Sunday, February 19, 2012

Not bad …

in an old-hippie, crunchy-granola kinda way.

I'm talking about the whole-wheat crust from last night's pizza, of course.

Prior to serving, my husband said if we didn't like it, we could just eat the toppings. I agreed, but was secretly hoping I wouldn't have to sacrifice a precious jar of homemade pesto. And I didn't! The crust was earthy, almost nutty, not too dense (that was my biggest apprehension) but definitely not the softer crust we're used to.

The recipe I've used (link is to a .pdf file) for the past several years is from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.), the book that nudged me into being much more of a locavore, whole-food kinda cook. It's the traditional formula, calling for approximately half-and-half white and whole wheat flours, along with yeast, olive oil, salt and water. I usually added a little sugar. Go figure.

Here's the Nourishing Traditions recipe:
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1 cup softened butter (oops! I only used half a cup, and it really was totally fine!)
3-1/2 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons sea salt 
Mix the yogurt and softened butter, add salt and incorporate flour. Cover and leave in a warm place 12 to 24 hours.
Ready to pre-bake at 300° for 30 minutes.
That's it. Pretty simple. It doesn't rise, as a traditional yeast dough does. It just sits there in a bowl overnight. I doubt that an extra half-cup of butter would have changed the dynamics of the resting period. That additional fat surely would have changed the character of the final product, but we were happy with the, ahem, lower-fat version. Heh.

On the left, topped and back into a 350° oven for another half hour. At
right, plated and ready to eat. I was so excited I shook the camera getting
ready to sit down for dinner.

I spread a quarter cup of pesto over the pre-baked crust, then added shredded mozza, onion, mushrooms and chunks of chicken breast which had been sprinkled with garlic powder and sautéed in a little olive oil. I meant to add some feta cheese crumbles but I forgot. Sometimes I also throw on some sliced black olives. These are my favorite pizza toppings by far.

All of the recipes I've seen for a whole-wheat yeast dough include sugar or honey. If you find one that's sugar-free, please share your source! Thanks. In the meantime, we'll be enjoying this one again.

We're waiting for a big snowstorm today here in the Middle of Nowhere. I stopped by Tiny Kroger yesterday to pick up some of my husband's favorite yogurt (Kroger brand Vanilla Chai, which is okay but I don't care for flavored yogurt, and he doesn't care for my, um, tangier plain homemade stuff). I had to go past the refrigerated meat and poultry on my way to the dairy section. There was not a single package of fresh chicken on the shelves.

I bought the last seven cups of his yogurt and as I walked down the aisle toward the checkout lanes, noticed there were no tubes of refrigerated biscuits nor any packages of sliced American cheese. I should have taken pictures, it was so funny.

This snowstorm will last one day. Temperatures will be back up into the 50s the remainder of the week. I predict it will hardly be worth getting a snowplow out. I look at it as a nice soaking rain, only colder.

Apparently a lot of folks in my county are more worried about it than I am, and are planning to eat a lot of chicken and biscuits. I hope you have a warm-and-toasty Sunday. With American cheese on top.

1 comment:

denise said...

Funny - as I was reading this I had just finished a smoothie in which I used Kroger Vanilla Chai yogurt as the base (adding strawberries, blueberries and ice to round out the ingredients). It was the first time I had tried it and I think I prefer the just plain vanilla, so I doubt I will buy it again.

I know what you mean about the grocery shelves when a storm is predicted. In Atlanta, it clears out the entire bread shelf, milk items, etc. Hope your prediction is correct.

Started looking over the South Beach book tonight. Am traveling several days this week, so I won't be starting anything yet, but may give it a try soon.