Hard knock life spelt pizza

Kid 1 has a hard life. He thinks he has it tougher than little orphan Annie ever did. The following conversation we had recently, highlights this.

Kid 1: I think Kid 2 should start learning his timetables.
Me: But you just started learning them recently yourself, and you are almost 10. He only just turned 7!
Kid 1: Yes mum, but I want him to have a better life than me. Can’t you see I’m going nowhere fast?

Yes, we can see why he has lost all hope at the ripe old age he is. ‘How about we have homemade pizza for dinner?’ I ask. ‘Yeah!’ he cries. It’s a surefire way to cheer up a hard knock life child like Kid 1.

This pizza uses a mix of wholemeal spelt flour and a strong, high protein flour that is used for bread or pizza. It’s a great workout for the arms. The crust has a moreish nutty flavour but is still light from the pizza flour. I am a bit of a minimalist topping kind of chick but you can use whatever toppings float your boat. We are big fans of mushrooms. If you have never made your own pizza, go for it. Get your kidlets to help, if you can.

Pizza dough
220g strong flour
200g wholemeal spelt flour (if you don’t have spelt, use plain wholemeal flour)
2tsps (7g) dried yeast
1 1/2 tsps salt
320 ml lukewarm water
2 tbl olive oil

Pizza sauce
1 tbl garlic oil
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 onion finely diced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
Splash of caramelised balsamic vinegar or 1/2 tsp brown sugar

400g mushrooms, finely sliced
250g shredded/grated mozarella
Fresh basil leaves to garnish (I had run out)

2 large pizza pans (mine are 40 and 30cm). I prefer the ones with holes as they work better in a home oven, letting hot air onto the bottom of the pan and making the base crispier.

Sieve the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Dissolve the yeast in a little of the lukewarm water, then stir in the remaining water and add the oil.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixtures, pour the liquid into the well and gradually work the flour in from the sides.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a board that is sprinkled with flour.
Knead (use those muscles!) for about 5 minutes. (You may need to add more of the pizza flour if it’s too wet.)
Put the dough into a clean and slightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth.
Leave the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

The Sauce:
Whilst your dough is proving (rising), make the sauce. Sauté the onions in the oils for a few minutes until translucent.
Add the tin of tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar or sugar.
Cook on low to medium heat for about 20 minutes until it has reduced and thickened to a spreadable consistency.

Now you are ready to assemble the pizza!
Once you are ready, knock back the dough ( basically squash it), divide in half and roll out thinly on a well floured board. Place on your 2 pizza pans and add your toppings.
Cook 20 to 30 min until cooked. (I always check the bottom of the pizza to make sure it is cooked.)

(The dough quantity makes 2 large pizza bases.)

A cheergerm recipe

Why spelt? Why not? Seriously, this ancient grain contains 50% more protein than wheat flour. It also contains quite a lot of different vitamins and minerals. This cheergerm believes it is beneficial to eat from a wide variety of food sources. Please note, it is NOT gluten free.