I love bread, pizza, baked goods, anything doughy really. Sadly, they don't love me so much. I get extremely bloated looking like I'm 5 months pregnant with a deep desire to unbutton my pants. The majority of the recipes here on the blog are kept gluten free. Not because I necessarily believe that everyone should be living gluten free, but because I think it is one of those things we overeat. And with anything, if we overeat it, we create an imbalance in our digestive tract, in our body, and in our health.
Gluten is a protein in the grains wheat, barely, rye, and spelt. It is the glue that makes a dough kneadable, so you can stretch and form it into any shape. If you have ever made your own bread dough, it is very satisfying to pound and knead it for anger management :-). While gluten itself can cause problems for some people with their digestion, it is actually the wheat that I am much more concerned about. The wheat we eat today doesn't resemble the wheat just 50 years ago. We have completely changed its genes, so it can withstand weather changes, bugs, and other pests much more easily. This is actually a good thing, as it means that the farmer has a steady income when his crop doesn't get wiped out. Sadly, it also means that our body can not even recognize this wheat as wheat anymore. And with anything in our body, if we don't recognize it, it must be an invader, and a immune response gets fired up. We could call this an allergic reaction, to understand it more easily. Except in this case the allergic reaction doesn't include itchy skin or a persistent cough, but most probably some kind of bloating, upset digestion issues, bad bowel movements, and a loss of your energy. These symptoms are subtle, and also not very specific. I can say though that anyone who makes an effort to leave out wheat will feel much better. Wheat is in almost everything packaged we eat, which means you will automatically change to more real foods once you become more aware of wheat. Rye, barley, and spelt are not as big as a problem, because they haven't been modified as much.
While it is totally possible to make gluten free pizza, bread, and other baked goods, I personally just don't love their texture. On top of that there are always a lot of other plant gums in gluten free flour, so that it doesn't break apart. And these gums, for example xanthan gum, can also cause digestive issues. So once in a while I love to make things with spelt, a grain that I love. I use sprouted spelt flour (this is the one I use). Sprouted grain flours are always better, as they are more easily digestible, and the nutrients can actually reach their destination. If you can't find it, don't stress out!
You can top this pizza with any toppings you like. As may dough rises, I whip up a fresh tomato sauce, and I have also shared the recipe with you below. Occasionally we use real organic raw cheese, but most often we have some kind of vegan cheese (I like a combination of Daiya jalapeño and cheddar, and then I grate them myself). It is completely up to you - you make it your own!
Spelt pizza dough
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Baking time: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Makes 1 pizza:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp dried baking yeast
1 tsp coconut sugar (or other sugar of your choice)
1 1/4 cups spelt flour
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
First, stir the water, yeast, and sugar together. Let sit for 2 minutes until small bubbles start to form, which means the yeast is starting to work.
Dump the flour on a working surface, and make a little well in the center. Add the oil and water-yeast-mixture to the well. Start kneading the dough with your hands for about 3-5 minutes, until soft like a baby's butt (this is what my grandmother always used to say :-)).
Place the dough into a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and place in a warm place to let the dough rise for the next hour.
Once the dough has doubled, knead it again, then roll it out thin into pizza dough. Add your favorite toppings and bake for 8-10 minutes at 250°C / 500°F.
Super simple tomato sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Makes enough for 1 pizza:
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes (if possible without any sulfite added)
5 Roma tomatoes (or other big juicy ones)
2 Tbsp tomato paste (best of you can find organic)
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp each of dried organs, thyme, rosemary
Start by placing the sun dried tomato in a bowl, and soak in water.
Then bring a pot of water to boil, big enough to fit the tomatoes.
Take the tomatoes, and from the top to the bottom, score them gently. This means you are very gently cutting into the skin all the way down the side. This will make it easier to peel the tomatoes later. Score four times around the tomato from top to bottom.
Once the water is boiling, add the tomatoes to the pot for 5 minutes.
Drain, and run under cold water to cool off. Then start to take off the peel, and discard it.
Using a wooden spoon, squeeze the tomatoes for the juice to come out. You can safe the juice and add to soups like these super easy blended vegetable soups.
Strain the sun dried tomatoes, and add them without the liquid to a food processor. Add the tomato flesh and all other ingredients, then pulse to make a tomato sauce. You can either decide to keep it slightly chunky or puree it all the way smooth. Now it's ready to be used on pizza, pasta or any other deliciousness you may be cooking up in your kitchen.
Lots of love,