I love bread. I love bread a lot. There is something so deeply satisfying in the process of making bread that includes care, love, tradition, and nourishment on so many levels. In fact, entering the fantabulous world of sourdough bread was the first part of my Greenylicious adventure. Gardening, nutrition and total recipe/food extravaganza followed. At one point our fridge and kitchen (not to mention bathroom floor because of it’s warmth) were filled with bowls and jars of dried fruit wild yeasts, poolish sourdough starters, cold rising doughs, pre-warmed baking stones, bubbly almost-ready doughs and last but not least That Smell. The smell that fills the house and heart when bread is baking and a golden cracked crust is created is nothing other then pure effing magic. I truly hope you’ve experienced this. If not then (and I’m not joking) this pizza is a total must for you.
So.. I work with nutrition, I’m a full blown health nerd.. what about gluten? I can almost hear labels and presumptions colliding into a huge bang. Yes, I do eat gluten and yes, there were a couple of years when I gave bread the evil eye and always chose raw seed crackers instead. There was a time when I was so high on nutritional facts and hell-ish side effects of eating wheat/rye/barley and anything gluten. In short, during this time, gluten was the devil. I stopped baking bread but still enjoyed a slice of my mothers incredible sourdough bread once in a blue moon. Then last year I got pregnant and had a really hard time sneaking in anything green or even fruit during the first two months (come to mama, uncomplex carbs!). When that period finally ended I was just.so.hungry.all.the.time and the answer to my prayers came as warm, organic, made-with-love sourdough bread. I remember a few days during that first trimester where I would cut really thin slices of bread, spread some ghee on and eat non-stop because it was the only way I could keep the ”morning” sickness at bay. You gotta do what you gotta do. ..and no matter how tasty and healthy raw crackers might be, there is no way I will deny Caspian early memories of the process of making beautiful bread.
Fun & Fabulous Facts
As with everything in life I opt for top quality and intention when it comes to food (yes, some exceptions does sneak in) but bread is rarely one of those exception. I much rather enjoy some good real local sourdough bread once a month then shovel down industrially made air (bread) baked with god-knows-what flours, additives, stabilizers, refined sugar, scary uncool yeast and not the best salt, five times a day. (Actually, the next time you visit a supermarket, check out the list of ingredients on those packages!). Real bread should only have the three ingredients, Flour, water and salt (+ extra nuts/seeds whole grains of course). Let’s all go by that guideline weather or not we choose bread with or without gluten. All you eat counts so make sure it’s loaded with high vibes, packed with nutrients, preferably local, seasonal and overall top quality. Because you know what? It’s our responsibility to choose what we invite into our lives and bodys with as much mindfullness, knowledge and care as we can. We change this world with every decision and second that pass our cute noses. Bread is not an exception here either.
So how about gluten? That sneaky protein that gets more headlines then Lindsey Lohan nowadays. Well, did you know that gluten intolerance or celiac disease was rather unheard of before bread turned into an industry at the beginning of the 18th century. Before bread was made with industrially produced yeast and flour stripped of most of it’s nutrients, the making of a bread took time and the process of fermentation broke down a lot of the gluten. Bread made with sourdough is, regardless if it’s with or without gluten, easier to digest, the nutrients are more available to our system as the phytic acid has been broken down and there are healthy lactobacillus good-guys-bacteria from the fermentation process. It’s just plain better. There.
You’ve most likely heard that sourdough bread doesn’t cause as much of a spike in blood sugar as yeasted bread does and while that’s true it’s not an excuse to eat a hell of a lot of it (damn). Plain white sourdough bread is still just white bread although slightly more nutritious and more easily digested. Yes, the good bacteria has in the process of fermentation pre-digested a lot of the starches and thus much of the glucose (sugars) has already been consumed/used (cool, eh?!). But, if you really want to make sure the rise in energy is as slow and even as possible then choose a bread packed with whole grains/nuts/seeds. This will give your digestive enzymes something to work with for a longer period of time and as a result the release of energy is slower. Ps. this goes for GF bread too, meaning a plain GF toast (regardless if it’s super healthy and topped with avo+chili flakes+sea salt) will lead to a quick rise in blood sugar. It’s the same with noodles, spaghetti, crackers, hard bread etc. Totally ground flour = quickly digested = quick release of energy to our blood = quick spike in bloodsugar. I have this mental picture of my digestive enzymes slowly nibbling away on whole grains, nuts and seeds, being content and fully satisfied for a long time while if fed products made by ground flour they just swallow it whole and ask for more right after. Borrow that image and keep it in mind when making choices around flour-related food.
