Thursday, October 25, 2012

Spelt, Rosemary, Ricotta Crust Pizza with various toppings

Two years ago I began to start using whole wheat flour again and began to use oat, rice, and rye flour as well, This year I am trying ways to introduce different grains and flours and to continue using various sweeteners in my baking and cooking.  Yesterday was my first day off my Phase III on the HCG diet and I decided I wanted to introduce grains before sugars so this pizza was a dinner my son, his girlfriend, and I put together last night.  As we were eating it, we were planning the next combination of toppings were would consider using.  The first pizza we made, we ladened it with large amounts of the following: (are you ready?) fresh tomatoes, black and green olives (from the olive bar at Whole Foods), artichoke hearts, granny smith apples (sliced ultra thin), leeks, sausage, portobello mushrooms, homemade creamy basil dressing, homemade yogurt cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, Romano cheese, minced garlic, red peppers, and olive oil.  I feel as though I'm leaving something out...........  It was good.  My son declared that he would make the second pizza, he began with the creamy basil dressing, and added a small amount of each of the following: sausage, peppers, olives, garlic, and cheese.  It by far was superior!!!  This is a case where less is more.  So as we are eating it we are discussing a 5 ingredient pizza and at least 2 of the must haves are the homemade yogurt cheese  : )      (I'm telling you it's good stuff!!!) and the homemade creamy basil dressing (test it for yourself)

The crust:

2      cups whole grain spelt flour
2      teaspoons baking powder
3/4   teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2   teaspoon chopped rosemary (or amount to your taste)
1/2   teaspoon sugar
1      cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4   cup whole milk
2      tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1      large egg
coarse cornmeal, if using a pizza peel

Place flour, baking powder, salt, rosemary, and sugar in food processor and process for about 10 seconds.  In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, milk, olive oil, and egg with a fork or whisk until smooth.  Pour the ricotta mixture across the top of the flour mixture and pulse in 1 second intervals, just until a ball forms, 5 to 10 pulses.  The dough will be fairly moist.  Meanwhile, place a baking stone on a rack on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 425.  Liberally sprinkle a pizza peel with coarse corn meal.  Transfer the dough to a well floured work surface.  Lightly flour your hands and briefly knead 5 to 7 turns to get a smooth yet slightly tacky dough.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit a room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes to allow the bran in the flour to soften.  While the dough is resting you can chop your pizza toppings or chat with your family and friends!  Unwrap the dough, transfer to a lightly floured surface and cut into 2 pieces.  Keep 1 piece covered with the plastic wrap.  Lightly flour your hands and briefly kneed until smooth, 7 to 10 turns.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into an elongated pizza, 11 by 8 inches and about 1/4 inch thick.  Do this in stages, occasionally turning the dough over and rolling it out further, lightly flouring your work surface and the rolling pin each time.  Place the dough on the pizza peel.  Spread half of the topping (creamy basil dressing, sour cream, tomato paste, or whatever you choose to use) across the top leaving a 1/2 inch border.  Cover the top with the remainder of your toppings.  Brush the border with olive oil.  Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone and bake 15 minutes or until edges or golden brown.

Notes:  The pizza bakes best if the stone is put in a cold oven and preheated with the oven, also if the oven is at the baking temperature of 425 for at least 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes prior to cooking the pizza.  This is a fun family recipe, get everyone involved and make it a family night!!!!  Enjoy....MK   : )

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