Have you ever tasted our delicious pizzas? If so, you have surely noticed their exceptional quality and unique taste. But do you know what the secret behind these delicacies is? The answer lies in the sourdough starter used to make the dough for Michele’s pizzas, including take-out pizzas.

Sourdough is one of the secret ingredients behind Da Michele‘s extraordinary pizzas. It not only gives pizzas a unique and complex flavor, but also improves their digestibility and shelf life. If you want to experience the authentic taste of Da Michele’s pizzas, why not try making your own homemade sourdough starter? With a little practice and dedication, you could soon be enjoying pizzas homemade that approach the level of perfection of Da Michele’s.

What is sourdough starter?

Sourdough is a type of natural yeast that has been used in baking for centuries. It differs from other types of yeast, such as brewer’s yeast or chemically derived yeasts, in its origin and composition. While brewer’s yeast and chemical yeasts are commercial products, sourdough is a culture of bacteria and wild yeasts found in the environment.

Sourdough is obtained through a controlled fermentation process of
flour
and water. During this fermentation, the lactic acid bacteria in the sourdough starter produce lactic acid, which gives the dough a number of benefits, such as better digestibility and a richer taste.

Sourdough is a living, active organism composed of a community of bacteria and yeast working together to ferment dough. This community is composed of a variety of bacterial strains and yeasts, each of which contributes uniquely to the fermentation of the dough. This diversity of strains gives sourdough a distinctive flavor and aroma.

“The dough of the pizzas at Da Michele in Venezia Mestre is made unique by the use of sourdough, which provides exceptional flavor, digestibility and shelf life.”

Why do Michele’s pizzas use sourdough?

Da Michele’s pizzas are famous for their authentic taste and the light, fluffy texture of the dough. Sourdough plays a key role in giving these pizzas their distinctive characteristics.

1. Improved digestibility

Sourdough promotes better digestibility of the dough due to the action of the lactic acid bacteria in the culture. These bacteria produce enzymes that help break down the complex sugars in the flour, making the dough more easily digestible.

2. Unique aroma and taste

Sourdough gives pizza a distinctive aroma and taste. Controlled fermentation of the dough with sourdough produces a number of volatile compounds that contribute to the aroma and flavor profile of the pizza. These compounds give pizza a more complex and satisfying flavor.

3. Improved consistency and alveolation

The action of lactic acid bacteria and yeast in the sourdough starter promotes the formation of a honeycomb structure in the dough. This structure gives the pizza a soft, light texture with a crisp crust and well-developed internal alveoli.

4. Extended storage

Dough prepared with sourdough has a higher shelf life than that prepared with other types of yeast. Thanks to the action of lactic acid bacteria, the dough retains its freshness longer, allowing it to be stored for several days without compromising the taste and quality of the pizza.

How is the sourdough starter prepared for Da Michele’s pizzas?

Preparing the sourdough starter for Da Michele’s pizzas takes time, patience and attention to detail. The following is a step-by-step guide on creating sourdough starter.

1. The ingredients

To make sourdough, you will need only two ingredients: flour and water.

2. The feeding process

To begin, mix the flour and water in a bowl until you get a batter-like consistency. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let it sit for at least 24 hours at room temperature. During this time, the sourdough starter will begin to ferment due to the action of yeasts and bacteria in the air and ingredients.

3. The subsequent feeding

After the first 24 hours, start feeding the sourdough starter. To do this, remove half of the sourdough starter (which can be used to make your own pizza dough) and add the same amount of fresh flour and water. Mix the ingredients well and let stand for another 24 hours. Repeat this feeding process every day for at least a week, until the sourdough starter is active and ready to be used for pizzas.

Tips for managing sourdough starter

To keep the sourdough starter active and in good condition, it is important to follow some guidelines:

  • Regularly feed the sourdough starter. Sourdough must be fed periodically to keep it active. This means adding an amount of flour and water to the sourdough starter and mixing well. This will refresh the sourdough starter and provide it with the nutrients it needs to stay active.
  • Store sourdough properly. Sourdough must be stored in the refrigerator to slow its activity. It can be stored in a tightly closed glass jar, feeding and refreshing it regularly.
  • Planning the use of sourdough starter. Before using sourdough starter to prepare dough, make sure you have a sufficient amount of active sourdough starter. If not, it can be fed and refreshed a few days before use.
  • Experimenting with sourdough. Sourdough offers endless possibilities for experimentation in pizza dough preparation. You can vary the type of flour used, the amount of sourdough starter and the rising times to achieve different results in terms of taste, texture and dough alveolation.