Now that my appetite is starting to return (HOORAY!), I’m easing my way back into the kitchen. Our garden is starting to produce beautiful tomatoes regularly now, and on Monday, I was brainstorming tasty tomato recipes. A tomato pie? A galette? Perhaps a Caprese situation? No. All I wanted was PIZZA. (Let’s blame the baby.) Tomatoes work on pizza. Win win!
We are no strangers to pizza night in this house (LOOK). We’ve got the process down pat, almost always using the premade wheat dough from Whole Foods. It’s so easy and good that I haven’t made homemade pizza dough for a couple of years. I decided to give it a whirl- maybe my homemade wheat dough would trump the store-bought version!
Any pizza dough starts with the yeast. I added a teaspoon of yeast into a cup of warm water and squeezed in a bit of honey, too. While the yeast “bloomed” in its honey bath, I combined the dry ingredients: a combination of white and wheat flour and some salt. That’s it.
The cup of water had started to form bubbles, which means the yeast is alive and doing its thing. Instead of kneading the dough, I thought I’d use my lovely Kitchenaid mixer (thanks, Mom). I poured the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and started the mixer on low, using the dough hook attachment. When the dough started to come together, I turned it up to medium speed and let the mixer knead my dough for 5 or 6 minutes. Truthfully, I missed the hands-on experience of kneading the dough on the counter. The mixer made it easy…maybe too easy.
I popped the ball of dough into an oiled glass bowl, covered it with a dish towel, and set it on the counter for an hour. When I checked on it, it had doubled in size! I remembered the fun part from the last time I made pizza dough- punching it! I split it in half (since we’d be making two smaller pizzas), covered the bowl again, and left it for another hour. It’s amazing how simple it is to make the dough. The hardest part is the time commitment of letting it rest and rise!
Let’s make pizza, shall we? Tonight, we’d be going with simple Margherita style: tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella displaying the colors of the Italian flag. John gathered some gorgeous tomatoes and basil from the garden and got to work on rolling out the dough.
Here’s how we do pizzas on the grill. We heat a pizza stone on the grill at high heat. We roll out the dough on a floured counter, then transfer it to a baking sheet covered in flour and cornmeal (the cornmeal lets the pizza slide right onto the stone on the grill). John rolls the sides of the crust, which I brush with olive oil so it gets nice and browned. Then we add toppings, slide the pizza onto the grill, and chow down in about 7-8 minutes!
The little mozzarella balls I used seemed to want to burn a tad on the tips, but no one minds a little char! I added fresh grated Parmesan cheese to the hot pizza, and in a nod to a Caprese salad, a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Yum.
The difference between the Whole Foods dough and my homemade dough was negligible. In fact, I’d forgotten we’d made our own dough until about the third piece! It was chewy, thanks to the wheat flour, with a hint of sweetness from the honey. Some people might argue that it’s the crust that makes the pizza. It was difficult not to focus on the bright, delicious flavor of the homegrown tomatoes, but regardless of the toppings we selected, it would be hard to go wrong with this base.
Sorry, Whole Foods! Looks like I’ll be making my own dough from now on. Only next time, I’ll get my hands a little dirtier. Cheers to pizza night!
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 ¼ cup white flour
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Swirl of olive oil
Whisk the yeast and honey into the warm water and allow to “bloom” for 3-4 minutes. The mixture should start to bubble.
If using a standing mixer, combine the flours and salt into the bowl. Add the yeast mixture and turn the mixer on low. When the dough begins to come together, turn the speed to medium for 6-7 minutes. In the meantime, swirl a bowl with a bit of olive oil to coat. Transfer the dough from the mixer to the bowl, cover it with a clean dish towel, and set it aside.
After one hour, check the dough. It should have doubled in size (at least). Punch the dough to remove some of the air. Reform into a ball (or cut into smaller balls). Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let it sit for another hour. Now it’s time to make pizza! You can also freeze it for another day (allow the dough to thaw in an covered oiled bowl on the counter). Cheers to pizza night and the end of the first trimester nausea! YUM.
Hungry for more? Check out the collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS page.
The New 52: A recipe for each week in 2015.