Lievito Madre pizza

This is not strictly speaking a post about a diabetic sweet-treat, but I thought it was still worth-while sharing with the world as this is a fully homemade meal and thus is easily carb-counted. Additionally, in our modern world of fast-food outlets and microwave meals, it always feels special and healthy to create something from scratch.

A few months ago, my good friend Valentina gifted me a culture of Lievito Madre; an Italian sour dough which requires continual propagation. Every couple of days it needs passaging by dividing it roughly in half, adding a mixture of water and strong flour, and then culturing it in the fridge. I have been growing and using the culture faithfully for the last two months for our new family-tradition of “Pizza Sundays”, which has been great fun with the kids! On the evening before use, the culture needs feeding with the fresh water/flour mix, and incubating at room temperature overnight. On the following morning, the dough is again fed with a water/flour mix, given a good knead to aid gluten formation and left to rise in a warm place for two hours. After the two hour rise, the dough is split into 4, with as little disruption as possible so as to avoid knocking the dough back, and then left to rise for another ~6 hours. At the end of this time, you have four springy puffed-up dough balls with fantastic elasticity, which can either be rolled out into a rustic shape of your choice, or alternatively wrapped up in clingfilm and frozen for future use. Then it’s time for the kids to take over! We’ve been having them decorate the pizza bases with tomato passata and mozzarella, followed by toppings of their choice; ham, peperoni, cheeses, pickles… mostly dependent upon whatever we have left in the fridge by Sunday evening! We’ve also been experimenting with non-diary mozzarella as one of our boys is allergic to milk, and he is a huge fan of the pizzas that we have been making.

Such a fun, fulfilling (for both the stomach and the soul), family-tradition, which everyone can get involved in and enjoy, diabetic or otherwise!

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