What? A whole-wheat pizza crust that isn’t dry and cardboardy? Impossible you say? Nay! I, too, was a non-believer until I discovered this recipe. This crust does the trick VERY well. It’s delicious and moist, sweet and salty, and has just the right amount of chewyness. The trick is adding olive oil to the dough- it fixes the dry, crumbly problem of a lot of other whole wheat recipes.
First, add 2 1/4 tsp. yeast to 1 cup warm water and about one tablespoon of honey (I always go a little over on this- I like it sweeter). Stir or whisk the yeast in until it dissolves, and let the mixture sit until it has foamed up and about doubled in size, for approximately ten minutes. I do this with my Pyrex measuring cup for easy pouring after it’s done.
While the yeast is sitting, mix together 2.5 cups white whole wheat flower, 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, and 1 tsp. salt. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for mixing and kneading. Whenever I knead by hand, I always get frustrated at how sticky the dough is and end up adding too much flour!
Before I move on, you may be asking yourself, “what in tarnation is vital wheat gluten??!” Yes, it may sound like a weird scary ingredient, but all it does is make whole wheat dough more elastic. White flour has a higher gluten content than whole wheat, but lacks nutrients. Whole wheat flour has less gluten, but many more nutrients. Don’t worry, it’s completely natural and safe to use. You can get it at most grocery stores in the baking aisle. Fun fact: it’s the main ingredient in seitan (a popular natural meat substitute) and is super high in protein. Another fun fact: gluten is what makes a paste when you mix flour and water together. It’s quite a sticky mess to clean up, so careful not to spill any! If you do spill, use a paper towel instead of a sponge to clean it up since it will stick to and ruin your sponge.
This concludes my tangent about vital wheat gluten.
After yeast is done doubling, add to flour mixture as well as 1 tablespoon olive oil. I just approximate this… I think I usually end up using a little more than 1 tablespoon.
Knead with dough hook for a few minutes until the mixture comes away from the side of the bowl. You may need to add a little more flour. Add only 1 tablespoon at a time.
Form two or three balls with the dough (three if you like extra thin crust and if you are handy with a rolling pin). Place on floured surface, cover with a clean towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 30 minutes).
Done! I have never made three pizzas at one time (but I’m sure the day will come sometime!), so I put the dough I don’t use in individual sandwich bags. It can be kept in the fridge for about a week or frozen for a few months. When you are ready to use it, I usually place it on top of the oven to warm up while I am preheating to warm up the pizza stone. The dough is easier to roll out when it is warmer.
|Whole Wheat Pizza Dough|| |
- Add yeast to the warm water and honey. Mix together and let sit until foamy and about doubled in size (about 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, mix together 2.5 cups white whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, and salt.
- Mix yeast and 1 tablespoon olive oil in to flour mixture. Knead with dough hook until dough comes away from side of the bowl and sticks together in one ball. You may need to add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time to get this to happen, or alternatively, more water in the same amount if it is too dry.
- Form two or three balls with the dough (three if you like extra thin crust). Place on floured surface, cover with a clean towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 30 minutes).