Plus a little flour experiment!
Yeasted dough has always been challenging for me but I’ve been gaining more experience with it by making pizza dough! It is a lot more giving to mistakes than bread dough is. Especially considering it will be eaten with a bunch of yummy toppings. For this recipe I made two different dough types, one with whole-wheat flour and the other with all-purpose flour. I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison to see how the whole wheat affected the final product. According to King Arthur Flour, “traditional whole wheat flour is ground from red wheat berries, and like white whole wheat includes the entire wheat berry: oil-rich germ, protein-laden endosperm, and fiber packed bran”. Because whole-wheat flour contains the entire berry it inhibits the activity of the yeast more so than all-purpose flour.
As expected the whole-wheat dough was a bit smaller than the all-purpose and the pizza turned out to be tougher and less springy. I love the taste of wheat so I really liked the full wheat dough but if that isn’t your thing and you still want the health benefits, I would go with half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose! This recipe makes two medium sized pizzas.
½ + 1/3 cups water
½ tsp yeast (if you are making the dough the same day as the pizza, use 1 tsp of yeast)
1/8 cup olive oil
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
In either the bowl of a standing mixer, or regular bowl (if you are kneading by hand) add water, yeast, and olive oil. Let yeast dissolve for a couple minutes. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough starts coming together. Mix the dough on low speed with your mixer for 5 minutes or until the dough becomes a smooth ball. If not using a mixer, knead on the countertop for 5 minutes or more until you get a smooth ball. Divide the dough into two equal portions and form into two balls. Grease a baking dish and place both the dough balls in the dish and cover with plastic wrap. If you are intending on using the dough that day, let the dough rise at room temperature for an hour to an hour and a half. You want the dough to be doubled. If you used half the yeast you can let the dough rise in the refrigerator for up to 3 days!
When ready to use remove from the refrigerator for at least an hour. Preheat your oven or grill between 450 to 500 degrees. Flour your countertop and rolling pin and roll out to the thinness you prefer!
Oven: If baking in the oven place a cookie sheet in the oven while the oven is preheating. Place your sauce and toppings on the pizza dough and carefully transfer it to the cookie sheet. Check after 5 min and rotate if any parts of the crust are getting too dark. It should be done in 10-15 minutes depending on how thin you rolled it.
For the grill: Place the rolled out dough on your preheated grill. Let cook for 3-4 minutes covered on direct heat. Turn one side of your grill off and flip the pizza onto that side. Working quickly, top your pizza and shut the grill with one side still on high and let all the cheese melt and the rest of the dough cook through for 6-7 minutes.
Slice and enjoy!
Author: Lucy Lafranchise
Photographer: Jack Klipfel