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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

As I prepare for the arrival of our little baby (due February 16th, 2011), I have been freezing a lot of meals (my heart-healthy lasagna--but I added spinach and mushrooms as well as a number of soups).  I also made some whole-wheat pizza dough, enough for three thin-crust pizzas or two thicker crust pizzas, to put in the freezer.  These make quick, yummy meals, and you can use a variety of toppings (some options listed below).

1 tsp. white sugar
2 1/4 Cups Warm Water
1 1/2 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast (I used Hodgson Mill, one specifically for wheat)
1 Tbsp + 1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil (separate)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1.  In large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water.  Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand for 5-7 minutes (will get a little bubbly).

2.  Stir in 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt.  Next, stir in all of the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the all-purpose flour.  Spread the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour on a flat surface or countertop.
3.  Knead the bread on the floured surface until smooth, about 7-10 minutes.
4.  Rub the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil in a bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat it.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel.  Let the dough stand in a warm area until the dough doubles in size, or about 45 minutes to 1 hour (Hint: I turn the oven on to about 200 degrees to warm the stovetop up a bit and place the bowl on the stovetop).
5.  Once dough has doubled in size (or a little more), roll the dough out onto a floured surface again.  For thin crust pizzas, cut the dough into three sections.  For thicker crust pizzas, cut the dough in half.  Roll each section into a tight ball.  Let each dough ball rise for about 35-45 minutes, or until they have doubled.
6.  Once risen:
For freezing (which is what I did) wrap each individual dough ball tightly in plastic wrap.  I then also put into a freezer bag, with as much air removed as possible.  You can freeze these for up to a month and half.  When ready to make, thaw in refrigerator during the day to make the pizza that night.
For making immediately, go on to the directions below.
7.  Roll the dough out with a rolling pin onto baking stone or baking sheet.

8.  Top with any of the following combinations (or your own favorites):
A) Fresh mozzarella, diced tomatoes, and fresh basil (plus a drizzle of olive oil if you prefer);
B)  Tomato Sauce (plus basil, oregano, and garlic), artichokes, mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives, and feta and/or Mozzarella;
C) Shredded BBQ chicken and sharp cheddar cheese (plus fresh chopped onions if you prefer);
D) Tomato sauce (plus basil, oregano, and garlic), Deli Ham and Pineapple;
E) Tomato sauce (plus basil, oregano, and garlic), Red Peppers, fresh Mozzarella, and drizzled olive oil.

9.  Once you've added your toppings of choice, put in preheated oven, and bake at 425 degrees for 16-20 minutes.  Enjoy!

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