Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Amazing Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Tomato sauce, ricotta, cheddar, mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, roasted garlic.

As with the last food I posted about, my raspberry & white chocolate pie, I was watching Food Network in the car dealership and saw the women on Eat, Shrink & Be Merry making something delicious that I had to make. The women on Eat, Shrink & Be Merry take unhealthy and/or fattening foods, and come up with healthier and better-for-you-but-still-taste-good alternatives (at least that's my understanding). I've been trying to make all the food that I eat healthier in whatever way I can in the past few months, whether that's replacing white flour with whole wheat, adding more vegetables to whatever I'm eating, adding almonds to things, using less oil, etc. I haven't made pizza in at least a year and so I was very eager to try out their recipe for a whole wheat pizza crust. Theirs isn't 100% whole wheat, but one third of it is. Next I want to try out Checkered Napkin's 100% whole wheat pizza crust, made using whole wheat bread flour.

Tomato sauce with roasted garlic, fresh basil, new potatoes, onions, aged white cheddar.

The pizza dough that I used before when I made pizza was from (surprise, surprise), the Rebar cookbook. And while it was good, it could definitely be healthier. The Eat, Shrink & Be Merry whole wheat crust was so easy to make, and the super bonus was that it didn't stick like crazy to everything. It rolled out like a dream. I did not know making pizza crusts could be so fun! It also rose up wonderfully after sitting for half an hour and was all soft and spongey. I really am in love with this pizza crust, which I think made the people around me look at me oddly when I was fawning over it. It truly is that great. And another bonus, not only is it partly whole wheat, but there is no white sugar (instead there's honey), and there are two tablespoons of ground flax seed.

I love how the pizza isn't a perfect circle. This happened accidentally when moving it onto the pizza stone.

I made this pizza dough twice recently. The first time I put tomato sauce mixed with roasted garlic, thinly sliced new potatoes, tons of fresh basil, onions, and aged white cheddar (I meant to add grape tomatoes as well but forgot). The second time was a little more colourful with a mix of ricotta and tomato sauce, red pepper, mushroom, onion, roasted garlic, cheddar and mozzarella. Generally I love onions and garlic on my pizza. Potatoes are always a favourite, and so are strong cheeses. I don't know if I could really pick one favourite pizza combination right now. Strong cheeses are great to use because you can use less cheese but still have great flavour (providing that you like the strong cheese you've chosen). I want to try making a pasta pizza (pizza with spaghetti noodles and pesto or something on it) sometime, though I'm not sure I can really pass that one off as healthy.

The first time I made the pizza, I just used this round shaped cookie sheet type thing. The second time I bought a pizza stone, to see if they're magical as people say they are. The crust wasn't really crispy (except for the edges) with the pizza stone but it was firmer than using the cookie sheet. There was a scary moment where I had to transfer the pizza from the cutting board that I had rolled it out and made it on, onto the hot pizza stone - thankfully there weren't really any casualties. I recommend that you make sure to take any stray pieces of cheese off of the pizza stone before putting it back into the oven though (as you'll have to scrub like crazy to get it off afterwards, and you're not supposed to use soap). I thought the crust tasted good, and you can't tell that it's a healthy crust (which is good if you're making it for people who are fearful of flax or whole wheat things). I'll definitely be using this recipe again because it's so incredibly easy and a pleasure to make and roll out. Oh and from watching that episode of Eat, Shrink & Be Merry I found out why some pizzas have cornmeal on the bottom - it's to help them slide from the board you made them on, onto the pizza stone.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
(Adapted from Eat, Shrink & Be Merry)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup very warm water
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons liquid honey
1 tbsp cornmeal
Olive oil cooking spray

1. Make crust: in a medium bowl, combine both flours, flax meal, yeast and salt. Mix well.
2. Measure warm water in measuring cup, then stir in olive oil and honey. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix using a wooden spoon to form a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes.
3. Spray another medium bowl with olive oil spray and place dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, spray a 12-inch pizza pan with olive oil spray and dust with cornmeal. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
5. When dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and, using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to prepared pizza pan.
6. For the toppings, add whatever you want. Generally a sauce (tomato, white, pesto), a bit of cheese, veggies (you might want to do something to the veggies before putting them on the pizza like sauteeing onions or roasting garlic), then more cheese. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is completely melted and edges are lightly browned.


Celine said...

I am planning on making pizza real soon and will definitely use this crust recipe! thank you.

lynn said...

Your pizzas look delicious. I love flax seed, so this sounds like a wonderful crust for me to try.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Your pizzas are mean!! :)
They look so, so good - I'm a pizza maniac, I make pizzas every Saturday night for Joao and myself (won't make it more often because of the "fat problem"). lol

I'll be checking that link, too - the show sounds interesting!

I don't have a baking stone, so I place a very large removable bottom of a baking pan (it's a 35x35cm square) inside the oven for it to become really hot. Then I make my pizza over a piece of waxed paper and slide it onto the hot metal.

Belinda said...

Wow! Your pizzas look tantalizingly good...oh, how I could go for a slice or three (lol!) right now. :-)

VeggieGirl said...

what a great-looking pizza!! lovely photographs

S said...

That pizza with the potato looks soooo good! Please invite me over next time! :)

eatme_delicious said...

celine: Hope the crust turns out well for you. :)

lynn: You don't really taste the flax seed in the crust with this amount, so maybe you'd want to add more.

patricia: I love pizzas too but try not to eat them too too often. You can always just go for a 'lighter' type pizza with less of everything, including less cheese. And eat it with a salad? I've read about using a baking sheet like that but haven't tried it. Had I known how to do it before I bought the pizza stone maybe I wouldn't have bought the pizza stone. Ah well. :)

belinda: Haha thanks. :)

veggiegirl: Thank you. :)

s: Okay I'll try to invite you over for pizza soon. You can pick the toppings.

Brilynn said...

I love homemade pizza, it's so much better than anything you can order. I just made some yesterday, I love putting whatever I want on it, and lots of cheese!

eatme_delicious said...

brilynn: Mmm lots of cheese..

Helene said...

I love those girls of Eat, Shrink and be Merry. I'll have to try this pizza crust. I prefer homemade pizza then to buy at the Pizza Joint.

Elizabeth said...

Made pizza with this recipe tonight and it was great dough!! Thanks for sharing!