11 June 2009

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Pizza is so cheap and ubiquitous that most people never bother making pizza dough from scratch. Once you start making your own dough, you'll realize how much better it tastes! When I first starting making homemade dough (and after much trial and error) I used this recipe from Tyler Florence. It's my good-to, never-fail recipe when I want all white flour pizza dough. But, more often I use a whole wheat/white flour mix. This recipe is fantastic. Super tasty and you can add more or less whole wheat to your liking. I don't recommend using all whole wheat, though. The crust comes out too dense and you loose the chewiness. Adding the white flour will keep your crust light. That said (written), if you do decide to use all whole wheat you will need to add 4 tsp of gluten, which will add a bit of chewy and will help the dough rise.

You will need:

1 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
1 T olive oil
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour

(I only use King Arthur flours. If you use another brand you may need to adjust your flour quantities just a bit. But...King Arthur really is superior!)

In a large mixer bowl (I use my KitchenAid) add the water, sugar, and yeast. The sugar feeds the yeast (little burpee guys). Add a bit more sugar if you like a sweeter crust. After the mixture is foamy--about 10 minutes--add the oil and salt.

Mix gently and then add the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the bread flour.

Use the dough hook attachment and mix until dough starts to come together.

At this point you can either turn out the dough onto a surface floured with the remaining bread flour or you can, like I do, leave it in the mixer and slowly add the remaining flour with the mixer on medium speed. You'll need to stop it now and then to scrape the dough off of the hook.

If kneading by hand, keep it up until all of the flour is absorbed and the dough becomes smooth. About ten minutes or so. If you are using the mixer, mix for at least six minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, and loosely cover with a damp towel. Let it stand in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. I turn on the oven to 400 degrees and put the bowl at the back of the stove with one half of the towel over the back burner.

After it rises...

punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface.

This dough is so great. You can divide it into 2 and have two great, thick, large crusts. Or you can divide it into 3 and have thinner crusts, but still nice size pizzas. I divide it into 4 and have individual pizzas for each family member. The dough is thin, but not the flat thin you get at a pizza parlor--the one that makes you think you are eating cardboard or paper. Form the pieces into little balls and leave them alone for about 45 minutes or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 425. You can use a rolling pin to form your crusts, but I just stretch and pull at them until flat. I like the look of homemade pizza crust, not perfectly round.

Top with anything you like! Bake on a greased pizza pan or cookie sheet for about 12 minutes.. My pizza pan is blackened and malformed owing to years of being spread with pulled pork and cooked on the grill, so I just use a cookie sheet lined with parchment and greased with a bit of olive oil. Works great, but still every year I ask Santa for a pizza stone. For some reason, he always forgets to bring me one. :)

Tinker Bell likes tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and green peppers on her pizza.

Bubba, Goose, and I like BBQ sauce (thinned with a bit of pineapple juice), BBQ chicken, bacon, and pineapple on our pizzas.

Even in smaller, individual size crusts the dough is chewy, not too dense, and thick enough to let you taste it. Give it a try and you won't be sorry!


Screamin' Mama said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Looks delicious! I don't have a mixer with a dough hook. I wonder if it would turn out the same...

Sunshine Mom said...

oh, sure! Just use your hands and it will be great. :)

PMP said...

your pizzas look so, so good! i'm impressed... yummy. one small suggestion, though. my mom would chastise you for using your oven energy just to make the dough rise. i can hear her saying how wasteful that is. You could use the oven to cook something else at that time (400 for an hour is a lot of energy!). what she does is leave her dough to rise on top of the hot water heater. you might have to leave it for a bit longer (she leaves the pancake dough overnight, for example), but at least you aren't wasting energy!

Sunshine Mom said...

PMP, I actually was cooking something else at the time. I always have another project cooking. I'm with your mom on wasting energy. :)

PMP said...

Oh, good to know. Just making sure!