This week I was ready for a break in the kitchen. I still wanted delicious home cooked food, but didn’t want to spend a lot of time in daily prep and cleanup. Pizza is a good option for that and I usually plan to serve this about once a month. Right after pay day is a good time because I don’t have to remember when I did it last! Now to be honest, there IS a lot of prep the first day to serve this. However, the remaining three days are minimal. And yes, I did say three days! If you add that up it is four days in a row of pizza. I don’t mind because I’m not cooking much for three of the days and I don’t have to spend much mental energy in meal planning. My husband and I both really enjoy this pizza so it’s a win for everyone – especially as he helps me with kitchen clean up nightly!
I use a spelt flour pizza dough recipe from my naturopathic doctor here in Edmond, pizza sauce made with tomato paste, sweet Italian chicken sausage I purchase from Sprouts and grilled zucchini, onions, bell peppers and mushrooms. Topped off with freshly grated mozzarella cheese, it is delicious! (For those of you who want to use wheat flour, my suggestion is to purchase organic white whole wheat. This is the recipe I used using white whole wheat.)
The first step is grilling the vegetables. I slice the zucchini in lengthwise strips and grill medium heat. While the squash is grilling I slice the peppers into 1 inch squares, more or less. I do the same with the onion and then slice the mushrooms. I have two bowls set aside. When the zucchini is done I place half in one bowl and half in the other, then cover each with plastic wrap. Next I add the peppers and onions to the grill pan, grill and divide between the bowls and replace the plastic wrap. Same with the mushrooms. My reason for the division is that I want equal amounts of vegetables for each of the two pizzas I’ll be making. Maybe a bit too perfectionistic there?! Because our grill is old and doesn’t cook evenly it takes much longer than it should, close to an hour. For those of you with good grills this will probably be shorter. After the vegetables cool I cut the zucchini into 1 inch pieces and place both bowls in the refrigerator.
Next I prepare the pizza dough. It’s a quick recipe but does need to rest for about 30 minutes, so be sure to allow time for that. As soon as I finish mixing the dough I turn the oven on to 400 and place a rectangular stone cookie sheet on the rack. It heats up for the 30 minutes that the dough is resting. Next the sauce is whisked together and the cheese grated. If I’m adding sausage this is a good time to cook it.
Earlier this week to save prep time on Monday I grilled the vegetables on Sunday. I already had the grill out to cook vegetables for our Sunday dinner, so that worked well for me. Cooking the sausage earlier and placing in the freezer saves time as well.
To assemble I roll out half the dough into a rectangle approximately 9 x 13. (Roll the remaining dough into a ball, rub with olive oil, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until needed.) Take the stone out of the oven and sprinkle with cornmeal and add the dough. After pricking the dough with a fork all over I return it to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes. I take it out and add the sauce, vegetables, sausage, and cheese, returning it to the oven and baking an additional 10 minutes or so. Or sometimes much longer when I forget to set the timer like I did this week. I caught it just this side of burned! It was sad but we ate it anyway although the crust was WAY crunchier than we like. Serve with a salad or sliced tomato and cucumber for a simple option.
Making pizza in the summertime can be a hot option for the kitchen – I just happened to choose an unseasonably cool week to do this so we didn’t mind. Cooking the dough on the grill is a great option, one we’ve done in the past when the grill cooked a little more evenly. To do this use a grill pan with holes, making sure to oil it well before adding the dough. Flip when the dough is browned and cook a bit longer. Add toppings and return to the grill until the cheese is melted and the pizza is browned to your liking. You may have to play with your grill a bit to see how long this takes. Generally you would use a medium to high setting, but again it depends on your personal grill. Let us know if you try it this way!
(Sadly I forgot to take pictures of our pizza, so next month after pay day perhaps I’ll update!)
- 1 T yeast
- 1 c warm water minus 2 T
- 1 t sucanat, rapadura, or natural sugar of choice
- 1 t Redmond or Real Salt
- 2 T coconut oil
- 3 c spelt, more or less
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.
- Stir flour and salt together in large bowl.
- Add yeast mixture and oil.
- Stir together until a ball of dough forms.
- Knead for a minute or two.
- Cover and allow to rest 30 minutes.
- Divide in two pieces.
- Roll out on floured surface and place on heated baking stone or non-heated pan.
- Prick dough and bake at 400 for 5 min.
- Add toppings and return to oven another 10 min. or until done.