Who doesn’t love pizza?
But it gets expensive. And, with all the grease and who-knows-what in it, it really isn’t all that healthy.
What if there was a healthier, family friendly, EASY way to make it at home?
I’ve tried out many recipes for a partial whole wheat pizza dough, but they were all too dense, too thin, or too blah. After some experimenting with mixing other recipes together, I created the BEST crust ever. It rises just the right amount, freezes well, and tastes delicious.
For the dough you’ll need:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour*
- 1.5 cups white flour
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian seasoning works well)
- 1.5 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 1.5 teaspoons sugar
*I use Hodgson’s Mill Whole Wheat flour because it is the only one that I have been able to find without any additives, preservatives, or enrichments.
The first step is to put the warm water in a small bowl. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves, then sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and set it aside.
Next, measure the flour into a large bowl. You’re welcome to experiment on the ratios of the flour, but I’ve found that the measurements I use create a great crust. Add in the salt next. I don’t really measure this; I eyeball it. But for those of you less cooking-skilled (you know who you are) I guesstimated a close measurement of 1.5 teaspoons. Add in the seasoning at this point as well.
Mix the dry ingredients all together. Stir the yeast into the sugar/water mixture, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix. It will start to get thick and chunky.
You can knead it in the bowl for a while to further mix everything together, then dump it on a lightly floured counter to finish kneading it. You may have to add more water if it is crumbly, but do so one tablespoon at a time. The dough will become smoother as you knead it, and should end up slightly tacky/sticky.
Before putting the dough back in the large bowl, grease the sides with some olive oil. There will probably be little crumblies on the side from when you first added the water to the dry ingredients. You can rinse these out before greasing the bowl, or be lazy like me and not worry about them. When you put the dough back in, roll it around a little to completely cover it in the oil. This prevents it from sticking to the sides as it rises. You’ll only need about a tablespoon or so. Cover it with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 60 minutes.
A cloth of some sort works, but I’ve noticed that the dough rises quicker and more when I use cling wrap to cover it. I use press n’ seal instead of cling wrap, though, because it sticks to anything you want it to, and isn’t as difficult to work with as cling wrap is (I got mine with a coupon and after Christmas sale, and only paid $1 a box).
After it’s done rising (I only wait about 45 minutes. I’m impatient), knead it slightly and then re-cover it and let rise another 10-15 minutes. Roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick, and make a circle for a pizza, or roll and cut out circles to make mini pizzas, or whatever you want with it really. It’s very versatile. Then let it rise for about 5 minutes, while your oven preheats to 350 degrees.
If you are making a normal pizza, bake it for 4 minutes, add sauce and toppings (for my sauce I use Classico pizza sauce), then bake another 4-6 minutes. This crust doesn’t turn golden brown, you just kind of have to guess. If you cut it down the center, and it doesn’t seem done, it probably isn’t.
If you are wanting to freeze it for later use, bake it for about 4 minutes, add sauce and toppings, then wrap in cling wrap and freeze. When you are ready to eat it, cook at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, then check it every 2-3 minutes until it is done (usually takes about 7 minutes for mine). I like to make a double batch, and then use half of it to cut mini pizzas out to freeze for quick lunches.
Delicious, cheesy goodness (that’s also healthier!).
As an added plus, the ingredients for the crust, jar of sauce, and amount of cheese used add up to about $5 for a large pizza! Wahoo!
What’s your favorite topping on pizza? Answer in the comments below!