Saturday, June 6, 2009
100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
(pictured: a par cooked whole wheat pizza crust waiting for toppings)
This post is for Louis who may be making pizza on the grill this weekend. Please let me know how it turns out.
This is my go to whole wheat pizza crust that I have been making for years. It is quick to throw together and stores well par baked in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to keep one or two of these on hand for when I need a fast dinner. They are great warmed up quickly on top the stove on a grill pan (without toppings) and then topped and returned to the grill pan. The grill pan reheating works well when it is too hot to turn on the oven. In the summer I bake early in the day before it gets hot and then finish cooking these on top the stove later in the day.
Whole wheat pizza dough or focaccia
Makes enough for four big pizzas or one half sheet pan of focaccia
1 3/4 cups warm water (105 - 110 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast
1/2 teaspoon agave
4 cups of whole wheat flour (or 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of sprouted whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano
up to 1/4 cup of minced olives
up to 1/4 cup of finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
Combine water, yeast and sweetener and allow to stand until yeast has bloomed (a foam has formed on the top of the water). The foam means the yeast is alive.
Add remaining ingredients and stir and knead to thoroughly combine. Add the optional dried herbs before you begin to knead, if using. If you keep your flour in the freezer you may need to add a little additional water to moisten all the dry ingredients. If using the optional olives or tomatoes mix those in at the end of the kneading process and mix evenly into the dough.
Move the dough to a greased bowl. Lightly grease the top of the dough. Cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic film and move to a draft free place to double in size. I find the microwave to be a great place to store the dough while it rises which normally takes between 1 and 1 and 1/2 hours.
Once the dough has doubled in size it needs to be punched down. At this point it can be divided into four for pizzas or moved to a half sheet pan for focaccia.
For pizza: preheat your oven, and pizza stone, to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Next, divide the dough into four even portions and form it into a ball. Cover the ball with plastic film and allow to rest at room temperature for at least five minutes. Once the dough has rested roll the dough into a circle until the crust is approximately a 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. The dough will rise and become thicker as it cooks. When the oven is thoroughly preheated move the crust, without the toppings, to the pizza stone and par cook for at least 4 minutes. You want the dough to be cooked on the outside but not turning brown. Now you can top your pizza as you like and return to the oven for 4 or 5 minutes to warm all the toppings and finish cooking the dough. The remaining two dough balls can be par cooked and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
For focaccia: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the entire recipe and press it into a half sheet pan that you sprayed with oil. The dough will fill the entire pan, but you may need to let the dough relax and then return to press it into the corners after 5 minutes. Dimple the dough with your fingers to make classic focaccia. You can add large flakes of sea salt, minced olives, sun dried tomatoes or herbs to the top of the dough. Place the dough in a draft free place to rise (it will about double - in approximately 30 minutes). Bake until the top is golden brown or the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees.
Nutritional Information (assumes 8 servings):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 260.95
Calories From Fat (14%)- 35.41
Total Fat - 4.04g
Saturated Fat - 0.57g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 121mg
Potassium - 90.48mg
Total Carbohydrates - 48.19g
Fiber - 1.95g
Sugar - 0.18g
Protein - 6.89g
This dough is very easy and has a nice robust flavor from the whole wheat. I have been making this for so many years that white flour pizza crust now tastes bland and boring to me. The ideas for toppings for this dough are limited only by your imagination. One of my favorites is hummus and roasted vegetables. I also like to use the almond feta cheese and artichokes with a little basil oil. Artichoke pesto is another nice topping. Potato pizza with rosemary also makes a nice authentic Italian pie. Falafel pizza is also popular in my house. I keep frozen falafel that I defrost and cut in half and top the pizza with along with peppers and onions and a thick vegan besciamella to hold the toppings on the pizza.