Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust

Tonight was pizza night! I think we eat pizza in some form or fashion about once a week. It's probably not the healthiest food to have on your list of favorites but when I make it with wheat crust, it feels a bit less guilty. I've tested out so many pizza recipes since I am such a fan. I like this one because it doesn't take a lot of pre-planning. I keep most of the dough and sauce ingredients on-hand and you can top a pizza with just about anything. The best part is that it all comes together in about an hour. No resting the dough overnight or letting it rise 2 or 3 times. Enjoy!

Time: about an hour
Serves: 2


Crust: (adapted from Andrea Meyers)
  • 1 scant (almost full) cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 package "Rapid Rise" yeast*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup hot water (approximately 115°F)
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • coarse cornmeal, for sprinkling on the peel
Sauce: (also from Andrea Meyers)
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 TBSP red wine
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • sliced onion, mushrooms, pepperoni, mozzarella or whatever you like!

  1. Take out your oven racks and put a pizza stone (if you have one) on the very bottom of the oven. If you don't have a pizza stone, you can use a pizza pan or even a cookie sheet if you don't mind a more rectangular pizza.
  2. Preheat oven to 450.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add a scant cup of whole-wheat flour. A "scant" cup means a little less than a full one. There's a pic on the left of what mine looked like. 
  4. To the same bowl, add a full cup of all-purpose flour. You'll want to use a spoon to scoop the flour into the cup until it's heaping over, then use the flat side of a knife to scrape off the heaping top. This is called spooning and leveling and makes for accurate measurements, which are important for baking. 
  5. To the same bowl, add your packet of yeast and 1 tsp. salt and whisk everything together.
  6. Fill a measuring cup with 3/4 cup of water and microwave it for 35 seconds (that should bring it to ~115 degrees if you want to measure temperature)
  7. Add 1 TBSP of olive oil, followed by 1 TBSP of honey to the water (the oil on the Tablespoon will make it easier to pour out the honey)
  8. Attach the mixer bowl to the mixer and use your dough hook, which is the curved skinny one.
  9. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in enough of the hot liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The bottom of the dough should stick to the bowl but the sides should pull away.
  10. Mix on low until the dough forms a ball, then increase speed to 2 for just 1 minute to knead.
  11. Transfer the dough to your counter that you've cleaned and sprinkled some flour on.The picture on the left is how it looked when I first took it out of the mixer. I thought you might be able to see that it's pretty sticky.
  12. Sprinkle some flour on your hands and your dough ball and make sure it doesn't stick to the counter.
  13. Let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes before rolling, which is the perfect amount of time to make the sauce and chop toppings. The picture on the right is what the dough looked like after it rested. It should puff up a bit.
  1. Get out all of your ingredients first and have them sitting ready to go. Be sure to open the wine and can of tomato sauce.The recipe cooks fast, so this step is important.
  2. Smash your garlic with the flat side of your knife, remove the skins and chop it up finely.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil on medium for a couple of minutes, then add your garlic.
  4. Cook the garlic until it turns golden but watch it closely as the garlic can go from golden to burned in a nanosecond.
  5. Add tomato paste, water, wine, sugar, oregano, and cheese. Sometimes it's helpful to add the liquids first to stop the garlic from cooking more.
  6. Season with about a tsp of salt and pepper. You may need to adjust this once you taste it.
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium low heat. Remove from heat  and set aside until you need it.
Building your Pizza
  1. Once your dough is rested and your toppings are chopped and sauce is made, sprinkle the cornmeal on the pizza pan. If you use a cookie sheet that has sides on it, you may want to flip it upside down for this so you have flat sides. You can also use a pizza peel here if you're interested in sliding the whole thing onto a stone for cooking.

  2. Sprinkle some flour on your hands and the dough. Flatten the dough with your palms, then pick it up and mush it around making sure it's covered in flour, shaping it into a little disc
  3. Lay the disc on your floured counter and use a rolling pin to roll it out thin. At first, you'll want to pick up the dough a few times to make sure it's not sticking. Keep adding flour to the dough, the counter and the rolling pin.
  4. Continue rolling until you have a 12-14-inch circle (or a rectangle if you're using a cookie sheet). I like to get it as thin as possible here. 
  5. Transfer the rolled dough to the pizza peel or pizza pan. I usually try to fold one side over my rolling pin, then kind of drag it over to the pan. It's not always pretty, but it works!
  6. If you have excess dough (like I did) cut off the edges, leaving a bit of a border around the pan.

  7. Fold over the crust around the edges.

  8. Add your sauce and the toppings of your choice and place pizza pan in the oven on top of the stone or on the floor of your oven. If using a pizza peel, you can slide the pizza onto the hot stone here.

  1. Bake the pizza until the pizza is crisp and golden, 12-20 minutes. Cut and serve with the rest of that bottle of red wine you opened for the sauce.

*"Rapid Rise" yeast - You can find packets of yeast on the baking aisle, usually near the flour. They come in a strip of 3 packets and you'll usually see "Active Dry" yeast and "Rapid Rise" among other selections. Here is a picture of the packets.

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