Spelt Naan Pizza
This post is sponsored by One Degree Organic Foods.
As the east coast dries off after being walloped by rain, I sit in my office and listen to remnant droplets patter at the window panes. In the distance: the far-off cries of mockingbirds, bluejays, crows in raucous gleeful mood, their bellies full from days of feasting on bedraggled bugs that dumbly loll over sidewalks and into street gutters. A feast for birds. My cup of hot almond milk with turmeric sits beside me, getting cooler every second. There’s just a hint of Autumn in the air, hidden beneath the cool humidity that fills every crevice of my small town. A few crinkly yellow brown leaves on the street. Sunflowers sag and topple. Pithy white seed heads burst in every direction.
Summer is giving up its ghost. When we get a spot of sun, you can watch as locals step outside in droves, eyes squinting and blinking up at the sky, rolling up sleeves to feel the rare warmth. Charlottesville is a bowl of fog. It’s been wet and cloudy like this all Summer.
When I drive down the old Virginia Highways — curving roads that cut through sweeping, hilly farmland — I have to cartoon-style rub my eyes. Every living plant in sight is a profound, deep, stunning emerald green. Ireland or Oz, I think. Creeping wild grape vines blanket the tall trees along the highway. From earth to tree tops. Quilts of jagged leaves sway in the wind like sheet-sails. This goes on for miles and miles.
To combat the gloom of endless mist, I drag myself into the kitchen to make something cozy. Pizza is my craving as of late — nostalgic, satisfying, carby. What’s not to love? And pizza with a healthed-up naan crust just takes it to the next level.
The naan-style crust in today’s recipe is made with sprouted spelt flour, goat kefir, olive oil, water, salt and baking powder. I buy my goat kefir from Trader Joes or Whole Foods. You can make it vegan by using coconut yogurt instead of kefir, I usually use this brand.
I chose to do a naan-style crust for three reasons: 1. it’s a lot faster than making a traditional pizza crust, 2. it results in a nice crisp edge and stretchy, satisfying interior, 3. using a full fat kefir tenderizes the grain a bit, which gives it a much more pleasant final texture.
And you get a bunch of cute personal sized pizzas out of it, which, I mean, how could I not?!
The crust is made with One Degree Organics Sprouted Spelt flour, which is easier to digest and helps the body to absorb the essential micro-nutrients out of the grain (micronutrients = vitamins and minerals). Grains don’t like to make their micro-nutrients bio-available when the grain is dormant, so sprouting is an essential practice. All grains come pre-sprouted, in my opinion.
If you’re not familiar with One Degree, here are a few facts about the company that made me fall in love! 1. They’re truly a small, family owned company. I actually speak directly to the owner, Sondra, about all of my partnership work. 2. They work tirelessly to produce grains and cereals with the highest standard of product transparency, which is one of the hardest things to achieve in the value-added-products world. I just went to Natural Products Expo East, and trust me, most companies cant speak publicly about their raw materials sourcing at all. 3. One Degree works directly with their farmers to help them transition their grow methods to vegan fertilizers and soil additives so that they can offer products that are 100% plant-based. 4. You can scan the code on any of their products to track where the ingredients came from. 5. Even their cereals are made with sprouted grains! And they’re sweetened with organic cane sugar or coconut palm sugar.
How cool is that?!
Okay okay, back to the recipe. :)
This recipe is really all about the crust — you could do anything you like with the toppings. I like a tomato based sauce, so I used a pizza sauce from Trader Joe’s. I topped these pizzas with garden veggies (I grew those peppers and eggplant and tomatoes!). I sauteed my eggplant in olive oil before adding it to the top of the pizza. I’d suggest sauteeing any firm veggies before adding them to your pizza, as the toppings only get 5-8 minutes to cook.
Oh and I added garden chive blossoms and basil to the mix as well. Because flavor is good. But lots of flavor is better. The cheese on top is a melty goat feta (salty deliciousness). If you’re looking for a vegan option, you could make my almond ricotta or check out Chao or Miyokos for the best-tasting vegan cheeses.
Spelt Naan Pizza (Makes 4 Small Personal Sized Pizzas)
Author: Renee Byrd | Will Frolic for Food - Active prep time: 10 mins - Inactive prep time: 30 mins - Cook time: 18 mins - Makes: 4 Small Personal Sized Pizza or 1 Large Pizza - Adapted from: Nutritionist in the Kitch, Herbed Yogurt Flatbreads - PRINT THIS RECIPE
Tips: 1. I use One Degree Organics Sprouted Spelt Flour to make this pizza crust even more nutritious and wholesome. It’s easier on the digestive system and the micronutrients usually bound up in the grain are readily available for the body to absorb. 2. It’s important to cook any firm toppings before you layer them onto this pizza as the final cook time is very short. Eggplant, for example, should be cooked prior to layering on your pizza. 3. You can make this vegan by subbing goat kefir for coconut yogurt — just make sure it’s a thick, full-fat, unflavored, yogurt. A plant-based cheese on top is great too -- I used a melty goat feta cheese.
1 ¼ cup sprouted spelt flour (regular spelt also works)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup (4 oz) pizza sauce
Toppings of your choosing (I used 2 oz goat feta, a handful chopped shishito peppers, 2 chinese eggplants sliced into rounds and fried in olive oil until soft, 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes, ½ cup packed chopped fresh basil and a handful fresh chive blossoms)
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sprouted spelt flour, baking powder and sea salt. Add the kefir and apple cider vinegar and stir together until you have a sticky, wet dough.
Generously flour a work surface, then scrape the dough out onto the surface. Sprinkle the dough with more flour and knead for 3 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. It helps to also flour your hands. Add more flour as needed if the dough sticks to your hands or surface.
Once you’ve formed your dough ball, place it back into your original mixing bowl and drizzle 1 tsp olive oil over top, rubbing the olive oil all over the dough ball, then cover the bowl with a clean kitchen cloth and let the dough rest for 30 minutes before rolling out.
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Flour your work surface again, then set the dough back on your work surface. Divide the dough ball into 4 equal pieces, shaping each quarter into a ball using your hands. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to flatten out each ball, rolling them into ovals or circles (as you like). They’re best at about ¼” thickness.
Set the naan onto your baking sheet, arranging them so that they don’t overlap. Drizzle another tsp of olive oil over the tops of the naan and sprinkle generously with black pepper. Bake 8-10 minutes, until air bubbles form in the bread and they’re browning a bit on the bottom.
For the pizzas: spoon a few tablespoons of sauce over each naan, spreading the sauce around but leaving edges bare so that you still have a crust. Add toppings generously, as you like, then bake at 400F for 5-8 minutes -- until cheese is melted and toppings are hot. Serve and enjoy!
Note: On my pizzas I used 2 oz crumbled goat feta, a handful chopped shishito peppers, 2 chinese eggplants that I sliced into rounds and fried in olive oil until soft, 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes -- then I garnished the baked pizzas with a handful of fresh chive blossoms and ½ cup packed chopped fresh basil. I fried up the eggplant slices while the naan crusts were baking — it took about 8 minutes.
This post is sponsored by One Degree Organic Foods. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the wonderful brands who support this site!