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Low-fat ‘Poolish’ Pizza

You start by making the poolish ferment:
• 10g of dried yeast (not quick action)
• 500g of wholemeal spelt flour
• 500g (500ml) warm (not hot) water
• Using a large mixing bowl I mix the yeast and flour well them combine the water – I use a semi-circular scraper, it mixes easily and forms a thick batter.
• Cover the bowl with a tea-towel and leave for 3 hours in a warm kitchen. It’s forgiving if you’re busy but don’t leave more than 5 hours as it collapses).

I then add the following to the poolish:
• 500g of white spelt flour
• 10g of yeast (for this you can use quick action yeast)
• 20g salt
• 160g of warm water

I mix this well using my semi-circular scraper in the bowl; lifting out the dough onto the counter - I put olive oil on my hands (it reduces the dough sticking to my hands) and knead the dough for a few minutes. I return the dough to the bowl and cover again with the tea-towel and leave for 30 minutes in a warm kitchen. I scoop out the dough using the round edge of the scraper and cut it in half, then divide each half into 8 (16 pieces). I reserve two pieces (from the 16) for the pizza, but first I mould 14 rolls tightly and then leave to rise, for 35-45minutes, on greased oven trays covering them with the tea-towel. The 2 remaining pizza pieces are rolled out into circles about 8 -9inches diameter (a bread roll sized portion of dough makes a thin pizza) and left to prove for 35-45 minutes on two circular greased trays.

Preheat the oven on 200°C for 10minutes when the rolls are well risen and cook them for 18-20 minutes – tapping the bottom of the rolls to check they are cooked. Meanwhile I assemble the pizza using my own tomato topping, or you can use a premade tomato sauce if time is short. On top of this I use quark, it’s cheap and has no fat (mozzarella in my view tastes little different on pizza with other toppings). Essential additions are chopped herbs and a handful of grated extra strong cheddar. Other toppings are your personal taste. I cook the pizza as for the bread rolls. I like my pizza well done so you may need to reduce the time.