Winter Root Vegetable Pizza with Spelt Sourdough Crust

January 31, 2018


This may be a bit more of a Flammkuchen than a pizza, but it's what I think of as pizza these days. Seasonal veggies, in this case beets, onions, fennel, and mushrooms, with a "cheesy" hummus and a little kale salad. Total hippy pizza but when you can't eat cheese you adapt! Every once in a while (ahem that time) I really crave some cheesy pizza and that's when I make something like this. Graham also wants pizza at least once a week, hah. It took a little while for me to get used to having it this way but now I prefer it over my old double-cheese and pineapple (disgusting, I know!) and it's a proper meal that'll keep you full for a long time. Usually I do a tomato sauce base but the hummus is awesome. I used my sweet potato lentil hummus which is made with roasted garlic, and it really does add a bit of a cheese-like flavour. 

The dough base is a whole-grain spelt sourdough, but if that's putting you off and you either don't have a starter or you think it's too advanced, you can use a regular pizza dough recipe. Try this one from Green Kitchen Stories' first book if you don't already have a favourite. You can also use naan for an even easier pizza, as the naan is already cooked! Or follow my recipe and bake it as pizza dough instead, following the same instructions with the toppings. We often use leftover naan as a base for pizza because it's so quick. If you do make sourdough, this is a really easy recipe and the result is a nice thin crispy crust. You mix it up the night before and let it sit until the next afternoon or evening, then add the toppings and bake. I usually prepare the hummus alongside the dough and then when I'm ready to make the pizza, it's just a matter of quickly cutting the vegetables and baking. This makes two pizzas but I usually eat a whole one myself, and leftovers are good the second day too. 

Since it's still winter, I went with root vegetables, but I use whatever's in season at other times of year. You can do regular hummus with spring green veggies, or a classic tomato version in the summer. Maybe I'll post some more pizza recipes as the seasons change. As is, it's hearty and a little earthy, and the kale salad lightens things up a bit. Definitely cozy cold-weather food.


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Winter Root Vegetable Pizza with Spelt Sourdough Crust
Serves 2-4 | Makes 2 pizzas

Spelt Sourdough Crust

330 grams / 2 1/2 cups spelt flour, separated*
250 ml / 1 cup water
80 grams / 1/4 cup starter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Toppings

250 grams / 1 cup sweet potato lentil hummus
120 grams / 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
4 small red onions (150 grams), quartered
2 small beets, very thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
A handful of torn kale leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix 130 grams / 1 cup of the flour with the water, starter, oil, salt, and sugar. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough becomes too difficult to stir with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding more flour as needed, for about five minutes* or until a smooth dough forms. 

Place the dough into a clean, greased bowl and cover with a plate or board. Let it sit at room temperature for 18-24 hours to rise. When you're ready to make the pizza, divide the dough into two equal pieces. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F, grease two baking sheets, and sprinkle some cornmeal or flour onto them.

Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheets and use your hands to press and stretch it into rough ovals, a couple of centimetres thick. Cut the vegetables after placing the dough onto the pans so it has a little time to rest and rise before baking, then top each with half the hummus and vegetables. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and the vegetables have started to brown. Mix the kale with the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, using your hands to massage it for a couple of minutes, and top the pizza with it. Serve immediately.

Tips:
• Any kind of root vegetables would be great! Try leeks, different types of radishes, carrots, brussels sprouts, and any sturdy greens for the kale. 
• You can also use a pizza stone if you have one.
• It'll seem like a lot of toppings, but they shrink in the oven, so you really want to load the pizza up. 

Notes:
1. I use whole-grain spelt flour but I'm sure light spelt would work as well. 
2. Spelt flour can't handle as much working as regular flour, so a shorter kneading time is normal. 

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