Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wheat Pizza Dough

Back at school, when nothing else looked good in the dining room your last resort was the make your own pizza line.  Freshman year, making your own pizza was all the rage.  But by Junior year we all came to realize that it was clearly only a fall back option, never the way you would make it yourself and that if you choose the wheat crust in a vain attempt to be healthy, you dinner was basically tomatoes and cardboard.  It wasn't good.

After 4 years of cardboard wheat pizza, I am so happy to report that this wheat pizza dough does not taste anything at all like cardboard.  It kinda taste like, well, normal pizza dough.  And even better, I'm in my own kitchen and allowed to actually touch the food and making my own pizza is no longer a last resort.  It's actually exciting.

With such low expectations of wheat pizza dough, this really blew my mine.  I made half a batch (the recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas), but as soon as I have officially moved and have a brand new freezer to stock up, I plan on making pizza for dinner again and freezing the extra dough ball.  And then, I can have make my own pizza any time.  And it'll be good and healthy.

Ben and I topped ours with a homemade tomato sauce (fire roasted diced tomatoes whirled together with some garlic, oregano, basil and thyme), crumbled Italian sausage, green peppers and red onions.  And then pigged out with the whole thing, ending the night with beers and chocolate turtle cake.  It was a damn good dinner while we watched The Social Network.  Except, I didn't really like the movie and am apparently in the minority there.  At least the pizza dough is a keeper.

Wheat Pizza Dough
Adapted from The Haeger NaturalStone Pizza Cookbook

Haeger calls this whole wheat pizza dough.  However, seeing as the majority of the flour used is plain all-purpose, I'm sticking to wheat pizza dough.  I'm one of those let's call a duck a duck kind of people...  This will make enough dough for 2 pizzas.  Halve recipe for one pizza or make the whole thing and have an extra in your freezer!

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 package (2 1/2 tsp) rapid rise yeast
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 c. warm water (110 deg. F)
2 tsp. olive oil (+ more for oiling bowl)

Grease large bowl lightly with olive oil.  In bowl of food processor, combine flours, yeast, salt and sugar.  Pulse until well combined.  In cup with pour spout, combine water and oil.  With motor running, slowly stream in water/oil mixture.  Pulse food processor until dough comes together in a rough ball.  If dough does not come together, add up to 2 teaspoons more of water until it does.  Pulse food processor often for 25-30 seconds, or turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand.  With floured hands, form dough into a smooth ball and set in prepared bowl, turning it once or twice to coat with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area 1 1/2- 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Prepare pizza sheet, baking stone, whatever you are using by sprinkling lightly with cornmeal.  Set aside.  Turn risen dough out onto lightly floured surface.  Punch down, knead lightly and form into a long cylinder.  Divide into two equal balls and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Roll out dough to fit your prepared pan and transfer to pan.  Top with sauce, cheese and whatever pizza goodies you want.  Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melted and delicious.

If freezing one or both balls, wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze in zipper-lock bag.  Dough will last in freezer for 2 months; to use thaw, at roomer temperature for 3-4 hours.

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