Thursday, April 14, 2011

Whole Wheat Crust

This recipe is basically identical to our very best pizza crust ever recipe, except that we substitute whole wheat bread flour to make it a little healthier and a little heartier. We recommend whole wheat bread flour if you can find it, but regular whole wheat flour will also work. I love the dense, earthy flavor of this crust and think it goes particularly well with vegetable-focused toppings.

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour 
  • 2 cups bread flour

  1. Mix together the two types of flour in a large bowl.
  2. In another large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in remaining sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until smooth. 
  4. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise in a warm location. Let rise until the dough has doubled in volume, about one hour. 
  5. Punch down dough. Separate it in half and reshape into balls. Cover again with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. 
  6. During the second rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, place the stone in the oven for preheating. If using a baking sheet, lightly flour it (but don’t preheat). 
  7. On a well-floured surface, roll out one ball of dough until it is approximately the size of your pizza stone or baking sheet. 
  8. Prick the surface all over with a fork to prevent bubbling in the oven.
  9. Par-bake the crust until barely brown and rigid, about 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the crust from the oven and let rest on wire racks to avoid sogginess. Top with your favorite toppings and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minute (depending on toppings), until the cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown.
Recipe yields two crusts. Dough can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to a month.

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