100% whole wheat pizza dough is simple to make from scratch. My method works, and is no fuss. The dough can be started thirty minutes before you intend to bake or as long as the day before and it only takes 2 minutes to make. The Pizza baking process takes about 20 minutes, and I let it cool for 10.
About a cup of 100% whole wheat flour
1 TBS Olive oil
Pinch of dry yeast
Pinch of Salt
1-2 fresh tomatoes
a pinch of kosher salt
½ lb fresh mozzarella
a pinch of oregano
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For a 16 inch pizza (with a thin crust) you will want a ball of dough about the size of your fist. It’s okay if you have a little too much the first time. The thicker the crust, the more you will approximate the more American “Domino’s” chewy pizza dough.
1. Get a small bowl.
2. Add enough whole wheat flour you could make dough about the size of your fist.
3. Add a sprinkle of yeast , and a sprinkle of salt (not too much, just whatever feels right).
4. Mix. (The dry ingredients will now be mixed so when you add the water the yeast will not be killed by the salt.)
5. Add olive oil, about a tablespoon worth. Don’t stir in yet. This will crisp the dough in the oven.
6. Add water (preferentially lukewarm) and stir gently with a butter knife until the dough is wet and sticky. Start with just a little, it may take less water than you think. It is better that it is too wet, too sticky, than too dry at this point. You should have added just enough so that no more flour wants to stick to the side of the bowl, but is incorporated into what looks like a sticky mess.
7. Toss some extra flour out on your cutting board or rolling board. Let this sticky dough fall on top of it, and coat it, kneading in a little flour until it is not so wet and sticky that it is not manageable. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect because you are not baking with it yet. Wrap up your dough ball in plastic wrap (keeps the moisture in) and either leave it out if you’ll be baking with it shortly or put it in the fridge if you’ll be using it in awhile.
8. Unwrap the dough ball. It will have changed and be a lot softer and easier to work with. If it is sticky, then it just needs more flour. Put some flour down on your board, and roll out the dough with a rolling pin (you can toss it like the Italian’s too but you will have to be gentle) into a circle, smoothing more flour over the surface if it becomes sticky (also flipping it over because if its becoming sticky while stretching on the top it is probably sticky on the bottom too). While doing this, preheat your oven. My oven is old and it needs to be 465 on the bottom heat (bake) only. If you have convection or a newer oven it won’t have to be at such a high temperature, so try 450 degrees. If you like crispy crust keep it thin, for chewy crust make it thicker.
9 Get your dough onto your pizza stone or the best I have found is just to use a perforated pizza pan. The holes on the bottom of the pan make it crisper in less time than it takes on the pizza stone for some reason, in the oven. Of course if you have a brick oven that is the best, but it will change your timing dramatically (aka, add all the toppings at the same time putting the pizza in the brick oven).
10. Once I see the crust is starting to change color slightly I add fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly on a mandolin. I put down the slices just barely touching if at all, drizzle on about two teaspoons of olive oil, drag my tomatoes around with a fork just so that the olive oil gets onto the entire crust to crisp it and bring that tomato flavor out. Add some kosher salt over the tomatoes just to get the water out while they bake (keep in mind if your cheese is salted or not!).
11. When the fresh tomatoes are soft I use my fork again to press them flat, so that once my pizza is done I don’t bite into a tomato and have hot juices burn me. Now I add my cheese (if you add fresh mozzarella you may have to sponge off the extra juice from the cheese with a paper towel so you don’t end up with soggy crust). And let it start to melt. Resist the temptation to turn broil on. Once it is almost all melted, I give the whole pizza the pressing with fork treatment again. This brings any oil back up onto the top of the pizza so it is not under the cheese. Add some dried oregano, and let bake until the top is bubbling. If your crust is almost burning on the bottom its okay to broil just to get the cheese bubbling and golden at this point.
12. If you want it crisp, let the pizza cool some. Cut while warm and enjoy!
More About the Ingredients: Flour, Water, Yeast, Olive Oil, Salt.
100% whole wheat flour comes in many forms. I use whatever I have on hand and you can too.
Box says: Whole Wheat vs. Whole White Wheat
The variety of wheat effects the taste greatly. The whole wheat used in baking is red winter wheat, which is high in gluten and therefore holds together easier than spring wheat when making breads. The bran, which gives it that browner color when it is baked, has an earthy, dry taste that some people compare to cardboard. I find that if bread is properly salted it will actually lend more of a nutty taste. Whole white wheat is ground from an albino variety of wheat. It has a mild and creamy taste, and is perfect camouflage for whole wheat because it doesn’t bake noticeably darker than white flour however the taste is wonderful and subtly complex.
Box says: Stoneground vs. Pastry vs. Says nothing
This refers to how coarsely the flour has been ground. Pastry is the finest grind (softest dough) and stoneground is often quite coarse. The coarser the grain the more you taste the “grain taste” as well. I always let my dough rest before baking so you can make the dough out of any consistency flour. The stoneground can be harder to shape into a pizza though since it is often ground so course that there is less gluten holding the dough together, so that it does not stretch as easily without breaking and you have to be more careful with it. But don’t buy special flour for your pizza dough ‘” the point of making pizza is that it is convenient and easy!
Water is going to combine with whatever flour you use to turn that dry powder into a sticky dough that sticks together. One of the keys to having perfect dough is to give water a chance to sink into and hydrate your flour, that is why we make the dough then let it rest for at least half an hour before starting to bake.
Yeast: Don’t bother with quick rise or special pizza dough yeast. Just use the packets of dry yeast used for baking.
Olive oil: This gives the dough crispiness. Make sure the variety you use can take the oven heat, or you will have the oil burn in the oven. It is not a big deal however can cause smoke. You’ll just have to experiment with what brand works for you. I use only extra virgin olive oils (which often burn at lower temperatures).
Salt: Dough is the one place I skip kosher salt and go for the regular kind (Morton). It dissolves better into the dough, quickly, and I only salt slightly because I know I will be salting the pizza during baking.