My family - myself, my husband and our 2 young daughters - eat in nearly every meal. We have probably eaten out at a restaurant (we do go to friends or family's homes for meals) once or twice a year since my 3-year-old was born. All this eating at home - coupled with my complete lack of training in the kitchen - has led us to some very creative concoctions.
Can I call it Molecular Gastronomy?
While traditional chefs create their dishes in a systematic manner based on a real understanding of the fundamentals of food preparation - to such an extent that many of the world's best chefs, like Spain's Ferran Adria, France's Pierre Gagnaire and the UK's Heston Blumenthal are associated with Molecular Gastronomy (a study of the physical and chemical processes that occur in cooking) - there are some recipes born from a convergence of interests.
Or at least, that is how I would describe my very-un-recipe-like formula for making a homemade spelt, veggie pizza. It was motivated by my desire to cook more vegetarian dishes (see my post on why I became an environmental vegetarian) and to make something that I could create with just what I had in my kitchen. Add to this my daughter's love of pizza and her eagerness to help me create a meal and our yeast-free veggie spelt pizza was born.
Cooking with found ingredients
Cooking with just the ingredients in my refrigerator meant no yeast and no all-purpose flour. I'd recently bought several pounds of spelt flour at the bulk store after learning about the wonders of spelt as a very digestible grain so that solved our biggest ingredient issue.
I wasn't quite prepared - nor did I have the time - to culture my own yeast from the air (my mother-in-law does it. See my video: The way bread was made: fermenting with mother dough) so I decided on another commercial rising agent. Baking powder can serve as a yeast substitute, at least for cakes and cookies, so I decided to give it a try in my dough. Since I was making a European-style thin crust pizza, I wasn't too concerned about the leavening process.
After 45 minutes of mixing, rolling, topping and waiting (this includes the cook time), we sat down to eat a pretty tasty pie. Besides a bit of mess in the kitchen, the whole process was pretty easy and surprisingly tasty.
In this video, I- and my 2-year-old daughter- show you show you how we make our yeast-free, spelt, vegetarian pizza. It has since become a family favorite.