Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whole Wheat Wednesday - Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

If you are new to using whole wheat in your baking or if your family is skeptical, what better way to incorporate whole wheat flour, than making a pizza? This honey whole wheat pizza crust is awesome and I’ve also included the recipe for my new favorite Chicken Barbecue pizza to top it off. This recipe makes 1 crust but can easily be double to make an extra crust, or for bread sticks to accompany your pizza.

For a stuffed crust pizza, roll the crust a little larger than it needs to be. Cut string cheese sticks in half lengthwise. Lay them around the edge of your pizza and fold the dough over the cheese sticks towards the inside of the pizza, sealing the dough as you go. If desired, brush crust with butter during the last few minutes of baking and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning (OUR BEST BITES has an awesome garlic bread sprinkle recipe.) It’s just like having bread sticks and pizza all-in-one!

If you have a favorite way to top your pizza that is a little different please share. We all need a little variety in our lives.

Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
1 c. warm water
1 T. active dry yeast
Pinch sugar
1½ c. white flour
1½ c. wheat flour (plus more if needed)
3 T. Olive Oil
3T. Honey
Put yeast into bowl of a mixer (kitchen aide or you can do it by hand) Sprinkle with sugar and mix together. Add 1 c. warm water and whisk together with yeast. Let yeast proof 10 minutes.

Add ½ of the flour, salt, honey and olive oil. Turn mixer on low, combine well. Add the rest of the flour, once combined, turn mixer up 1 speed and let dough knead for 5 minutes, the dough should be soft. Because of the extra oil and honey, this recipe needs extra flour. Add it slowly, you can always add more, but you can't take it away. Dough should be soft and almost sticky (you should just barely be able to place it in the bowl without it sticking to your hands)

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until tripled in bulk- at least 1½ - 2 hours. Don’t rush it here. Give yourself plenty of time for the dough to do its thing. Start early and just leave your dough alone! Punch dough down and knead in hands, making sure to get all the air out. Take your time a do a good job. If it's a little sticky, add a tad of flour to your hands or the dough.

Shape pizza into a round ball and begin to flatten out by hand. Form into a disk, place dough on floured board and roll into desired size. Remember to start with a floured board. Dough turns out best when placed on a slightly heated pizza stone (use what you have). Put dough on whatever you are going to bake it on first, then add pizza toppings. Bake at 400º for 12 to 15 minutes.

Looking for a new pizza to top the dough with? Here is my favorite:

Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Sauce 2/3 part your favorite BBQ sauce 1/3 part pizza sauce (This sauce is awesome)
2 c. cooked, shredded chicken, mixed with ½ c. BBQ sauce.
1 c. (heaping) Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. (heaping) Mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ c. - ¾ c. red onion, silvered and caramelized (try adding a dash a balsamic vinegar)
1 c. corn (Fresh or frozen)
1 c. pineapple tidbits, well drained (more if you want)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
Spoon BBQ sauce mixture onto prepared crust. Sprinkle pizza with most of the cheese (saving a little of each for the end) Evenly cover the pizza with the BBQ chicken. Sprinkle with red onion and corn. Finish with the rest of the cheese and top with cilantro, if using. (I left cilantro off)
Bake at 400º for 12 to 15 minutes.

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