Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pizza Night

I made pizza last week. I swear to you, as I am sitting here typing up this post I can actually SMELL pizza. It is possible my neighbors are having pizza, but it's more likely that I'm finally losing my mind. Either way, I really want pizza, like... NOW! 

This pizza crust is a great healthy alternative to regular wheat crust. Since its made without yeast, meaning it doesn't need time to rise, it's quick and easier to throw together too. I would normally never dream of making a from-scratch pizza crust on a weeknight after work, but I did that here and dinner was ready before I knew it. Give this a try if you're trying to cut back on white flour like me, or if you just enjoy the chewy wholesome bite of whole grains.

The pizza you see here is topped with a simple white sauce, plus loads of sautéed mushrooms and spinach. To be honest though, I think I missed the tomato sauce. I might have even enjoyed the boys version more (not photographed), which had tomato sauce, spicy capicolo, and roasted peppers. For next time I'm thinking spicy chicken sausage, fennel and olives... or maybe a seafood pizza, the options are endless.

I love pizza night. 

100% Spelt Pizza Crust

Another benefit of this recipe is that the absence of yeast makes a less elastic dough, which is VERY easy to roll out. No more tossing and tugging!

Makes 2 X 12 Inch Round Pizza Crusts


    2 Cups whole grain spelt flour, plus  more for kneading
    2 Teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 Teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/2 Teaspoon sugar
    1 Cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
    1/4 Cup whole milk
    2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 Egg

1. Combine the spelt flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl - or the bowl of a stand mixture - and whisk until combined. Push the mixture up the sides of the bowl to make a well.  In a separate bowl, beat together the ricotta, milk, oil and the egg until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the centre of the well. Mix gently, gradually incorporating the flour into the wet ingredients, until a moist dough forms.

2. Fit your mixer with the dough hook attachment and set the bowl on the stand, kneading on medium for between 30 seconds to 1 minute, or just until the dough comes together in a smooth, but still tacky, ball. Alternately, lightly flour your hands and briefly knead the dough by hand for 7 to 10 turns, to get the same result.

Note: During this step I added 1-2 tablespoons additional flour to my dough, as I found it was too moist and was sticking to the sides of the bowl.

3. Cover your dough and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, this step is meant to let the bran in the whole spelt flour soften up. Meanwhile, you can prepare all of your other pizza ingredients and preheat the oven.

4. Unwrap the dough and divide into two parts. Begin to roll one half of the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper with a rolling pin. Lightly flour the work surface and rolling pin as you go, turning and rolling in each direction until the dough is a large uniform circle. Lift the parchment and use it to slide the pizza onto a pizza pan or peel, it should slide off easily. Repeat with second pizza crust.

Cover pizzas with sauce, cheese, and your favourite toppings. Bake at 500 F. until toppings are cooked and the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. 

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.


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