Better Digestion Pizza Night

Obviously the below doesn’t align with my normal spiritual topics, but I felt compelled to share a favorite recipe of mine. For me, regardless of what I’m going through, there is always room for pizza! There was no league bowling last night due to the Super Bowl and I'm not a football fan, so I figured why not!

Deciding to make this while going through another grueling period of digestive issues may not have seemed like the best idea, but I went for it anyway last night simply because I am a believer that the toppings and various ingredients used would actually serve to help rather than hinder. I’m a huge believer in the healing power of various foods. I trust that certain ingredients can make a genuine difference and help to get everything back on track, which is why this modified breakfast food pizza hit the spot. Since it is just me, I made a single serving and enjoyed every minute of it. Not only did it contain ingredients that would help me, it also provided me with some much needed emotional satisfaction.

For the crust, I chose to go with 77% hydration since I was using 30% Whole Wheat Flour. Whole wheat is more dense and doesn’t rise as well as traditional white flours. This level of hydration helped to ensure the crust remained chewy and airy. In normal pizza doughs, I usually add a bit of oil, but omitted this fully last night because I simply didn’t want it.

Ingredients:

Pizza Crust:

70 grams All Purpose Flour

30 grams Whole Wheat Flour

77 grams warm Water

2 grams Active Dry Yeast

4 grams sugar (optional)

2 grams fine sea salt

Toppings:

4 scrambled Egg Whites seasoned with a small amount of turmeric, salt, and pepper

2 pieces of cooked Turkey Bacon chopped into squares

A few pepperonis (I was feeling brave and if you look closely you can see where I snagged one prior to taking the picture)

75 grams chopped raw Red Cabbage

2 thinly sliced radishes (use black radishes if you can get them, otherwise red is fine)

Handful of Baby Spinach and Arugula

Shredded cheddar and mozzarella (adjust the amount to your liking or need. You may need to be careful with overuse of this particular ingredient if you are mindful of your saturated fat intake or if you are feeling a bit well... backed up)

Pizza Sauce – you can make your own with blended diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, lightly sauteed minced garlic, fresh oregano and a drop of fish oil or simply use store bought. I prefer making my own since it’s simple and because I know exactly what goes into it. During normal pizza nights, I will typically add some crushed red pepper to the sauce as well.

Other ingredients as desired. Naturally you can add any toppings you want. I simply chose to refrain from most traditional toppings because I wanted something that would be easy to digest.  The pepperoni wasn’t one of my better choices, but I wanted just a bit!

Benefits of the Basics:

Cabbage – Helps to expedite healing of ulcers, protects intestinal lining, and helps with general liver function

Arugula – Can protect against ulcers and its bitterness helps to stimulate digestion. It also helps to boost overall circulation and acts as a general detox.

Spinach – High in antioxidants and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory

Radish – Helps stimulate the production of bile all while decongesting the gall bladder. Radishes can also help to lower blood pressure

Tomatoes – Good for the heart and can help to lower cholesterol

Oregano (from sauce) – Acts as an antioxidant and as a mild analgesic

 

Other Considerations:

Mushrooms - great anti inflammatory properties and can serve as a prebiotic. I would have added some if I had any.

Basil (if you have it) – Acts as a natural anti inflammatory for the digestive track

 

Directions:

Dough: This is a same day procedure. Naturally you can bulk ferment your dough (for both rises) in the fridge overnight if you prefer for more flavor, but for this sized pizza, I prefer it quick.

Note - Kneading times will reduce if you are using a stand or spiral mixer. Since I had to sell mine, I kneaded by hand.

  • Add the yeast to the warm water and 2g of the white sugar. Let froth for about 10 minutes
  • In a separate bowl, add the flours, blend together and then add the water in 2 portions. Mix the dough loosely just until no dry flour remains. Cover and allow this dough to autolyse for 20 minutes
  • Mix in the salt and remainder of sugar then remove the dough from a bowl, add to a smooth work surface and knead for 8 minutes.
  • Allow the dough to rest covered for 5 minutes
  • Knead the dough for another 8 minutes until it becomes smooth. Your kneading process should continually stretch the dough, but not the point where it rips it because you don’t want to hurt the gluten structure you are building.
  • Transfer your dough to an oiled container (I prefer a small 2 quart Cambro container sprayed with olive oil) and cover with Clingwrap
  • After 10 minutes, perform a stretch and fold on the dough. Stretch out the left side (again without ripping the dough) and fold over to the right. Stretch the right side and pull over to the left. Then stretch the top and fold to the bottom and finally, stretch the bottom and fold upwards to the top. Form your dough back into a ball, cover and let rise until doubled. (in my house this usually takes 1.5 hours)
  • Punch down your dough, perform another stretch and fold, shape into a ball, tighten the ball by dragging the dough along your unfloured work surface, and then let rise for another 45 minutes to an hour or so or until it is fully proofed (use the finger dent test)
    1. After about 20 minutes of rising, preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  • Once your doughball is ready, remove from the container and add to a lightly floured surface. Push the middle downwards all while pushing the air out to the edges, then hand stretch your dough until the size you desire is achieved. (For these, I typically stretch to about 8 inches). Cover loosely with cling wrap

Remainder:

  • Cut your bacon into squares, add to a preheated pan coated with cooking spray
  • Add in your egg whites and season with turmeric, salt, and pepper. Cook until done.
  • To build your pizza, add sauce, spinach/arugula, egg whites with bacon, cheese, and then top with pepperonis and sliced radish.
  • Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes on either a preheated baking stone or cast iron pizza pan. If you use a cast iron , allow it to preheat for a few minutes while you stretch the dough. If you happen to have some fresh basil on hand, chop it up and add to the top of the pizza during the last 2 minutes of baking.
  • Remove from oven, cut and enjoy!

 

All in all, I was quite pleased with the overall result last night. Taking many of the same ingredients I usually use for my breakfast and turning them into an emotionally satisfying pizza made for a truly great night! Give it a try and you may be surprised how much you enjoy it!!

 

 

 

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