|Regions: Campbell, Klondike, Kluane, Northern & Arctic Yukon, Silver Trail, Southern Lakes, Watson Lake Region, Whitehorse Region||Communities: Whitehorse|
|Themes: Heritage & Culture||Categories: Heritage & Culture, Dining, Klondike Gold Rush|
Pizza with a hint of gold rush history.
When you think about Klondike history, tangy dough probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But maybe it should be. You see, prospectors relied heavily on sourdough to keep their energy levels up during mining excursions. And more than a hundred years later, Yukoners still love their sourdough. So, we’re always looking for unique ways to use the starter in our meals, which is why we’re obsessed with this sourdough pizza crust recipe from The Boreal Gourmet, Michele Genest.
It’s all about the mise en place.
First, make sure your family’s hungry because this recipe makes four delicious personal-sized pies. And once everyone’s good and excited about pizza night, it’s time to hit the kitchen. To get started on your sourdough, you’ll need some, well, sourdough starter. That, plus a few other key ingredients. So make sure you have everything listed below (and some tasty toppings) before you start cooking. After all, no one wants to go on a post-appetizer trip to the grocery store.
250 g to 375 g sourdough starter (about 1 to 1½ cups)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
150 g to 250 g (1 to 1½ cups) all-purpose flour (use the same volume of flour as starter)
Warm water as necessary
Bring everything together.
Whisk the olive oil and salt into your starter before combining it with the flour. And if your dough is looking a little dry, go ahead and moisten it with a bit of water. Just make sure to add the water 1 tsp at a time until a shaggy ball forms. Next, prepare for a quick arm workout—don’t worry, it doesn’t involve push-ups. Roll up your sleeves, place your dough onto a lightly floured counter, and knead it for about 2-3 minutes. Then put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it sit for 30 minutes. And as soon as the dough—and your biceps—have had a good rest, cut the dough into four pieces, form them into balls, and leave them for another 30 minutes.
Roll it out.
Set your oven to 400F or 200C and, while it heats up, create some makeshift pizza stones. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle them with flour or cornmeal. Then roll out each piece of dough into an oblong shape that’s about 17 inches long and 6 inches wide. Now, you might find that your dough bounces back when you try to stretch it out. But don’t fret, if you let the dough rest for a few minutes, it usually cooperates. And if all else fails, you can always try spinning your dough in the air. Be careful, though. We’re still cleaning up after our last pizza tossing attempt.
This calls for fancy toppings.
Transfer your rolled-out dough onto the baking sheets, add a good layer of sauce, and throw on some toppings. But, look, let’s talk about ingredients for a second. While you’re more than welcome to blaze your own pizza trail, we strongly suggest including a few Yukon-inspired additions like buffalo sausage and morel mushrooms. Trust us, unlike pineapple, this flavour combination gets a thumbs up almost every time. Speaking of universally adored food, it’s time to add some cheese. Hot tip from Michele Genest: for best results, use a mixture of melty and sharp cheeses.
Get ready to break bread—or, rather, crust.
Finally, pop your assembled pies into the oven for 16-18 minutes and wait patiently (or impatiently) for the timer to go off. In the meantime, watch out for browning crusts and bubbling cheese. And once your crispy masterpieces are cooked to perfection, slice those pizzas up and serve them right away. But before you dig in, we have to warn you: you may never be able to go back to eating regular pizza again. Sorry, not sorry.