I’ve been wanting to try this cookbook for a while now, so when I saw it sitting on the library shelf I decided to grab it.  And the first recipe that caught my eye was this one, on page 120, for ‘Outrageously Quick and Easy Pizza Crust’.  My kids love to have pizza for dinner, and I’m thrilled to have found a way to make it healthier by adding quinoa into the crust!  I found it a bit sticky to work with, but once I had it placed on the pan it worked out well despite my reservations.  I’ve tried a couple of other recipes from this book, and have a few more bookmarked to try, but so far we’ve all agreed that we’re not a big fan of quinoa flour for baking (too bitter) but love everything made with cooked quinoa.  This pizza dough will definitely be replacing our previous recipe:-)

1 1/3 cups water

2/3 cup white quinoa

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 Tbl white or cane sugar (I used honey)

3 Tbl veg or olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbl quick-rise yeast (1 envelope)

1 large egg, beaten

3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour (I used light spelt, and found I needed at least a cup more than this)

Combine the 1 1/3 cups water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.

Mix the 1/12 cups warm water and sugar in a large bowl.  Stir in the oil, salt and yeast.  Mix in the egg and cooked quinoa.  Blend in the flour, starting with 3 1/2 cups.  Work in another 1/4 cup of flour.  Grab the dough with a clean, dry hand to test stickiness.  (If the dough sticks to your hand but pulls off, you have enough flour in the dough.  If the dough remains stuck to your hand, add more flour.)  Continue adding small amounts of flour, doing the ‘sticky test’ after each addition.  Freeze unused portions of the dough in resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months.

Slice the dough in half for 2 large crusts or roll it into a log and cut it into 3 pieces for medium crusts.  Form the pieces of dough into balls.  Place the dough in a bowl that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil or greased and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Place in a warm area to sit for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease the pizza pans and press the dough evenly into each pan.  Decorate with your favourite pizza sauce and toppings and bake on the centre oven rack for 25-30 minutes.  Remove the pizza from the oven when the cheese in the centre is bubbling and the bottom of the crust is golden brown.  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

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