Easy Wild Yeast Pizza and Artisian Bread Recipe

Wild Yeast Pizzas - Funktified Food


Dear blog… I kind of got busy with life and have neglected you.  My daughter is taking a nap so I going to attempt to actually type up a real blog post!  (I do mini-blog with photos a couple times a week at: http://www.facebook.com/FunktifiedFood)

Long story short… I bake pizzas and breads once a week and have been using wild yeast starters exclusively since Autumn of 2011 to make all my pizzas.  My main starters have yeast strains ‘harvested’ from organic and wild grapes that I made using the directions in this blog written by John Gutekanst aka ‘The Pizza Goon’: http://pizzagoon.com/tag/activating-wild-yeast  

I have been working on pizza (and artisan bread) dough recipes for years and trying lots of ingredients and techniques.  I have lots of methods that work well but I have realized that not everyone is as crazy as I am and most people want a recipe easily quantified and that require less steps than some of my methods.  I have been sharing my starter with friends lately and wanted an easier recipe to give them. I basically start with the ’1:1 flour to starter ratio’ and technique from Pizza Goon Blog with some of my favorite flours and added a little bit of honey and/or malted barley syrup. It works great.

Pizza Dough RECIPE:

First, I leave my starter out for a few hours before using it.  (I typically take out as much as I need from the starter, leaving a about 1/4 of the starter typically, replace the amount that I took out [2:1 Flour:Water Ratio], leaving it out for a few hours and putting it in the refrigerator until next week.)

In a bowl:
2 cups wild yeast starter (2:1 Flour:Water Ratio)
~1 tsp. honey (optional)
~1 tsp. malted barley syrup (optional)

2 cups flour (I use 1 cup high gluten, 3/4 cup spelt, 1/4 cup rye)
—STIR/Mix with hands–

When it is almost mixed add:
Dash of sea salt (~1/2 tsp)
Splash of olive oil (~tsp)
—Knead for a couple minutes.  Let dough rest for 10-15 minutes.  Portion off into balls, roll them in  your hand until the outer surface is sealed, put in a container, cover with an oiled plastic wrap and put in refrigerator.

If you need a visual for the dough: There is a good video/blog using the same method of making dough HERE.

The slow rise in the fridge will develop flavor and it also does other somewhat magical things to the dough.  It will work after a day or two in the fridge but I like it best on days 3, 4, and 5.  If you have time, leave the dough out for 30-60 minutes to proof at room temp before you use it (or longer if you are using bigger balls of dough for breads, large loaves will take a few hours to come to room temp). If you don’t have time to leave it out, it will work fairly decently right out of fridge.  I dust the dough and my board with a 50/50 mix of semolina and high gluten or spelt flour before rolling out.

I bake thin crust pizzas for 6-8 minutes on a preheated stone at 550.  For thicker pizzas, focaccia or cheese bread, I often use cast iron pans for about 12-20 minutes at about 400.  I also have used this dough recipe for baguettes and bake for about 15-18 minutes on a baguette pan at 490.  If you can’t tell when your pizzas or breads are done… Pizzas are done when the cheese is melted and bottom of crust is lightly browned.  Breads are done when the internal temperature is at around 200.

Funktified Food Wild Yeast - Italian Meat Pizza

Funktified Food Wild Yeast Pizza - Italian Meat

Funktified Food Wild Yeast Pizza - Tomato Basil

Funktified Food Wild Yeast Pizza - Tomato Basil


Funktified Food Wild Yeast Pizza - Prosciutto, Arugula, Olives, Roasted Peppers

Funktified Food Wild Yeast Pizza - Prosciutto, Arugula, Olives, Roasted Peppers


Funktified Food Wild Yeast Baguettes

Funktified Food Wild Yeast Baguettes

Funktified Food Wild Yeast Calzone

Funktified Food Wild Yeast Calzone


Funktified Food - Wild Yeast Focaccia - Herb-Garlic-Sea Salt

Funktified Food - Wild Yeast Focaccia - Herb-Garlic-Sea Salt


I check my blog comments very irregularly because I get so much spam here…  I respond much quicker at:  http://www.facebook.com/FunktifiedFood  So… ummm… come and find me on facebook.

Make it a Bar! Chili & Guacamole (at your Superbowl party.)

People like Superbowl parties for one to three reasons.   1. Football.  2.  Friends  3.  Food …Or a possible fourth reason… laughing at the commercials with your friends, while eating food and talking about football.   The Superbowl is coming and food and friends are two things that I enjoy… so let us speak of food!

Do you know what I love?  Options.  Choices.  Customizable food.  Why?  Because it is fun.  At my wedding reception, I had a potato bar… During one part of the night… you could go and get mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes and proceed to the add various toppings of your choice…  it made potatoes into an event.  Most people don’t get overly excited about potatoes, but people DO get excited about a potato bar. (After typing “potatoes” so many times… I realized that I have two things in common with Dan Quayle… my first name and well… thank you spell-check for reminding me there is an ‘e’ in potatoes.  Oops.)

GUACAMOLE.  Last month, I was reading Rick Bayless‘s book called ‘Fiesta at Rick’s’ and he talks about a guacamole bar.  GENIUS!  A simple roasted garlic guacamole with lots of toppings! I get pretty excited about good guacamole but I get REALLY excited about customizable guacamole!  Apparently, 8 million pounds of guacamole is consumed on Super Bowl Sunday… so why don’t you try a guacamole BAR!  I set up a little guacamole bar at Christmas time and made a fair amount of guacamole and it didn’t last long so buy extra avocados.

