Monday, September 7, 2009

My favorite (somewhat more healthful) Pizza Crust so far

I've tried all kinds of whole wheat pizza crust recipes, most to mixed reviews. Some are just too heavy and dry, others flabby, or too sweet, and some just downright tough, or have all the charm and taste of a piece of cardboard.

After experimenting for a while with the proportions of whole wheat to white flour this one is my family's favorite, even kids like this one ~ and I'm so pleased to share it with you.

No rising time is necessary, also see tips below for making it ahead and freezing.
Favorite Pizza Dough using Whole Wheat Flour
From the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate

1 cup whole wheat white flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon fast-rise dry active yeast
2 tablespoon olive oil (may substitute vegetable oil of your choice)
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 3 teaspoons white sugar (I use 1 teaspoon)
1 cup warm water, about 110*


Preheat oven with baking stone 500 to 550 degrees (F) for at least 1/2 hour. *
See important note below.

Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in food processor fitted with metal blade, or stand mixer fitted with dough hook, pulse or blend for a moment until combined. Mix oil and warm water and add to flour mixture. If using food processor, process or until dough ball forms.

At this point you may form pizza immediately, or allow to rise for 30 to 45 minutes before shaping if that is more convenient. *

To form the pizza, stretch the dough as thin as possible, or roll out on a lightly floured board. It's your choice; make one large pizza, 2 medium, or several smaller pizzas.

Because we like a crisp crust, I prebake the pizza without any toppings for a couple of minutes, then remove it from oven, apply toppings then return to oven to continue baking until the crust is crisp and begins to brown. I use a pizza peel very lightly sprinkled with corn meal to transfer the pizza to and from the oven; a rimless cookie sheet, or thin, flexible cutting board also works well in lieu of a pizza peel.

* For my small family I usually make the entire recipe, then use the amount of dough I need immediately, and form the remainder of the dough into a ball, (or balls). Wrap each ball well in oiled cling film, twist to close and place the balls into a resealable plastic bag and place in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.

To use, remove from freezer and allow to thaw completely either in the refrigerator, or at room temperature, you can use it immediately upon thawing, or allow it to rise until doubled, then form the pizza dough.

* If you do not have a baking stone, preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F) and you bake the pizza on a metal baking sheet for 20 to 25 minutes, or until done to your liking.
If you try this recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

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