Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Friday nights are pizza night around here. A simple way to relax after a long week, Friday Night Pizza Night has become something of a religion in our household. I’ve always insisted on making our own healthier versions of this take-out favorite. For awhile, I was using whole wheat or low-carb tortillas for the base instead of standard pizza dough. Once it became apparent that these tortillas were just as jam packed full of non-food items and chemicals as the take-out pizza I was attempting to avoid, I set out to begin making my own pizza dough.
This simple recipe takes almost no active time to prepare and you can easily pronounce all of the ingredients (I can’t say the same for those low-carb tortillas). The dough is sturdy enough to support any variety of toppings and freezes well so you can stock up for future Friday nights! The light wheat flavor is paired with a combo of Italian seasonings to give it an extra flavor punch. You will be surprised at how quickly you get the hang of it. Before you know it, your friends will be calling you for their Friday night take-out pizza!
Let go of any preconceived notions you may have about working with yeast right now. This is the recipe to cure the yeast-o-phobe in all of us. Even if you aren’t an experienced bread maker (I certainly am not!) you can make this simple, versatile dough. The key is using the dough hook attachment to either a stand or hand-held mixer. This (paired with a good amount of yeast) does all the heavy lifting for you.
The important part about working with yeast is making sure that it is “proofed” before you toss it into the dough. That means you need to combine it with warm water that isn’t too hot (I use hot water from the facet and it is plenty warm), to wake the yeast up and get it ready to work. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast and your dough wont rise. You want to wait until this little mixture is bubbly and starting to smell like a yeasty, bread factory. Then you are ready to go and let the yeast do the rest of the work.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Yield: 2 one pound dough balls
2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 envelope) instant rise yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/8 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/8 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or a combination of dried oregano and basil (optional)
- Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let sit for approximately 10 minutes or until cloudy and fragrant.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine flour, flaxseed meal, wheat germ and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Add olive oil, honey and yeast mixture. Stir on low until all the flour is combined and the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (I set it on the oven). Let sit for roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal sized balls. If using immediately, cover with a dish towel and allow to have a shorter second rise, roughly 10-15 minutes. If saving for later, place each ball in an oiled ziploc bag and refrigerate or freeze immediately.
- When ready to make the pizza, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Starting in the center of the dough ball, carefully stretch the dough out to a 10-12 inch diameter circle. If the dough tears, let it rest a few minutes and then try stretching it again. Alternatively, you can press out the dough on a flat surface to the desired size. Place dough on a pizza stone or a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Top pizza with tomato sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice. Bake for 16 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, slice and serve!