Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

While the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge has been invaluable in teaching me numerous bread baking skills, it's kept me so busy baking delicious white breads that I've had to take a break from experimenting with recipes containing my true love: whole grains. I've been eyeing this recipe for whole wheat pizza crust from King Arthur's Whole Grain Baking for quite some time now and finally found time to make it over the weekend.

I will say that had I not spent so much time learning my newly acquired bread baking skills through the Challenge, I would have failed miserably with this recipe. Working with wet dough was something I'd had no experience with until the past two months. And because of that experience I was able to pull off this pizza perfectly!

This recipe does include some white bread flour, but still comes in at 75% whole grain. Nice compromise, I say.


1 cup (4 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
scant pinch of instant yeast
1/2 cup (4 ounces cold water)


All of the pre-ferment
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) cool water
2 cups (8 ounces) white whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp yeast

The night before you want to make the pizza, combine the pre-ferment ingredients in a small bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 12-15 hours.

The next day combine the pre-ferment with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and using dough hook, knead the dough for about 5 minutes. This is a wet dough and is best kneaded by machine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Turn the dough onto a heavily floured work surface and give it a fold. Use a bench knife or dough scraper to help you fold the dough over itself, as you would a business letter, brushing any excess flour away as you fold, to keep from incorporating raw flour into the middle of the dough. Next fold the dough in a similar fashion, this time from the long ends, to make a packet. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let it rise for 30 minutes then repeat the folding process. Do this every 30 minutes for 2 hours, for a total of 4 folds.

Divide the dough in half and form each piece into a round. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

While dough is resting, place pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Sprinkle a sheet of parchment paper with semolina flour or cornmeal. Place dough round in center of parchment paper and with floured hands or rolling pin, stretch or roll dough into a rectangle or circle. You'll want the dough to be fairly thin, but be careful not to poke holes through it.

Top dough with sauce and toppings. I used Thai spicy peanut sauce, chopped grilled chicken, diced red peppers, sliced green onions and mozzarella cheese.

Use a pizza peel to transfer the pizza, parchment paper and all, onto the pizza stone. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, slice and serve.

Repeat with second round of dough or refrigerate or freeze the dough for future use.


June said...

Don't ya just love the flavor of dough made with a little yeast and a lot more time? That dough looks so smooth and silky and the pizza..well I'm STARVING! gimmegimmegimmesome

Mags said...

June: Yes, the extra time with the pre-ferment makes all the difference in the flavor of this crust. It was really quite crusty and chewy and not at all heavy like some whole wheat doughs I've had.

Lady P said...

that pizza looks damn near professional to my eyes, and i can almost taste it in my mouth - the photos are so good
very impressive work there, mags!

Mags said...

Well thank you Lady P! It's always nice to see such sweet comments!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am planning on making pizza tomorrow night for dinner, and lately I haven't been happy with my pizza dough recipe. Perfect timing.

Plus, it was a good reminder that I need to get a copy of the Whole Grain Baking cookbook. My birthday is coming up, I will start dropping hints :)

VintageMixer said...

I'm always looking for a good pizza dough recipe. Thanks for this post!

Snooty Primadona said...

OH. Yum. I usually like it thin crust but this looks irresistible.

Is it bad that I just use the Pillsbury Dough Boy pop-out crust, LOL?

Barbara Bakes said...

Looks like a perfect pizza! Always looking to add more whole wheat to our diet.

Mags said...

Jen: Great! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Vintage: You're welcome! And thanks for commenting.

Snooty: Awww... that Pillsbury boy is just fine! He was my go-to for years!

Barbara: It was delicious! Thanks for commenting!

Moogie said...

You're like a wizard with dough. So what are you going to conger up for Halloween? Something to trick or treat us?

stephchows said...

the night before... but that's so long of a wait! hehe I bet it's super tasty though!! I wonder if my place is warm enough though... we have the heat go down to 62 at night...

I updated the pie crust recipe for ya! thanks for the catch!

Sharon said...

Great recipe! I love whole wheat flour for my pizza. I have some other whole grain recipes if you're interested: http://www.shar-on-nutrition.com/?p=362

Swapping refined pastas and rices for whole grains has made me feel more full and healthier!

Feel free to leave a comment! :)

Mags said...

Moogie: We'll be out of town for Halloween weekend so the only treats I'll be making will be the ones to give to the co-irkers this Friday and next. Probably pumpkin cakes or cheesecakes, I'm thinking.

Steph: actually cooler is better in this case for the night pre-fement, so that cool kitchen might work just fine!

Sharon: Thanks for commenting! I most certainly will check out your recipes.

Alyssa said...

Mags, that looks wonderful! We eat pizza every Friday night, and I usually use the Olive Oil Dough from Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day. I think I may try this one soon though, because well, we love to try new things. ;)

Mags said...

Alyssa: I think you'll enjoy it!