This is a focaccia-type pizza made with a crust that substitutes spelt flour for half of the white flour. It works very well and we even prefer this version to the all-white flour version. I like to use spelt flour instead of white flour whenever possible, however I don't much like my bread recipes when there is more than about a one-to-three spelt to white flour ratio (admittedly, it is the texture that suffers, not the flavor). For quiche, tart, and pizza crusts, however, half spelt is great. Here is our master recipe...it is very easy!
Pizza with Sprouted Spelt Flour Crust
1 1/8 cups bread flour
1 1/8 cups sprouted spelt flour
1 t vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup cornmeal (any grind)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm tap water (110º) ...start with a little less...can be cold if using bread machine
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (when doubling the recipe, use less yeast, about 3 t instead of 5 t)
2 Tablespoons olive oil (plus 1 T+ for oiling the pan)
1 c (7 to 8 oz) pizza sauce
1 cup+ grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup+ grated Monterey jack OR grated mozzarella
some grated Parmesan cheese (opt)
1A. BREAD MACHINE: process crust ingredients on the dough setting, letting the dough rise in the machine ... this takes 1 hour and 50 minutes in my Zojirushi.
1B. WITHOUT MACHINE: In a 2-qt. (or bigger) mixing bowl sir the flour & salt well to combine; make a well in the center. Measure the water and pour it into a small bowl, whisk in the yeast, then 2 C oil. Pour the liquid into the well and stir with a rubber spatula (or your hand) in one direction until it forms a soft, very sticky dough. Stir vigorously for 1 minute, in one direction, until it looks smoother. Cover the bowl tightly with a lid or plastic wrap & allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in bulk, up to 1 hour OR put into the refrigerator & let it rise all day.
2. Line bottom of a rimmed half-sheet pan (11" x 17" x 1") with parchment and use the remaining oil to grease the parchment and the sides of the pan (if you don't use parchment, you'll have to use a lot more oil).
3. Scrape the dough from the bowl to the pan, being careful not to stir or fold it. Oil your hands and press and pat the dough into the pan all the way to the sides. If it resists, let it rest for 5 minutes (may take longer if dough is cold) then continue. The top should be lightly coated with oil. Cover loosely with an oiled piece of parchment or put in a cupboard and let it puff up slightly, about 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, set your racks at the highest and lowest levels in the oven and preheat to 450º. Set stone/tiles on rack. Also, lay some paper towels on the counter (optional) and set a cooling rack over it (one large enough to fit the pizza).
5. When the dough has puffed, prick all over with a fork and bake on bottom rack (or on the stone/tiles) for 13 to 15 minutes (until it starts to brown). After 10 minutes, lift an end of the pizza with a metal spatula to check if bottom is burning. If coloring too quickly, slide another pan under first one (if you have a heavy pan, this will not happen). If the bottom is fine check after another 5 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and slide the pizza out of the pan and onto the cooling rack, discarding the parchment liner. If you do not have a stone or tiles, leave the pizza in the pan and just slide the parchement paper out of from under the pizza.
7. Top with pizza sauce, cheeses, etc.
8. Bake about 10 to 14 minutes more (if using stones/tiles, use a pizza board/peel, slide pizza onto the stone/tiles).
9. As soon as the pizza is done, slide pizza out of the oven/out of the pan and onto the cooling rack to prevent soggy crust.
•If you use more than a total of 2 ½ C of cheese, the pizza will be mushy and not good.
•Leftover grilled vegetables, esp. zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant, make great toppings. So does spinach sauteed/steamed with garlic and olive oil. Pepperoni, onions, black olives, and pepperoncini are always good in any combination. Also, try some pesto mixed into jarred pizza sauce.
•If you use vegetable oil to oil the pan, the pizza will taste stale - use olive oil!
•When the dough rises in the refrigerator all day, the crust is a little bit harder/denser/crunchier.
•Use the stone/tiles if possible. This will make the best (crisper) crust.
•It is worthwhile to double the recipe; just start the baking of the second pizza after the first one is finished; the extra rising time on the second pizza doesn't matter. Leftover pizza is great...cold or reheated in a toaster oven or panini press :).
•When doubling the recipe, start with 1 3/4 c water.
•We like Palmieri Pizza Sauce...it is pretty good and has no sugar added. If you make your own sauce, just make sure it is thick.
•If you want to make this without the spelt flour, just use all bread flour OR a combination of bread flour and white whole wheat flour. Regular unbleached flour is fine, too.
• I use Shiloh Farms Essential Eating Organic Spelt Sprouted Flour.
Our Favorite Pizza Toppings (for all of these except the Pesto and Shrimp one, brush the top of the pizza dough lightly with olive oil before adding toppings):
•Spinach and Mushroom: layer on pizza in this order: 1/2 c basil pesto, fresh plum tomatoes (seeded & sliced), fresh baby spinach leaves, sweet onions, sliced, shiitake mushroom caps, sliced 8 ozs fresh mozzarella (shredded).
•Hawaiian: 1 1/2 c (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 1/2 c (6 oz) grated Gruyere cheese, 1 lb Canadian bacon OR baked ham ( sliced & cut into 1" pieces), 3 c fresh pineappple (chopped OR 24 oz chunk pineapple, well drained), 6 scallions (chopped - optional), some salt, some chopped pepperoncini (optional)...don't overlap the ham and pineapple. Frankie's uses pepperoncini :).
•Mushroom and Truffle Oil: Cheeses = 3/4 lb shredded mozzarella and/or crucolo; Mushrooms = 4 to 8 oz thinly sliced shittake caps and 8 to 12 oz sliced mushroom sauteed in butter and olive oil (medium heat until liquid is gone, then medium-high until lightly browned) and then stir in some salt and 2 t white truffle oil (Gordon Ramsey would not like it but it is GOOD! and very good cold).
•Scallop and Bacon: shredded mozzarella/monterey jack/crucolo, cooked bacon pieces, and scallops sauteed in olive oil and lightly salted.
•Spinach and Feta: 1 lb cooked spinach (sautéed/steamed with garlic and olive oil),1 c ricotta cheese, 2 to 4 cloves minced garlic, 4 ozs fresh shredded mozzarella, 8 ozs feta cheese (crumbled).
•Pesto and Shrimp: spread some basil pest sauce over the pizza and top with shredded mozzarella/monterey jack/crucolo and shrimp sauteed in olive oil and garlic and then salted.