I thought a delicious whole wheat pizza crust was an impossible thing to make.
It turns out I was wrong (which makes me pleasantly surprised).
This crust is everything a pizza crust should be - it’s chewy and crispy, with a strong taste that develops as the dough rests in the fridge. The nutty whole wheat flour gives an interesting texture and an added level of flavor that you don’t get from traditional white flour crusts. I love pairing it with vegetables – thin slices of zucchini with basil and pecorino, blistered cherry tomatoes with ricotta and garlic oil (as seen to the left), or roasted peppers with chorizo and manchego. The nuttiness balances out the sweetness of the vegetables (and the vegetables get super sweet and mellow as they cook in the oven).
This will be a summer staple (actually it already is a summer staple) – I am already dreaming about a corn and tomato pizza with bacon and blue cheese. Summer eating makes me swoon.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Recipe via Cooks Illustrated
The key here is to make sure your pizza pan is SUPER hot. I suggest heating it at least 30 - 45 minutes before you want to cook. It’s imperative if you want a super crispy crust!
Makes 2 13-inch pizzas
1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) whole-wheat flour
1 cup (5 1/2 ounces) bread flour
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast (I used active dry yeast and it worked fine for me)
1 1/4 cups ice water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons salt
To make the dough: Process whole wheat flour, bread flour, honey and yeast in food processor until combined, about 2 seconds. With processor running, add water and process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand for 10 minutes.
Add oil and salt to dough and process until it forms satiny, stick ball that clears sides of the workbowl, 45 to 60 seconds. Remove from bowl and knead on oiled counter-top until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into a tight ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 18 hours or up to 2 days.
To bake the pizza: One hour before baking pizza, adjust oven rack 4 1/2 inches from broiler element, set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. (At this point if you are only making 1 pizza you can place the other ball of dough in the freezer. Defrost on counter when ready to use.) Shape each half into a smooth tight ball. Place balls on lightly oiled baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic coated with vegetable oil spray. Let stand for 1 hour.
Coat 1 ball of dough generously with flour and place on well floured counter-top. Using your fingertips gently flatten into an 8-inch disk, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker then the center. Lift edge of dough and using your back of hands and knuckles, gently stretch into a 12 inch round, working along edges and giving a quarter turns as you stretch. Remove pizza stone from oven, and carefully place your pizza dough on your stone. Top dough with toppings of your choice (work quickly!). Return stone to the oven and bake the pizza for 8 - 10 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let pizza rest for 5 minutes, slice and serve.