Pizza, pizza, pizza!
Much like Amy Sedaris’s character in “Strangers with Candy” and any human worth her salt, I am an enthusiastic fan of pizza.
I love pizza.
I confess, however, that I made some pretty blah pizza on Friday (see above), but the dough recipe from The New York Times was a keeper, so I’ll share that with you. It’s whole wheat, but not all whole wheat, so it’s not too dense or toothsome. You get the nutrition without sacrificing flavor.
I normally go the route of store-bought pizza dough (thanks, Trader Joes!) because of its convenience, but I’ve been trying to make more of my own food lately, particularly now that I have a kitchen aid to do it for me. This recipe takes 10 minutes of active work time, and it sits for 1 1/2 hours while you watch the nightly news and sip a glass of wine.
In short, the perfect basis for a weeknight meal.
P.S. Don’t do as I did and use store-bought pizza sauce. So bland! The fresh mozzarella and basil were a solid combination though.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Makes enough for 2 14″ pizzas
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 C warm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing the pizza crusts
1 1/4 C stone ground whole wheat flour
1 1/2 C unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional if necessary for kneading
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Combine the yeast and water in a 2-cup measuring cup. Add the sugar, and stir together. Let sit two or three minutes, until the water is cloudy. Stir in the olive oil.
Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt in a food processor or mixer fitted with the dough hook. Then, with the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture. Process until the dough forms a ball. Remove from the processor (the dough will be a little tacky; flour or moisten your hands so it won’t stick), and knead on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes, adding flour as necessary for a smooth dough.
Shape the dough into a ball. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When it is ready, the dough will stretch when it is gently pulled.
Divide the dough into two equal balls. Put the balls on a lightly oiled tray or platter, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel, and leave them to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, the dough balls can be placed in a wide bowl, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to three days. Alternatively, you can wrap them loosely in lightly oiled plastic wrap and refrigerate them in a resealable plastic bag. When you are ready to roll out the pizzas, you will need to bring the balls to room temperature (important!) and punch them down again.
To cook: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven. Roll or press out the dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle. Lightly oil pizza pans, and dust with cornmeal. Place the dough on the pizza pan. With your fingers, form a slightly thicker raised rim around edge of the circle. Brush everything but the rim with a little olive oil, then top the pizza with the toppings of your choice. Bake for 20-25 minutes.