CHILI. You know what else I love?  Chili.  All types of chili.  Texas-style, Cincinnati-style, NM Chili verde, chicken chili, vegetarian chili, sausage chili… I like it all.   (I also love chile peppers… but that is for another blog.)  I made a couple types of chili for my friends last week and set up a little station for toppings and thought… oh my!  Chili bar is the best idea ever.  ha.

MAKE IT A BAR. This year at your Superbowl party (or any other time)… if are making chili, guacamole… or even mashed potatoes… I suggest giving people some options and make it a BAR!  You’ll thank me later.  Not only is is FUN but it also let’s the picky people be choosy and the indulgent people be indulgent(y).  You know who you are.

VESSELS for serving:  For chili… the obvious answer is… bowls.  Small bowls are actually the best to encourage people to try a few variations and/or multiple types of chili.  For guacamole… the obvious answer is chips BUT a more exciting option would be toasted baguette slices, pita chips, large carrots sliced in rounds, cucumbers, etc… you get the picture.  Mashed potatoes… try plastic martini glasses… because… it is just fun and easy to carry around.

 TOPPINGS:  The options are endless but here are a few ideas: Diced tomatoes, chopped red onions, green onions, raw or fire-roasted peppers/chiles, cilantro, toasted hulled pumpkin seeds, various cheeses from cheddar to bleu to queso fresco, crumbled crisp bacon, lime wedges, sour cream…  you get the idea…

Hot and Cold: Keep the hot items hot and the cold items cold.  A crock pot is the easy answer for most hot food.  The obvious answer for cold items… ummm… ice.  A fun tip that I learned from Rick Bayless is to get a  terracotta pot that is slightly larger than your serving bowl and chill the pot and then stick your serving bowl in the pot, this will help keep cold foods cold and help slow the process of your guacamole turning brown.

Green and Red Chili Bar with Toppings



Barbeque Pork Pizza and a Flashback.

BBQ Pork Pizza - Funktified Food

If you have ever written a book, been recorded in video or audio form, or any permanent record of a part of your knowledge or skill at a given point in time… you know that looking back after a year or two or ten.. is always an interesting experience.

I released my first solo album in 2000.  A listen back to that album feels similar to watching the first Funktified Food pilot video that UnoDeuce Multimedia and I recorded in December 2009.  I look back and realize that I was onto something and people liked it… but I have learned a lot since then. ha.

Many hundreds of pizzas later, I’ve experimented with lots of different flours, baking techniques, learned how to knead properly and even foraged wild grapes to harvest my own yeast to make a wild yeast pizza dough starter… I make at least a dozen pizzas and artisan breads most weeks but all of that is for another future blog posts… I’m here to revisit Barbeque Pizza.

Barbeque Chicken Pizza is still a pizza that a lot of friends request but my favorite Barbeque Pizza is a Barbeque Pork Pizza!  I often make a few versions of this dish depending on what I have in my refrigerator at the time.

PULLED PORK PIZZA:  The day after a barbecue, I often make a pulled pork version with leftovers… I usually add a some sesame seeds to the edges of the crust (to simulate a bun)… a light layer of cheese first (to act as the glue to keep the toppings from sliding off) then pulled pork and bbq sauce and a little more cheese… and the kicker is to serve it with a scoop of coleslaw.  Simple. Easy. Tasty.

Pulled Pork Pizza with Coleslaw

BBQ PORK PIZZA V.2.0: The other style Barbeque Pork Pizza that I like to make whenever I have extra pork tenderloin or pork loin…  I usually start with a light layer of cheese (the glue) then thinly sliced pork loin then bbq sauce then more cheese (mozzarella would be fine but try it with a smoked provolone or Swiss for a twist)  and fire-roasted green chiles, red onions, matchstick carrots and shredded red cabbage.  Not only is it colorful, it is tasty.

BBQ Pork Pizza

VEGETARIAN BBQ PIZZA OPTION: Try zucchini slices instead of pork or chicken… add a few hulled pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch.

BBQ Chicken Pizza with a semi-homemade crust is the pilot episode for Funktified Food.   Although efficient, the crust recipe seems like a rather silly recipe now (although lots of people like it)… but I know that it was my first foray into something I had been avoiding for a long time… baking!   It is a little embarrassing for me to watch now…  (AND I’ve lost 25+lbs since this was filmed.  Not to mention the camera adds another 15lbs. ha.)

I used to be very scared of baking because I was always told “it has to be exactly the right measurements or it won’t turn out, etc…”  Not only did that scare me, it didn’t sound like much fun to me…  BUT I’ve learned that you CAN experiment with baking and I make pizzas and artisan breads every week these days.  More about the breads and other pizzas that I’ve made on Facebook and YouTube.

Whew.  It has been a busy week taking care of my daughter Louisa and helping my friend’s band AtAverage record their new album, but I managed to finish the blog post. 

Comments, ideas and questions are welcome.  Thanks for reading.  – dan

Extra Links:

  • Bone Daddy’s BBQ is the sauce that I use for the pizzas.  It is a BBQ joint a few miles from my house and has won a bunch of national awards.
  • Pizza Crust Video Recipe – An older pizza dough recipe from Funktified Food episode #8… it works even if you have bad technique and poor kneading skills like I did in this video.  ;)
  • How to Fire-Roast Chiles Video Tutorial – If you want to get crazy and fire roast your own green chiles… I’ll show you how to roast them on the stove, in an oven or on the grill.
  • How to make Pizza on the Grill Video - If you want to make your barbecue pizza on the grill… Funktified Food episode #30 shows how to make a flatbread pizza directly on the grill grate.