Monday, July 13, 2009

Veggie Pizza with Spelt Crust

Yesterday my friend Alex and I made a wheat-free pizza. Alex is currently partaking in a gluten-free diet. I used to do the G-F thing too. I never had any problems with spelt flour and Alex said he doesn't either.

However, The Internets tells me that while spelt does not closely resemble modern flour it is
related and some people who are allergic to wheat may not be able to tolerate it. Especially people with cileac disease. So be careful.

Our dough was a kind of weird one. The recipe doesn't call for any salt at all. This is something I have had problems with in the past. I even called Martha Stewart and asked her about salt in dough. I was weary of this recipe but I followed it according to plan because wheat-free baking is kinda sketchy when it comes to the chemistry of ingredients. This was a mistake. Alex and I both agreed that the dough could have used some salt.

As far a texture and consistency goes; the finished product was sturdy and tender. Spelt flour is more coarse than regular flour and isn't particularly soft when used in baking. The crust was, well, crusty and we could definitely taste the spelt. That is sort of weird you know when you are used to pizza made with nice .00 flour or even all -purpose flour.

DOUGH
Ingredients:

* 2 cups light spelt flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons quick-rising yeast
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 3 tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil
* 2 teaspoon honey
* 2/3 cup warm water

*for the love of Pizza add some salt!

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400◦ F. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (including yeast). Then add water, honey and olive oil. mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a (spelt) floured surface. knead dough adding extra flour if necessary. The dough should not be sticky and should spring back when pressed gently with your thumb. In my experience spelt dough does not have the the same elasticity as dough made from conventional flour. So be aware of that.

Put the dough in a clean dry bowl and coat it with extra virgin olive oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Let the dough rise for about an hour in a warm place. Punch the dough down and let it rise again for another hour. When you're ready to make the pizza par-bake the crust at 400◦ F for 5 minutes. You can double you recipe (but check the internet for the proper yeast measurements) and freeze half of the dough or keep it in the fridge for up to one week for another pie.

ALMOND PESTO
Ingredients:
*2 C fresh basil leaves
*1/3 C Almonds
*1/3 C Parmesan cheese
*1/4 C Extra virgin olive +/-
* 1 large clove of garlic
* salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Pulse ingredients in a blender or food processor until paste. Pesto is usually made with pine nuts, which for some can be an acquired taste. I think almonds make a nice substitute and really bring out the flavor of the Parmesan cheese. Just be sure to chop them up really well before adding them to the pesto or make sure they get ground up well in the blender or food processor. They are not such a great surprise to bite into on the pizza.


TOPPINGS:
For our spelt pizza we decided to go with some nice fresh veggies on top. Many of our veg came from from our garden* or the garden of friends**

*Basil* almond pesto
*yellow squash** thinly sliced
*Red ripe tomatoes* thinly sliced
*Button mushrooms sliced
*Kalamata olives chopped
*mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Bake the pizza at 400◦ F for about 15 minutes. Then let it cool for a few minutes and slice it up and serve it hot!

The pizza was delicious! I ate the leftovers for lunch today. Thanks to my sous chef Alex! Here's a pic of me with our beautiful pizza before it went into the oven.


1 comment:

Jarman said...

YUMMM!!! i love wheat free pizza. i can't wait to try this.