When you eat something – please eat it as it’s meant to be enjoyed. Whole. Respected. Handcrafted and eaten with a calm and centered mind. Let it take time and I assure you it will save you time and energy too. If you still don’t consider yourself to have the time, then find someone who handles that same food with all respect and care in the world. Then sit your gorgeous butt somewhere nice and enjoy the heck out of that meal.
Gluten Free Sourdough Pizza
A gluten free pizza made only with whole foods and love? Yes! There are no weird gums, staches, yeast, baking powder or crazy additives here! You can choose to either bake this pizza in the oven or grill it. Top it with the current vegetable season or maybe make a sourdough dessert pizza?! The sourdough starter for this pizza is actually my Oatghurt (seriously so versatile!) but you can use any gluten free sourdough starter you like.Here’s a link to a good how-to.
Makes either 4 smaller pizzas or 1 big
1 1/2 cup gluten free sourdough starter (Tip: My Oatghurt works as a sourdough starter)
1 cup whole buckwheat flour
1/2 cup quinoa or millet flour
1/3 cup flax meal
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp organic olive oil, virgin
1 tsp high quality salt
1 tsp honey, optional
1. Measure 1 1/2 cup sourdough and add into a large bowl.
2. Either grind your own flours from whole grains & seeds in the blender or use store bought and add those to the bowl of sourdough starter along with the water, salt, olive oil and optional sweetener. Gently stir/fold into a sticky dough using a wooden spoon or a spatula. Drizzle with a little oil, cover with plastic wrap/cling film.
3. Put on the the light in the oven – no heat- and put the bowl in the middle of the oven between 4-8 hours. You can prepare this dough in no time at all in the morning and be ready for pizza night when you come home from work! Or prepare it the night before, refrigerate overnight and put it in the oven (with only the light on!) in the morning.
Suggested warm toppings
Tomato sauce (a can of whole organic tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, 1 cut onion, some french herbs, salt)
Organic vegan or dairy based cheese (we’ve tried both sprouted rice mozarella, rawmesan (recipe to come) and dairy mozzarella
Suggested cold toppings
Baby leafy greens
red onion rings
Baking the pizza in the oven
1. Preheat oven to 200° C / 390° F
2. Sprinkle a little amount of flour onto a lined baking tray, divide dough in 4 (as seen in picture above), press into thin pizza crusts with generously floured hands/dough.
3. Prebake crusts without anything on for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned underneath.
4. Arrange warm toppings (see suggestions above) and bake pizza for another 7-10 minutes or until your toppings of choice are done.
5. Arrange cold toppings (see suggestions above) onto the pizza and enjoy with a big hearty salad and a smile.
Grilling the pizza
1. Get the grill going. If you have a grill thermomether then see if you can keep the temperature around 200° C/ 390° F. If not, check on your pizzas regularly to make sure they don’t burn.
2. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto a grill friendly baking tray or a baking stone, divide dough in 4 (as seen in picture above), press into thin pizza crusts with floured hands/dough.
3. Prebake crusts without anything on for around 5 minutes or until slightly browned underneath.
4. Arrange warm toppings (see suggestions above) and bake pizza for another 5-10 minutes or until your toppings of choice are done.
5. Arrange cold toppings (see suggestions above) onto the pizzas and enjoy with a big hearty salad and a smile. It’s summer!
Gluten Free is not a miraculous health boost, in fact, a good real sourdough bread can be much better. So why is this pizza gluten free? So that absolutely everyone can enjoy it, silly! I’m not here to tell you what to eat or not, I’m merely suggesting a bigger awareness around the whole world of bread. Bread matters. Make what you eat count.
..and you’re oh so welcome to share your thoughts on the subject right here below! I’d love to hear your wisdom and get even more inspired!
With Sun-day love from our Greenylicious neck of the woods to yours,