Introduction: Make Rustic Sprouted Whole-grain Pizza Dough at Home!

About: Sharing knowledge and ideas. Constantly learning!

Pizza is a staple at our house, and we love making sprouted dough for it's whole-grain goodness and to switch up on our usual wheat flour pizza.

Sprouted breads have long history, may offer very slight advantage in protein, nutrient availability, and let you mix your favorite grains and legumes (my example dough contains wheat, spelt, rice and beans!); to me it's mostly about the wonderful texture and earthy taste! Sourdough starter complements a sprouted dough well.

What you need

* Assorted dry whole grains and legumes (try the bulk section at your grocery store)
* Mason jar
* A strainer lid for your jar (find these at any health food store or online at ebay, amazon)
* Food processor (or, if you dare, mortar and pestle)
* Oven
* Several days to let your grains sprout
* all the usual things you need for pizza dough --- yeast, flour, salt, water
* tomato, cheese (or fake cheese) and toppings

When I make pizza dough I like to limit my sprouted sponge to 30-60% of dough, using whole grain flour as the remainder to maintain excellent dough integrity. It's possible to make a 100% "flourless" dough but the texture is wetter and chewier than what you'd expect from pizza. In this case it can be helpful to add a binding agent like flax, egg, or oil.

If you're looking for a crispier texture (and you don't have issues with gluten) try a pizzaria trick --- add a pinch of vital wheat gluten.

If you've never made bread or pizza dough before I strongly suggest trying more traditional recipes first so you can find a process you like, get a good idea of baking proportions, see what good (and not so good) dough development looks like!

Step 1: Soak Your Grains Overnight and Let Them Sprout

Take you grains and legumes, place them in your mason jar, attaching a strainer lid. Cover with water and let sit overnight.

When morning comes, you should notice they've expanded and taken on water! Invert your jar and empty the water.

You'll store them this way, inverted (it can be helpful to rest your jar on a wire rack or kitchen towel).

Now it's time to wait!

Rinse your grains and drain at least once a day.  And be on the look out for mold or anything strange.

Step 2: After a Few Days Your Grain Will Sprout

After a few days you'll notice your grain has sprouted. They should be somewhat soft and smell fresh and grassy.

If your sprouts remain hard and do not grow, rinse again and wait another day.

Important: If you notice off smells or mold throw the batch away, carefully sanitize your mason jar and start this process over.

Step 3: Blend Your Sprouted Grains

When your grains are sprouted it's time to turn them into a dough!

Place your grains in a food processor and blend until a dough-like consistency. If they're too wet you can add some whole grain flour. Add yeast, salt as you would a normal pizza dough or bread.

Step 4: Knead Your Dough and Let Rise for a Few Hours

Knead the dough a little more, place in a bowl and cover for at least several hours.

If you use sough dough starter, you may need to let it rise longer!

Step 5: Roll Out Your Dough, Bake

Oil a pizza pan or baking sheet.

Roll your dough out using a rolling pin. If you don't have one a water bottle works great!

If you need it, add a little flour to help with dough consistency.

Preheat your oven to 375. I like to pre-bake my dough for 7-10 minutes at 375-400F. Add sauce, cheese and toppings. Then bake for another 7-10 minutes.

Step 6: Remove From Your Oven ... and EAT!

Remove your pizza from the oven. If everything has gone well you have a fantastic sprouted grain pizza to enjoy for dinner!