Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Finally, a recipe for the elusive whole grain pizza crust.  We started making homemade pizzas about a year and a half ago, but I usually picked up the dough from Trader Joe's or Publix.  Nothing wrong with that.  It saves time, that's for sure.  It's easy to just run in the store and grab pizza supplies and you can have supper done in a jiffy.  When I became more conscious of our whole grain consumption, I tried the whole wheat dough from Trader Joe's.  It was ok, but kind of grainy, know what I mean?  Then I started making pizza dough at home.  Oh my.  Your world will change when you do that.  You can find my regular recipe here
While I enjoy regularly delving into a delicious homemade pizza, I feel I could enjoy it more if there were whole wheat in my crust.  I've tried several different recipes that I've not been happy with.  But I found a great one and tried it out this weekend and I just had to pass it along.  I found it at Eating Well.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
1 cup [organic] all-purpose flour
1 cup [organic] whole wheat flour
1 package yeast [2 1/4 tsp]
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup hot water
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Using your food processor or stand mixer [I like the mixer method], combine the flours, yeast, salt, and sugar.  Combine the hot water and oil in a liquid measure, and slowly add to the flour mixture while the mixer/processor is on low.
Mix or process until the mixture becomes a ball, then mix or process for another minute or so to knead it. 
If you're using "rapid rise" yeast, you can just turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cover it in plastic and let it rest for about 10-20 minutes before rolling it out.  If you're using traditional yeast [which is what I use], put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat.  Cover with a clean towell and sit in a warm place until about doubled in size.  I let mine sit out for about 3 hours, but it will probably be ready in about 1 hour. 
When you're ready to make your pizza, just roll it out to the size of your stone and you're good to go.

This is a picture of our BBQ chicken pizza, before it went in the oven.  I don't know if you can tell, but the dough is really soft and soooo easy to roll out.  Other whole wheat doughs I've tried in the past have been hard and full of too much protein, making it difficult to roll.  In case you're wondering, here's how we make our BBQ chicken pizza.
For the sauce, we mix some of our homemade BBQ sauce with sour cream, in equal parts.  Then we smear that on the dough.  We then top with a layer of mozarella, followed by sauteed onions, crumbled cooked bacon, and grilled chicken that we've marinated in BBQ rub.  Top with another layer of cheese, drizzle of oil, and you're ready for the oven!  One other thing we like to do is sprinkle fresh cracked black pepper around the crust.  I like to heat the pizza stone in the 500 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  I think this aids in making sure the crustis completely done, even through the center.  I sprinkle a little cornmeal on it, throw the dough on, and top as desired.  It usually takes about 15 minutes for the cheese to bubble and the crust to finish.  I let the pizza sit for about 5-7 minutes---if we can stand it!---before cutting.  SO GOOD!  Here's a picture of this pizza, post oven.

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