Monday, July 21, 2014

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe

I started making my own pizza dough a few years ago when a friend insisted that it was easy and it was yummy-- I figured, why not give it a try?  I love to bake!  I started out buying those pizza yeast packets and following the instructions on the back.... As our family started to make healthier choices though, I wanted to make a whole wheat pizza dough and I soon discovered that you cannot just sub whole wheat flours for the all purpose flour in any old pizza dough recipe.  It just doesn't turn out right, the end result is flat and dry.  So I set out to find a whole wheat pizza dough that would be family approved, and not flat and dry.  The best I found came from and what I'm sharing with you today is adapted from that-- only a few differences.

- 2 to 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 cup ground flax (optional)

1. Mix together the sugar, active dry yeast and warm water and leave to set for 5 minutes for the yeast to get extra happy. 
Happy yeast
2. In your mixer fitted with a dough hook, add 2 cups of the whole wheat flour, ground flax, olive oil, salt, and your happy yeast.  Mix until incorporated well and knead for 4-5 minutes.  Once you have mixed/kneaded the dough, if it still seems a bit sticky, you can add in a little more flour a tablespoon at a time until it pulls from the sides of the bowl.

3.  Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased glass bowl and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap.  Leave it to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
You want to leave it to rise in a warm place, for me that's on the stove.  In the winter if it's cold in the house, I'll often turn the oven on to get it warm before setting them there to rise.

After an hour....
4.  Roll it out onto a sheet pan, pizza pan or pizza stone, and top with your favorite sauces, seasonings and toppings.  For us, on a regular cheese pizza night, we top it with regular plain low sodium tomato sauce and then generously sprinkle it with italian seasoning and a smidge of garlic powder followed with mozzarella cheese.  An easy crowd pleaser!

5.  Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until the crust and cheese meet your desired "doneness." 
6. Enjoy the pizza.

AND as if one night of delicious whole wheat pizza isn't enough, this recipe is totally freezable!  So usually when I make it, I make 4 balls of dough and freeze 2 for the next time.  To freeze the dough, DO NOT let it rise.  Remove the dough ball from your mixer and roll it in a little flour to keep it from sticking to your freezer bag and throw it in the freezer.  I can't tell you how long it will freeze for, we've never left one in the freezer longer than a month.  The night you want to have pizza, you need to remove the dough from the freezer first thing in the morning and place in a lightly greased bowl topped with lightly greased plastic wrap to defrost and rise for around 8 hours.  
And if you get bored with plain old cheese pizza or tomato sauce or any of the more common toppings and want something new and fun to try, we tried this Thai Chicken Pizza tonight and found it to be amazing!!
You can find the thai chicken pizza recipe here, at The Comfort of Cooking, I substituted the alfalfa sprouts for chinese bean sprouts, but followed the rest of the recipe to the "T".  It is SO good! 

Happy pizza eating friends!!  

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