Rustic Sprouted Farro Pizza
Sprouted grains are a bit of a miracle. You’ve probably been seeing them everywhere, but may not understand what the big deal is. I I didn’t, until I started digging. According to US News, sprouting grains (and legumes) produces several impressive benefits, including:
- Higher protein, vitamin, & mineral content. Some starches in the grain are absorbed by the growing sprout, reducing the overall carbs to protein ratio.
- Nutrients are more easily absorbed by the body. Sprouting a grain reduces its phytates, which are known to inhibit nutrient absorption.
- More easily digested. Sprouting your grains and legumes can reduce gas and bloating often caused by these foods.
When you’re a nutritional over-achiever like me, this kind of knowledge changes the way you eat. The number of jars and sprouting trays lining our kitchen counter these days is a subject of much teasing from my husband. Add to that the kombucha jar and fermenting sauerkraut, and my kitchen now resembles some sort of sinister laboratory from the past. But, like any mad scientist, these concoctions bring me pride, joy, and a firm belief in my own good work. Plus, it’s fun.
I love the effect of sprouting farro in particular. It develops this yeasty sweetness that reminds me of bread-making. I knew you could make bread from sprouted grains, so I figured pizza crust would work out well. And YUM. This is not your standard pizza. The dough is sweet, nutty, and somewhat dense. It’s got an addictive chewiness that will have you reaching for slice after slice. But, unlike your standard pizza, this is one indulgence your body just might thank you for.
- 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp. warm water
- 1 1/3 cups uncooked farro, sprouted (see instructions below recipe), patted dry with a kitchen towel
- 1 tsp maple syrup, agave or honey (if not vegan)
- 1 scant tsp kosher salt, plus more for garnish
- All-purpose flour, for kneading. Use oat flour for gluten-free*
- Fine grain corn meal for the crust, or more flour
- Thinly sliced tomatoes (I used a combination of roma and cherry tomatoes)
- Fresh herbs, such as parsley and/or basil, chopped.
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside.
- Place the sprouted farro in a food processor & process, stopping as needed to scrape the sides down, until the sprouts come together in a ball of dough.
- In a large bowl, combine farro dough, yeast mixure, maple syrup, and salt and stir until well combined.
- Generously flour a clean surface and knead the dough for 15 minutes, adding more flour as necessary.
- Place the dough in a bowl lightly coated with olive oil and cover in plastic wrap. Allow to rise in the oven with the light on for 2 hours. The dough should almost double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your pizza stone or large baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
- Using your fingers, spread the dough out on your kneading surface to about 1/2" thickness. Sprinkle corn meal lightly across the top of the dough.
- When the oven is heated, remove the hot pan and carefully transfer the crust to the pan, flipping so that the corn meal is on the bottom.
- Drizzle crust with olive oil, spread with tomato slices evenly across, and drizzle with more oil and sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the center is firm to touch.
- Remove and cool for 5 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with fresh herbs and more olive oil, then slice and enjoy!
- In a clean jar, soak farro in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). While soaking, cover the jar with cheese cloth, a coffee filter, or a paper towel secured with a rubber band.
- Rinse and drain farro, and re-cover.
- Continue to rinse and drain farro twice daily (morning and night) until the grain is tender and just beginning to sprout, 12-24 hours. If left to sprout too long, the resulting dough will be too dense.
- Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
*Oat flour works fine, but will yield a slightly denser crust than AP flour.
Crust recipe adapted from Sprouted Wheat Bread from Bread Experience.