Monday, February 16, 2009

Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough

Before I had 4 kids running through the house, I practically never used refrigerated pizza dough. I loved making it from scratch, and it was therapeutic to knead dough. Once we had Christina though, I really didn't have time to make pizza dough anymore.

The last issue of Everyday Food I got was full of healthy recipes, including one for whole-wheat pizza dough. I was thrilled because not only would it be homemade, but using whole-wheat flour would make it healthier, and it would cost less that buying it premade.

So I tried it out and made calzones one night last week. It worked GREAT...the dough was soft and elastic, but sturdy enough to hold up to the calzone filling, and it only needed one hour of rising time. I just posted the dough recipe here and I promise to post the calzone recipe later this week. Some people might think a whole-wheat dough would be tougher...but that wasn't the case at all. The dough baked up beautifully, and it tasted much better that the refrigerated dough. My kids scarfed down their calzones in 30 seconds flat. Okay...maybe not that fast, but I could tell they liked it....I was in bed with a lovely cold that knocked me out by dinnertime, but I didn't hear any complains coming from the kitchen.

Go buy yourself a bag of whole-wheat flour and try this one out...once you do, you'll see how easy it is, and I'll be you won't every buy the pizza dough in a tube again.
Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little more for greasing the bowl
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for kneading
2 cups whole-wheat flour
Combine the yeast and warm water in a measuring cup or small bowl, along with a pinch of sugar (yeast "eats" the sugar and helps it get going). I keep my yeast packets in the fridge--they last longer that way. Make sure your water is warm, not hot. You should see the yeast get foamy and bubbly at the surface. If it doesn't look like the picture below after 5 minutes, then either your water was too hot (and you killed the yeast), or the yeast was too old. You'll need to dump the mixture and start over again.
Don't use a sugar substitute won't work, sorry. You'll notice I used 2 cups of water; I wasn't paying attention, but I just compensated by adding more flour later on. But do as I say, not as I do!
Anyway, whisk the sugar, salt, and flours together in a large bowl.
Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add the yeast mixture and olive oil.

Stir this all together gently with a large spoon until a sticky dough forms.

Remove from the bowl, and have your hubby pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the bowl (or dump it out on the counter for a minute and oil your bowl). Spread the olive oil around, and put the dough back in, turning to coat. I did it this way because I was lazy and didn't want to wash 2 big mixing bowls ;-).

Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

This is what it should look like after the rising time is up.

Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface. Turn the dough out, and knead it about 6-8 times. Kneading is easy...just fold the dough in half and push it away from you with both hands, turn it 45 degrees, and repeat. It should only take about a minute. Here's the dough ready to go.

This is enough to make 2 large pizzas (about 10 inches across), 8 individual sized pizzas, (about 5 inches across), or 8 calzones. To freeze the dough, divide it in half, and place in the freezer until firm. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
You can also form the dough into circles and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. Once they're frozen, you can stack them with some wax paper in between the layers and freeze in a zip-top storage bag. They'll last about 3 months.
When you're ready to make pizza, you don't have to thaw the dough out. Just take it right from the freezer, spread with pizza sauce, top with your favorite toppings, and bake at 450 degrees for about 18-20 minutes.
Now you can have pizza anytime you want, and save money too. God bless your table tonight!

1 comment:

Nishu Roi said...

This is very Good whole wheat pizza dough recipe. Keep going on with your effort to write more posts.
for more how to create pizza Dough visit: here many pizza making ideas...