Thursday, March 14, 2013

Back to Basics 11 - Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Once you realize how easy it is to make your own pizza dough, you won't go back to delivery. Plus, like with anything you make at home, you know exactly what is in the dough. This recipe makes enough for one whole pizza/1 pound/5 servings (slices).

Calories: Without any toppings, 1/5 of this pizza is 196 calories.

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water (105-115F)
1 package of dry active yeast, or 2 and 1/4 teaspoons
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup bread flour OR all-purpose (AP) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir yeast and sugar in a large bowl, then add your water.

Let stand until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes. It should look frothy.

Next, add the whole wheat flour, stir, and then the white and salt until the dough begins to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

I needed some more flour. Here's a step by step on how to knead:

 1.Have your dough on the counter.

Turn it so the short side is facing you. Then pull that upper part over towards you and push down with the heel of your hand.

Then turn it 90 degrees and do the same.

Next, place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. I like to use olive oil.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about an hour.

I decided to freeze my dough to use for later on in the week. But I wanted to freeze a par-cooked pizza dough, not the raw dough itself. So this is how you can do it.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat it to 475F and bake for 5-7 minutes or until just hard to the touch. I like to add some cornmeal to the bottom of the pan.

Let cool, then wrap it with plastic wrap and foil.

Then, on the day you want to bake the pizza, take it out right before you are ready to top it. Preheat the oven to 450F. Place a baking sheet inside the oven and let it get hot while the oven is heating up. Once it's ready, carefully remove the baking sheet with a dish towel or pot holder, brush olive oil all over the baking sheet, and quickly put the pizza dough in it with the toppings. Then bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

I made a white pizza with broccoli and red bell pepper out of this dough!

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