Thursday, 4 December 2014

Home-made Pizza - Spelt and Chickpea Flour Bases!

I made two delicious pizzas (not all for myself!) the other day - one with a spelt flour crust, one with chickpea flour. Both were very tasty, and I wanted to share my recipes with you - after all, if you can make delicious pizza at home, why waste money ordering in take-out pizza that's loaded with extra who-knows-what?

Spelt flour is an ancient grain (some say it's been harvested for 9000 years). It's a whole-food - unlike with bread wheat, where  vital nutritional bran and germ are usually removed during milling.   However this does not mean that spelt makes a heavy loaf. Spelt is not gluten-free, but is thought to be OK for people with a slight gluten intolerance due to the way that it's produced. 

Chickpea flour is made of ground-up chickpeas, although the one I buy from Holland and Barrett also contains some yellow lentils. It's also known as gram flour, garbanzo bean flour or besan, and is a common addition to Burmese, Moroccan and Indian dishes to name a few. It's gluten free, and has relatively more protein than other flours.

To make your own pizza dough (for 2 big pizzas), all you need is:

375g (13 oz) flour (of your choice)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon  sugar
7g (1/4 oz) dried active baking yeast  (dry yeast, or activated in water)
2 tablespoons olive oil
225ml (8 fl oz) warm water

1. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and mix together. Ideally, of course, use your hands and knead that
dough as best you can!

2. Leave in the bowl, covered with a tea towel, in a warm place for an hour so that the dough will expand.

3. Roll out onto a floured surface - if you don't have a rolling pin, use a wine bottle!

4. Add your ingredients! I used tomato passata for the base, then for my spelt flour pizza, I used leeks, aubergine and cheese. For the chickpea flour base I used the interesting but delicious topping of sweet potato and feta cheese!

5. Pop in the oven at 190C for 15-20 minutes.

Mmm! The verdict? The chickpea flour base was a little dry. I'm not sure yet what can be done to change this, but I'll work on it! The spelt flour base was bready and delicious.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

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