Soaked Spelt Pizza Dough

The good news: my shoulder is feeling fantastic and held up beautifully through a hard interval workout Saturday morning.

The bad news: I am so sore from Saturday’s workout because I haven’t been working out like that due to the LEEP and my shoulder!

The good news: it’s a balmy 60* and I was overdressed on my bike to work this morning.

The bad news: the only leaves left on the trees are the brittle, decaying, brown ones. ūüôĀ ¬†I am a leafy green kinda girl.

The good news: my soaked spelt pizza dough turned out delicious!

The bad news: none? Only that it is going to be hard to resist not eating pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Saturday morning I combined

  • 3 cups of spelt flour
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon whey (poured from the top of my plain yogurt)
Once it was all mixed up in a big bowl, I covered it with a clean dish towel and set aside to do it’s thing. ¬†What is it’s thing? ¬†Breaking down the phytic acid¬†in the flour to increase¬†digestibility¬†and nutrient absorption.
Why spelt? Spelt contains a lot more protein than wheat (10 grams for 2 ounces vs. less than 3 grams for the same amount of wheat). Spelt also nearly three times the fiber of wheat. ¬†While I’ve never noticed an adverse reaction to wheat or gluten in myself, spelt is lower in gluten and people with mild wheat intolerance can often enjoy spelt without a problem. ¬† People with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance still need to stir clear of spelt.
Sunday afternoon I activated the yeast by combining
  • 1/4 cup of 100* water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
Once the yeast was nice and bubbly, about 10 minutes later, I incorporated it into the dough along with a few pinches of salt.

The dough was then drizzled with olive oil, covered, and set in a warm spot to rest and rise.

In my very limited experience soaked spelt doesn’t rise like whole wheat, nor is it as elastic and gluten-y. ¬†For this reason I find it easier to make smallish, hand-formed crust when working with soaked spelt dough.

When the dough was ready to go I incorporated a little more spelt flour as I kneaded for a few minutes.  Spelt has 30 percent more protein and more soluble gluten, which makes it possible to over-knead it.  I get bored easily with kneading so this is good news to me!

I formed 8 little balls with the dough as my pizza stone heated in a 500* oven.

I also got a little topping happy; homemade tomato sauce, 3 kinds of cheese, fresh oregano, sauteed onions, squash, and garlic, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms.

My dough was sticky so I found that it worked best if I pre-baked the crust for a few minutes on the hot stone before adding the toppings.  [no time for pics! at this point I was up to my elbows in flour and toppings!]

Pizza, pizza, pizza!

If you want more details, I used this recipe and this recipe as a guide for the dough.

Simple Pleasures Sunday

Dirt under my fingernails from planting 50 bulbs.

Peeling back the frost cover to pick vibrant, fresh, organic lettuce-in November!

Green Kitchen factoid:

Growing one pound of lettuce takes 80 calories of food energy but washing, chilling, packaging, and transporting that same lettuce from California to the East coast takes nearly 5,000 calories, or almost 60 fossil fuel calories per lettuce calorie.

[information source Michael Pollan]

Does this mean I won’t be buying California lettuce in February? ¬†Nope, probably not. ¬†But it will make me aware of the extra “cost” of that lettuce and maybe I will choose a local kale more often and save out-of-local-season lettuce for a special treat. ¬†In my mind, this information is like a little kid knowing that beef comes from a cow. ¬†The kid will probably still eat the meat but now they have a connection between what’s on their plate and where it came from.

Hopefully my kale will last through the winter!

From dirt to dough! ¬†After triple washing my hands I dug into a soaked spelt pizza dough that’s been in the works since yesterday morning. ¬†I’ll let you know tomorrow if it turns out well!

It’s an overcast but delightfully mild day here and I’m heading out for a walk.

I hope your Sunday is filled with simple pleasures!