasty cheese
1/2 cup roughly chopped green olives
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons mixed seeds for sprinkling (poppy, white sesame, nigella)
Measure the bread dough ingredients into a bowl in the order listed.
Mix the ingredients into a shaggy dough, then cover the bowl and set aside for 20 minutes.
Tip the dough onto a well floured bench top, then wash and dry the bowl.
Knead the dough until it’d smooth and flexible.
Tip 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bowl and swirl to coat the inner surface.
Put the dough into the bowl and turn it over so the exterior surface is coated in oil.
Cover the bowl and set the dough aside for 40 minutes.
Tip the dough onto the bench (no flour this time) and gently stretch out the dough until it’s as thin as you can make it without tearing.
Fold the dough into thirds in each direction until you have formed a ball.
Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate the dough for up to 36 hours.
Line a lamington tin with baking paper.
Tip the dough onto the bench and stretch it into an oblong 25cm X 60cm
Spread the tomato passata over the dough leaving a margin of 3cm along the long edge furthest away from you.
Sprinkle the dough liberally with cheese, chopped olives and dried oregano.
Use a pastry scraper to firmly roll the dough into a sausage shape, beginning at the edge closest to you and rolling toward the unsourced margin.
Cut the dough into 3cm slices and arrange, cut side up with a few millimetres between in the lamington tray.
Sprinkle with seeds.
Cover the tray with oiled baking paper and a clean tea towel and set aside to prove.
The scrolls will be ready to bake when the dough, when poked, only recoils a small amount.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Uncover the tray of scrolls and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cools.
Makes 20 pizza scrolls
Delicious served warm.