Pizza night around our home is a weekly event. Usually I plan it for Friday nights, but have been known to mix things up occasionally.
For awhile, this recipe was my go to for the crust (clearly I’ve been working on my food photography) since I wanted to cut the carbs and boost the nutrition, but truth be told, it takes a little more work than the traditional dough. I still love it, but with everything I have going on…keeping up with this food blog, starting a new business and life…I needed an “in a pinch” pizza crust solution that was easier to whip up, but still packed a solid good-for-you punch.
I hit on this herbed spelt pizza crust as the solution.
While it’s not gluten-free (sorry, GFers), it is whole grain and flavored with plenty of herbs and garlic to get your anti-oxidant fix in.
Why whole grain spelt flour?
While it’s related to wheat, it’s an ancient grain which is considered to be healthier and more nutrition than modern varieties. It contains more protein and zinc than wheat, and overall, I find it to be lighter in texture and prefer the flavor over whole wheat.
(I’m still working on my family to convert them from white flour to whole grains, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and changing your families flavor preferences can take time and patience. But they absolutely love when I add all these herbs and garlic to their crust!)
For the pizza itself, here’s how I put it together:
- hummus (cheese replacer)
- sauce (here’s my recipe that I make monthly)
- sliced onion rounds
- red pepper, sometimes green and sometimes mushrooms
- greens (extra nutritional booster and yummy too!)
- cashew parm (recipe here) or nutritional yeast for extra cheesy flavor
And here’s the herbed spelt crust recipe…
Bursting with flavor, antioxidants and whole grains, this herbed spelt pizza crust transforms pizza night!
- 1 7g package quick-rise yeast
- drizzle sweetener of choice
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/8 cup avocado oil
- 1 3/4 cups whole grain spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
- 1/2 tsp parsley, dried
Add very warm (but not hot!) water to a glass bowl along with the sweetener and yeast. Stir to combine and let the yeast proof (about 5 minutes). Water that is too hot will kill the yeast, so this proofing is important! You know the yeast is active when bubbles form and a foam develops on top of the water.
Pour in oil, then the flour and remaining ingredients. Stir to loosely combine, then work the flour in by hand. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed and a little at a time if the dough is sticky.
Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place to rise until doubled (about 45-60 minutes with quick rise yeast)
To form the crust, lightly flour the counter and rolling pin with flour. Gather the dough into a ball and place on the counter, flattening the dough with your palm. Roll the dough into a circle or rectangle (or whatever shape you desire!), making sure it will fit your pan.
Place on a pan lightly greased with avocado oil and add your toppings (with the exception of greens). If you choose NOT to use hummus, lightly coat the top of the pizza crust with oil to prevent it from sogging up.
Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 400 F oven or until the crust and toppings are lightly browned. If topping with greens, add them after removing the pizza from the oven.
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- I used Bob’s Red Mill whole grain spelt flour in this crust which you should be able to find where ever Bob’s Red Mill products are sold. Or you can get it online here.
- I get my avocado oil at BJ’s (a wholesale club), but if you don’t have a club near you, many stores are now carrying avocado oil which is better for high heat cooking. Or you can get it online here. If you aren’t a member of BJs and want to check it out, use this link to sign up for a BJs membership and we’ll both get $25!