When I cook pizza for my teens this is the dough I make. The coolest thing about it is how it magically comes together in a ball in about thirty seconds in the Cuisinart. I really should make a video of that for you. It’s so much easier and faster than mixing and kneading the dough by hand or with a stand mixer.
That method is one of the many great tips I got from Jack Bishop’s The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook. Bishop’s recipe for whole wheat pizza dough uses a mixture of regular whole wheat and white flour. I use regular whole wheat flour instead of white whenever possible, but it has a heavy texture and assertive flavor that my family dislikes in a pizza crust. White whole wheat flour is a great substitute.
White whole wheat flour, made from soft white wheat, naturally has a lighter color and less robust taste than the regular whole wheat flour made from hard red wheat. It can be substituted up to 1/3 for white flour in a recipe with little noticeable effect, and I often substitute it half and half. It’s a little more substantial than white flour but not too different, with almost the same nutritional profile as regular whole wheat flour. (If you live in the UK, never mind: white whole wheat is your standard whole meal flour).
Once you’ve food-processed the dough into a ball, it doesn’t take too long to rise, about an hour in average conditions. Divide it in half, let each half rise again in separate bowls, and you’re ready to roll out two healthier-than-average pizza crusts. Before you do, sprinkle your rolling surface (I use a large cutting board) with a generous dusting of course corn meal. Don’t be stingy. You really don’t want that topped pizza to stick when you are trying to transfer it to the heated pizza stone in your oven. I prefer the extra texture the coarse, as opposed to fine, corn meal provides to the finished pizza, but use whatever you have on hand.
Once you have your nice bed of cornmeal, you’re ready to roll out your crust. I pat it flat and then use a rolling pin to get it thinner. Here’s my rolled-out crust:
Begin preheating the oven with the pizza stone inside about half an hour before it’s time to cook the pizza. The pizza will be crisper if cooked on a pre-heated pizza stone, but the stone may shatter if it’s placed unheated into a hot oven.
This recipe makes two crusts. I’ll often make one dinner pizza and one dessert pizza, like my fig-mascarpone pizza. If a gluten-free crust is the one you need, try my recipe here.
- 1⅓ cups lukewarm water, between 105 and 115 F (will feel slightly warm to the touch)
- 2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus a little more for oiling the bowls and brushing on the pizza
- 1¾ cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur brand)
- 1¾ cups white flour (King Arthur again)
- 1½ tsp. salt
- coarse cornmeal for pizza peel or cutting board
- Oil two bowls for the dough to rise in.
- Using a food processor fitted with the regular metal chopping knife, combine water, dry yeast, and olive oil in food processor.
- Process for a few seconds until smooth.
- Add flours and salt.
- Process again until the dough comes together in a ball (about 30 seconds) then let the ball continue to process for about another 10 seconds to knead.
- Place dough ball in large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap.
- Let dough rise. The time will vary based on the temperature of the dough and of the room, but about an hour is average. The important thing is how much the dough has risen, not how much time has passed.
- When the dough has almost doubled in bulk, divide it into two halves and shape into round balls again.
- Place pizza stone in oven and begin heating the oven to 500 F.
- Place each half of the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover, and let rise again. The second rise will be faster, about half an hour.
- Coat a large cutting board or pizza peel with a generous amount of coarse cornmeal.
- Place dough ball onto the cutting board and flatten with your hands, then roll out to the desired size (a 12 inch diameter works well).
- Brush pizza with olive oil and add toppings as desired.
- Slide pizza onto the baking stone in the oven.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until crust appears firm and begins to brown.