We’ve been eating pizza like it’s going out of style the last few weeks. There’s a couple reasons for that 1. I accidentally bought 4 bricks of unsmoked gouda and pizza makes a great home for it 2. I’ve been working on a killer new pizza crust recipe, and 3. I just really love pizza. I had a slice of pizza for a late lunch/early dinner on Saturday and a couple hours later, I was crying for pizza.
And then Sunday morning, still crying for pizza. If there’s such a thing as an unsatiable pizza lust, than I’m pretty sure I have it. Let’s call it sympathy pizza cravings because I’m so acutely aware of college students moving into their dorms the last few weeks. Whatever it is, I guess I can’t say I really want to be cured of it. With crust this good, and pretty healthful/nutritious, why stop myself from enjoying pizza almost every day?
One recipe makes enough for two medium/large pizzas and clocks in at 100 calories a slice + 3 g of fiber. While most people turn to white flour for baked goods and doughs, I fully embraced using 100% whole wheat flour. I even threw in some bran for good measure — bran is a good source protein and potassium and a great source of fiber, B6, and iron. All that nutritious stuff makes it totally okay to smother it in cheese, I checked.
1 tbsp. agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener such as honey or pure maple syrup)
2½ c white whole wheat flour + extra (can swap for regular whole wheat)
¾ c wheat bran
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp. vital wheat gluten
extra virgin olive oil or spray
Mix warm water, yeast, and agave. Let sit 5 minutes until foamy (if it doesn’t get foamy, your yeast was dead or your water was too hot)
In a large bowl in a stand mixer whisk flour, bran, salt, and wheat gluten.
Using a stand mixer with a dough hook (or a lot of elbow grease!) slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir until it forms a ball. Add additional water one tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to incorporate any flour remaining in the bottom of the bowl or extra flour if the dough is very sticky (this will depend on your flour and time of year, I normally need an additional 2 tbsp. flour). You may need to knead by hand to incorporate all of the flour.
Using the hook on a medium/low setting or kneading by hand, knead for 5 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. At this point, you can freeze the pizza dough (up to 3 months) or stick it in the fridge (overnight – 1 day). Simply thaw and bring to room temperature prior to letting the dough rise. Refrigerating the dough overnight will give you a softer crust.
Spritz the dough with nonstick spray or a drizzle of olive oil and cover. Place in a warm area and let rise for approximately 40 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400ºF and prepare a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Stretch or roll out the pizza dough to your desired size/shape. Half the recipe should yield a medium/large size pizza. Brush the dough with olive oil, if desired, and add toppings. I recommend rolling over the edges to create the crust.
Bake for 10 – 14 minutes, until your crust has reached your desired level of crispiness.
Let rest for a few minutes before cutting.
Serving size is 1 slice of a pizza, assuming you make 2 pizzas with this dough and cut into 8 slices, excluding any toppings and 1 total tsp of extra virgin olive oil. I highly recommend you eat more than one slice of pizza though 😉
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