• Whole Wheat Pizza Crust with a GF option

    This has become the go-to pizza dough recipe in our house which we make about once a week.  My husband is the yeast bread expert who came up with this recipe, but it’s easy enough that even I can make it!  Yields two medium pizzas or one very very large.  Estimated time is 3-9 hours, hands on time, about 10 minutes.

    Ingredients:

    1 1/2 c all purpose flour

    1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour

    1/8 c vital wheat gluten (if you don’t have it, sub AP flour)

    Gluten Free alternative: 3 c GF All Purpose Flour in place of first 3 ingredients

    1/2 tsp sea salt

    1 Tbsp active dry yeast

    1-2 Tbsp dried oregano, sage and basil or Italian Seasoning Herb Blend

    ~

    1 1/4 c lukewarm water (60-70 degrees F)

    1 Tbsp whey or apple cider vinegar (optional)

    extra virgin olive oil

    Method:

    In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix them together well.  Pour water and whey/acv in all at once and use a wooden spoon or a dough hook on your mixer to combine until mixture forms a ball of dough.  Knead or continue mixing dough ball for several minutes to develop gluten (not necessary if making GF version–simply mix until combined).  Place a clean towel over the top of the bowl and let sit at room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours, or up to 8 hours if you’ve added whey/acv to reduce phytates.  The colder the ambient temp in your house is, the longer this rise will take, up to 3 hours.

     

    When dough has doubled in size, dust work surface generously with white flour and use a spatula or bowl scraper to gently turn dough out of bowl onto floured surface in one piece.  If splitting dough to make two pizzas, use a sharp knife (not serrated) or thin scraper to do so now and form into two balls.  Do not knead, but pull edges of dough ball out and wrap underneath to form a gluten cloak over the top surface.  Prepare your baking pans or rimmed sheets by spreading at least 1 T of oil in each, using your hand to oil every inner surface, including the sides.  Preheat your oven to “warm” or lowest heat setting.  Returning to your dough, use your hands to gently press and stretch the balls of dough into shape corresponding to your pans (e.g. rectangular or round).  If the dough rips as you spread it, pinch the edges of the tear together to repair.  Once the dough is fairly uniformly flat, but not yet spread to the size of your pans, transfer the discs to the pans and continue to stretch dough along edges until it covers as much of the pan surface as possible.  Gluten Free Version: Scrape pizza dough directly into oiled pan and spread mixture with the back of a large spoon until dough covers surface of pan.  Place pan(s) into warmed oven and turn off oven.  Let rise for 15-20 minutes while you prep your toppings.  When done, carefully remove pan(s) from oven, being careful not to jar and cause the dough to deflate.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Top pizza(s) as desired, brush crust with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt (optional) and place in fully preheated oven.  Bake for 12-15 mins until crust just begins to turn a golden brown.  Remove from oven, slide immediately off of hot pan, cut and serve!

    This recipe also pre-bakes well if you want to just top and broil for later.  After second rise, bake dough at 425 degrees F for 5-7 minutes, just until top of dough starts to turn golden.  Remove and allow to cool.  Store in a plastic bag at room temp for later, or top with veggies, pre-cooked meats/seafood, cheese, etc and broil until toppings are just done.

    Reader Discussion:

    What are your favorite pizza toppings or combination of toppings?  Here are a few that we make regularly:

    Homemade BBQ sauce, cooked/shredded chicken, crumbled cooked bacon, thinly sliced red onion, smoked gouda cheese

    Potato: peel and thinly slice small red or gold potatoes and soak in salted water for at least 1 hour.  Brush entire surface of dough with olive oil, drain potatoes well and arrange slices overlapping each other across entire surface of pizza.  Bake as normal, 12-15 mins.

    Mushroom:  slice/dice a generous number/variety of mushrooms and mix pieces with olive oil, pinch salt, and a handful of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems, in a medium sized bowl.  Allow to marinate while pizza completes 2nd rise and heap mushrooms generously over surface of pizza and bake.  Cheese is optional; if using, grate onto crust before adding mushrooms.

    All Veggie:  use whatever you’ve got–diced bell peppers, sliced zucchini/yellow squash, cubes of baked butternut squash, marinated artichoke hearts, sundried or fresh sliced tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, spinach/kale, onions, grated carrot, etc.

    Mediterranean:  pesto or olive oil brushed on prepared crust, top with herb marinated mozzarella or chunks of feta, halved grape tomatoes, kalamata and green olives, crumbled bacon (opt).  Bake as normal, and drizzle with reduced balsamic and top with a handful of fresh arugula.  Optional: crack a few whole, raw eggs over pizza before baking and remove from oven when yolks are just set, but still soft.

    Taco Pizza:  spread prepared crust with warmed refried beans–thin with a little water when heating, top with ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, cheese, and add sliced tomatoes, diced peppers, sauteed onions.  After baking, add some shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, etc.

    potato pizza and mushroom pizza

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