Healthy pizza dough that can be frozen and defrosted as needed. Vegan, and great for thin or thick pizza bases
I think it’s pizza party time. Even though this is a breakfast blog.
If you’re still sticking to that New Year’s Resolution to eat well, then rest assured that this pizza dough is healthier than usual – meaning that it has less olive oil than most doughs, and whatever goodness is in potatoes and spelt flour. There’s also no sugar.
As anticipated, I’ve already given up on my resolutions. Well, half given up. I’m still going to try to be more organised, play the piano more often and include a few more savory recipes on this blog.
But my resolution to ‘Walk 10,000 steps a day’? Not happening. My step-tracker/pedometer broke, so I took that as a sign to give up early. Maybe I’ll amend that resolution to ‘Walk more’ – that seems more achievable for someone who’s unfamiliar with this whole ‘exercise’ thing.
Anyway, let’s talk pizza. The recipe below makes a whole lot of pizza dough, as I prefer to make a large batch, chop it into one-pizza sized chunks, freeze it, and defrost the chunks as needed.
Today is one of the few posts where I’ve included step-by-step photos. Now I know some people hate, hate, hate step-by-step photos, so to those people I say, uh… *exits via window and runs*
The pizza dough begins, oddly enough, with mashed potatoes. This makes up for the lower gluten content of spelt flour, and replaces some of the olive oil.
When you boil your potatoes, make sure you reserve the water – this can be used for the warm water needed later.
If you’d prefer, you can mix the warm water with the yeast and wait until it’s foamy. But I find that it’s really not necessary. Instead, I just add the yeast, salt, 4 cups of spelt flour to a stand mixer, slowly pour in the water, and let the mixer do it’s magic.
Next, it’s time to add the mashed potatoes and (small amount of) olive oil.
Gradually add in 4 more cups of spelt flour and 1 cup of water. To ensure it doesn’t start snowing flour in your kitchen, add 1 cup of flour at a time, followed by a few splashes of water.
Now come the adjustments. Is the dough too wet? Add more flour. Too dry? Needs more water. The dough should be sticky, but able to hold together as a giant mass of dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface – I used a large glass cutting board, although a clean bench works too. Sprinkle more flour over the dough, and knead by hand for a minute so the dough forms a large ball.
Next, you’ll need a seriously big, oiled bowl. Throw (or gently place) the dough into the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place. I usually spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking oil, and cover the bowl with that. However, a dish towel would also be fine.
Abracadabra, and hour later… Wowzah!
Punch down that dough!
Finally, transfer the dough to that floured surface you had earlier.
Cut the dough into seven or eight pieces. Each piece should be about the size of a fist.
And that’s the dough! Either freeze the pizza dough, or roll it out and start that pizza party.
To make sure we’re all on the same page regarding baking times, oven temperatures, etc. I’ve included a recipe for making one pizza.
Rolling the dough is definitely the fun part – even though I’ll never be able to roll out perfect circles.
Ok, maybe rolling the dough isn’t the fun part. Decorating the pizza takes that prize.
As you can see, I’m an unusual person who enjoys pizza sans cheese. There’s also roasted pumpkin on that pizza, since I’m a pumpkin fanatic.
Actually, decorating the pizza isn’t the fun part either. Eating it is, obviously.
Regardless of whether you make this recipe or another one, as someone who (half) comes from a long line of Italians, I sincerely hope we can all enjoy some pizza that isn’t stuffed with hot dogs, cheeseburgers, or I-don’t-even-want-to-know-what.
- 2 large potatoes (16.4oz/465g)
- ~ 9 cups spelt flour, divided
- 4 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (2 packets)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Peel and quarter the potatoes, place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes (or until the potatoes are tender).
- Transfer the cooked potatoes to a boil, and mash well. Don’t discard the water the potatoes were cooked in – this can be used for the ‘warm water’ in the recipe (just make sure you wait for it to cool down a bit).
- Attach the dough hook to a stand mixer. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 4 cups of the spelt flour, yeast and salt. Turn the mixer on low for a minute to combine.
- With the mixer running on a low speed (I used speed 2 on my KitchenAid). Slowly pour in 1 ½ cups of the warm water. Ensure you add it slowly, otherwise water will pool at the bottom of the mixer.
- Once the water has been incorporated (the dough should look quite wet), add the mashed potato and olive oil. Turn the mixer on a low speed (again, I used speed 2) to mix in the potato and oil.
- Gradually add in 4 cups of spelt flour and 1 cup of warm water. To prevent flour flying all over the kitchen, I usually add in the flour 1 cup at a time, followed by some water.
- Once the flour and warm water has been incorporated, assess the dough, and add in more flour as needed (I needed 1 more cup of flour). The dough should be sticky, but able to hold together as a giant mass of dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle more flour over the dough. Knead the dough by hand for a minute to form a large ball.
- Transfer the dough to a very large oiled bowl (I cleaned the mixer’s bowl, and used that). Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking oil and cover the bowl with it. Let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
- After 1 hour, the dough should have approximately doubled in size. Punch down the dough, and then transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 7-8 pieces. Each piece of dough should be approximately the size of a fist. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Any pizza dough that you are not using today can (and should) be frozen. Thaw completely before using (allow 2 hours for the pizza dough to thaw).
And, as promised, the recipe for making one pizza:
- 1 x Piece of Spelt Pizza Dough
- 3 - 5 tablespoons pizza/pasta sauce
- 1 sprig fresh oregano (optional)
- Toppings of choice, pre-cooked if necessary (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C). Line a pizza/circular baking pan with non-stick paper (or grease with oil). Alternatively, any flat baking pan will work.
- Place the piece of dough on a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out a circular shape, making the dough just over ¼-inch thick. The dough can be made thicker/thinner depending on your personal preference, however, please note this may impact the cooking time.
- Transfer the pizza dough to the prepared baking pan. You may need to stretch or fold the dough a little to make it fit in the pan.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce over the pizza. Too much sauce will result in a soggy base. Scatter over some fresh oregano, if desired. Add your toppings of choice.
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until the pizza is base is cooked through. The pizza crust should be lightly golden and just starting to brown.
- Cut into slices (scissors are easiest!), and enjoy!
Vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and thinly sliced bell peppers don't need to be pre-cooked.
Root vegetables and squashes - such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash - should be pre-cooked.
I'm afraid I can't provide any advice regarding meat, as I have absolutely no idea how to cook it (I've been vegetarian since 14, so it's not my specialty).