World Cup Menu: Rustic Spelt Pizza

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And by rustic I mean oddly shaped 😉

Basically, anyone can attempt this recipe, relaxed in the knowledge that the final result doesn’t have to look like a perfectly-round supermarket pizza. This one is a home-made version and as such it can look anyway you like…however, it will tasty like real pizza, and that’s what’s important. Specially if you don’t take any short-cuts and make the sauce too 😉

The base is thin and crispy and crunchy, with a nice soft middle….Yummm! There’s nothing bad about this pizza except for the photos 😉 I’m afraid it got dark while I was waiting for the dough to rise and the last photos look a bit lifeless.

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The World Cup has begun and we all have our ways of watching the matches: some people go to the pub, some gather in bars, other people get together with friends, they all sit on the same seats at every match, or  even wear the same clothes.

For me, the World Cup was something I shared with my friends.  As we grew older it wasn’t always possible to watch it together, as you can’t just call in sick every time your country team is playing, after a while it gets suspicious 😉

One of the things we used to do, when possible (after all, everything depends on where the World Cup is being played), was ordering pizza. I’m far away from my friends this year  ( I miss you friends!!!) and I’m not very keen on the pizza places around my new home, but for old times sake, I decided to have pizza anyway, and so I made my own. Because who knows, if I don’t eat pizza maybe Messi won’t score 😉

I’ve been cooking with spelt flour for a while, and I specially like the nutty taste of wholemeal spelt, so I made these pizzas using 50% white spelt and 50% wholemeal. You can use white flour if you prefer, a  type 00 works great.

The resulting pizzas were very tasty, with their home-made sauce and toppings of rocket and Parma Ham and simple margherita.

They take about 3 hours to make because you have to wait for the dough to rise, but you can just leave it rising and go do something else, so the whole process is quite painless and the results are amazing!

Without further ado, I leave you with the recipe.

Ingredients for 2 pizzas (enough to fill the belly of two people without feeling stuffed):

For the dough:

250 grs spelt flour

250 grs wholemeal spelt flour

3/4 teaspoon sea salt.

7 grs. dried yeast.

1/2 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoon olive oil

325 ml. lukewarm water.

For the sauce:

1 small onion

2 cloves of garlic

a bunch of fresh oregano or 1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano

300 ml tomato passata

1 teaspoon paprika.

salt and pepper to taste.

Toppings:

Oregano to sprinkle

200 grs. grated mozzarella

50 grs Parma Ham

A handful of rocket

About 10 olives.

How to:

1.- In a small jug mix the oil, honey, yeast and a bit of water (about 100 ml. of your 325 mls.). Let it stand until the yeast starts to froth.

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2.- In a big bowl mix the two types of flour and the salt. Make sure the two flours have become one, so to speak. Make a well in the centre.

DSC054283.- When the yeast is frothy and bubbly, pour into the well, together with the remaining water. Use a scraper or your hands to form a ball of dough. You’ll have quite a wet dough at first. This is normal as spelt flour does not behave exactly as white flour.

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Tip the dough onto a floured surface and start kneading gently. If it feels too wet and is too hard to handle, add a bit more flour, but not too much, or you’ll end up with a tough pizza base (adding up to an extra 50 grs is ok). Try to keep the dough on the wet side. After a little gentle kneading you should have a fairly smooth, pliable dough (still a bit sticky).

Place back into the bowl, cover with a plastic bag or cling film and let it rise for about an hour, until it has doubled its size. This is a very important step and cannot be rushed, so give yourself plenty of time. Sometimes, if the weather is cold for instance, the dough might take longer to rise.

DSC05437 4.- While your dough rises you can prepare the sauce:

a.- Chop the garlic, onion and fresh oregano (if using).

b.- Put 1 and a half tablespoon of oil in a pan at medium heat, if you are using dried oregano add it now together with the paprika. This way they will release all their flavour. When you start smelling the oregano, add the garlic and onion. Let them cook for about 2 minutes.

My lovely oregano plant.
My lovely oregano plant.

c.- Add the tomato passata, salt, pepper, and if you are using fresh oregano, add it now. Let it all bubble away at a low heat for about 40 minutes. Then remove from the heat. Your sauce is ready to be used!

DSC054625.- After an hour or so, your dough would look twice as big and will be super soft:

DSC054506.- Deflate and shape into two balls.

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Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Spread some oil into your hands (this will make it so much easier to handle the dough!) and flatten each ball in a baking tray until they are about 1 cm thick and look somewhat like a pizza. They will be left to rise once more, so don’t worry if you end up with really flat pizzas during this step.

DSC054577.- Cover with a plastic bag and let the pizzas rise for about 30 minutes. Half an hour later they will look a bit like this:

Looks a bit blobbly, but that's ok
Looks a bit blobby, but that’s ok

8.- Handle carefully and place into a preheated oven at 220 C. Cook for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the sauce and the cheese. Then bring back to the oven until the cheese is melted.

For the pizza margherita  I used 100 grs grated mozzarella, olives and some more oregano.

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DSC05471Sorry (again!) about the photos, by then it was a bit late and there was no sun to shed light on them and make them look as tasty as they were 🙂 They remind me a bit of the photos that used to appear in old cooking books.

My second pizza is Parma ham and rocket. You only need about 50 grs. Parma ham for a pizza and a handful of rocket.  Put the sauce and cheese on the pizza, place it in the oven until the cheese begins to melt, take out of the oven, add the Parma ham and rocket and bring back to the oven for 2 or 3 minutes, so that the rocket and ham get warm but don’t cook. We do it in two steps because if you place the Parma ham and rocket together with the cheese, by the time the cheese has melted, your rocket will be all wilted and the parma ham will be just a shrivelled salty thingy.

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DSC05475Hope you enjoy the pizza!

May the best team win! (and we all know which one that is ;-))

Namaste, Pau

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