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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC

www.cathyskitchenprescription.com

 

Eggplant Sourdough Pizzette

 

There are few things as satisfying as biting into crispy pizza crust with its soft, chewy interior. Add flavorful saucy eggplant as in these whole sourdough little pizzas, and you’re in heaven. Rustic, simple, nutritious peasant food, with every element kind to the climate. I made the crusts with rye-whole wheat sourdough. The eggplant sauce is not only great on these Pizzette but can liven up your whole grain or legume pastas, whole grains, polenta, and baked potatoes too.

 

Prep 6 hours for the sourdough to develop plus 30 minutes

Bake about 8 minutes

Makes eight 4 by 8-inch Pizzette

 

500 milliliters (about 2 cups) spring water

500 grams (about 3 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons) whole wheat flour plus more for dusting

100 grams (about ⅜ cup) very ripe rye sourdough starter (see page__)

1 teaspoon aka (red) miso paste

1 medium red onion, cut in a medium dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 baby Italian eggplants, cut in a large dice

1 28-ounce can or jar San Marzano tomatoes, chef cut or cut in a large dice, juice reserved to deglaze pan

1 bunch fresh basil leaves, rolled and cut in 1/8-inch slices

⅓ cup pitted gaeta or kalamata olives, sliced

2 to 3 teaspoons dried oregano

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon aka (red) miso paste or to taste

Garnish with additional dried oregano and/or mild Aleppo chili flakes.

 

  1. Feed your sourdough mother dough, if using, twice on the day before baking to ensure it is very ripe for the Pizzette.
  2. In a medium bowl add the water and flour, mixing it well. Cover and allow it to autolyze (hydrate and activate the enzymes in the flour) for about an hour.
  3. Mix in the sourdough starter and after 10 minutes add 1 teaspoon miso paste, mixing it well.
  4. Wet your hand and grab one section of the dough in the bowl, stretching and pulling it up and over the rest before placing it down. Rotate the bowl 90° and repeat 3 to 5 times until the dough tightens.
  5. Cover the bowl with wrap or a clean dish towel to prevent drying, place it in a very low 90 to 100°F proofing box or warming drawer for 1 hour.
  6. Stretch and pull the dough again and repeat once every hour for the next 3 to 4 hours. During its fermentation, the dough will swell and become airier and lighter.
  7. Preheat the oven to 550°F and insert a large pizza stone, if you have one, on the middle shelf. Preheat the oven for 1 hour to allow the stone to fully heat. If you do not have a pizza stone, use a rimless baking sheet lined with parchment instead.
  8. Make the sauce as the dough is developing. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  9. Add the onion, stirring, and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the onion has released its liquid and begun to caramelize and darken the pan, deglaze the pan with juice from the tomatoes, scraping up the onion sugars that have adhered to the pan.
  10. Add the garlic and after a minute, stir in the diced tomatoes and their juice. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes.
  11. Stir in the diced eggplant and olives, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the eggplants are soft and tender but intact. Stir in the basil, and season with pepper to taste. Cover and cook for a final 5 minutes to allow all the flavors to blend. Remove from the heat and stir in aka (red) miso paste to taste.
  12. Flour a large board and using a bowl scraper, transfer the sourdough to the board. Since the dough is a high-hydration dough, you will need to incorporate a little more flour as you shape each Pizzetta to prevent sticking.
  13. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, folding them gently, adding flour as needed, and shaping each into a soft ball. Place one ball aside. Roll the others in flour and return them to the bowl and cover. Use your fingers to gently stretch the first ball into an oblong. Leave the edges higher than the center to hold the sauce.
  14. If the dough resists stretching, hold it up on side and allow gravity to stretch it. Pat with flour, flip, and continue prodding until you have a Pizzetta measuring 4 by 8 inches.
  15. Dust a pizza peel or a thin wooden cutting board spatula with enough flour to prevent sticking, place the dough oblong upon it, spoon on several tablespoons of the eggplant mix. Grind a little pepper on the top, sprinkle additional oregano, and transfer it onto the oven on the stone or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  16. Baked for about 8 minutes or until the dough has darkened in places and blistered. Transfer to a cooling rack. As each Pizzetta is baking, continue rolling and filling the others, adding them to the oven as soon as they are ready, until all your dough is used.
  17. Eggplant Sourdough Pizzette are best hot right out of the oven. If you make them in advance, just pop them into a 500°F oven to reheat and crisp up for 5 minutes before serving.
  18. Garnish with a sprinkling of dried oregano, za’atar, or other dry herbs and for those who enjoy a little heat, a pinch of Aleppo or Italian peperoncino chili flakes.

Eggplant Sourdough Pizzette

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