Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Best 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust Ever!

"This is my best pizza crust ever!" Just ask my hubby how many times he's heard me say that but "this time I really mean it." (You can also ask him how many times he's heard me say THAT...HEE!)

My regular readers already know that I'm a whole grain freak. For any newcomers, welcome to my whole grain obsession. For many years whenever I made pizza at home I just used a store-bought Boboli whole wheat pizza crust. It was OK. It did the trick. But I wanted something better than OK. I wanted something that tasted like real take-out pizza, but it had to have a 100% whole wheat crust. AND I DID IT! I developed a whole wheat pizza crust recipe that could rival any take out pizza you've ever ordered. It's whole grain, it's delicious, and the only way you'll make it unhealthy is how you decide to top it. If you're a fan of regular pepperoni, fatty sausage and ground beef, consider yourself lucky that you've at least added some whole grains and fiber to the crust. I can only help you so far, just like you can try to tell me that one glass of wine is enough. Agree to disagree..... I think I've blogged about that before.

I think the key to making any pizza at home is by using a pizza stone. The crust bakes evenly and gets perfectly crisp instead of having the soggy spots you sometimes get when using a regular pizza pan. I'm also going to clue you in here that I NEVER knead any of my bread or pizza dough by hand. I always use the dough hook and my Kitchen Aid mixer. It's perfect every time and a lot less messy, in my opinion. If that makes me a cheater, then a cheater I am.

This particular recipe does take a little planning in that the dough does require overnight refrigeration to help develop the flavor. Each batch of pizza dough will make enough for two 12" pizzas so I am also known to take half of the final pizza dough and freeze it for future use. Simply thaw it overnight in the fridge and it'll be ready for you the next day when you're ready to make your pizza. Have I made this sound more complicated than it is? I certainly hope not, because once you figure out the process, it's really quite simple.

The Best Whole Wheat Pizza Dough...EVER!

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 TBSP vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp pizza dough flavor (optional, but it really does add much to the flavor)
1 tsp honey
1 TBSP olive oil
3/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)

In bowl of mixer, whisk together the flour, yeast, wheat gluten, salt, and pizza dough flavor (if using.) Add the honey, olive oil and water. Mix well with a large spoon to combine all the ingredients, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. Knead with the dough hook for 7-8 minutes, adding additional flour or water if dough is either too wet or too dry. Place dough in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Punch dough down and cover well with greased plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

On the day you're making the pizza remove the dough from the refrigerator about an hour and a half before wanting to serve it. This is where I divide the dough in half and freeze one half for future use if I'm only making one pizza for hubby and myself. To do this, spray the inside of a freezer baggie with cooking spray and place pizza dough in bag, press out the air, then seal and place in freezer.

Spray your counter top with some cooking spray and place dough on it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rest for one hour.

About thirty minutes before baking the pizza, place pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees.

After dough has rested for an hour, spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray. Place dough on parchment paper and starting from the middle of the dough ball, gently spread the dough out into a 12" circle. It the dough resists, just let it rest a few minutes longer before working with it again.

Transfer the crust along with the parchment paper to the baking stone in the oven. I use a pizza peel to do this. Bake for five minutes then remove the crust and parchment paper from the stone.

Top crust with sauce, cheese and toppings. This time you'll be able to return the crust to the pizza stone without the parchment paper. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned. Remove from oven and serve.

For this particular pizza I used a Thai peanut sauce instead of traditional tomato sauce and I topped it with a little Monterey jack cheese, some sauteed seasoned chicken breast chunks, orange bell pepper, broccoli and green onions.

Thai Peanut Sauce (enough sauce for one 12" pizza)

1/4 cup peanut butter
2 TBSP Splenda (or sugar)
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 TBSP water
1 TBSP reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds to soften peanut butter, then stir well to combine.

I'd like to wish each and every one of you a blessed and happy Easter.

Oh, and GO BUTLER!!!


Pam said...

I'm not a big fan of whole grains. But I do like the idea of prebaking the crust a bit first!

MrsMe said...

Happy Easter Mags. I'm writing down your best crust ever.

June said...

Yum Mags this is some great looking pizza and I'm with you on using the Kitchen Aid. That's why they called it a "kitchen aid" after all...definitely makes the job a lot easier. As for the wine - maybe our body's are only allowed a certain allotment of the stuff in our lifetimes. I think I've exceeded mine. Darn! Happy Easter!!

A Year on the Grill said...

I love the looks of this pizza... sounds so healthy but everything will blend together so well!

Julie said...

Hi, Maggie: Happy Easter! This looks delicious! Love thai pizza. I am on a quest to eat more whole grains. We'll be trying this one! Thanks for sharing.

Leslie said...

This looks like it could be the best PIZZA ever! Seriously, I'm drooling!

Susan said...

I make my own pizza dough using the master dough recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. Yours looks fabulous!

Jennifer said...

Happy Easter :) that has to be the best whole wheat healthy pizza ever!

Shenandoah bed and breakfast said...

Very nice, easy and yummy recipe and thanks for sharing! I like very thin crust pizza so I made 2, 18" pies. I suggest, once panned, pre-baking crust at 425 degrees for five minutes and cool, then preparing with preferred toppings. This lets the thin crust to stand up to the moisture and becomes fine crisped.

Best Regards,

stephchows said...

KA sells everything... pizza dough flavor??? seriously??? lol I think I should register at that store... hmmmmmmm I may need to look into that!

katerina said...

We don't have KA flour here in Canada but I gotta say "Pizza Dough Flavour" That is weird!!

hehhe, I have also been on the quest for a perfect WW pizza dough for years now. I will have to try yours, it is a fun quest.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Your pizza looks AWESOME. I love your toppings, broccoli, and what is that, mango? Looks fresh and delicious.

Karen said...

This is a pretty healthy looking pizza :)

Maria said...

My kind of pizza! YUM!

Kevin said...

That is one tasty looking Thai flavoured pizza!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Lovely! I am a whole grain nut, as well... I can't get enough. This pizza looks lovely. I recently bought a pizza peel, but the first time I used it was somewhat disastrous. I think I need a larger stone (last pizza baked off the edges all over my oven!). What stone do you have?

Kathy said...

I like whole grains too, but I haven't tried that. very mouth watering..Yummm!!.. :) would love it much with a little crunchy crust. your pizza ingredients are the best!

msmeanie said...

I, too, am a whole grain freak. This crust looks fantastic, seriously. I will HAVE to try it. I've never heard of that pizza dough flavor, but it sounds sooo interesting..

Deeba PAB said...

Love the idea of a whole wheat base. MUST TRY!!

Aggie said...

I have got to try this pizza crust! I am a whole grain freak too :) Your pizza looks amazing!!

Beckywrkm said...

VERY GOOD pizza crust!!! My family loved it! Thank you for the recipe!

Mel said...

just pinned this...excited to try it, though I am not sure where I can find that seasoning. New to me. Thanks for sharing. Looks yum!