The bread/cracker distinction would be a helpful guideline in deciding which crust to use for which toppings. If you would prefer to eat the toppings in question on a slice of bread, then go with the very best pizza crust ever recipe, but if you'd just as soon pile the toppings on a cracker, this is the recipe for you. Vegans, of course, will want to use this recipe, as would anyone with egg or dairy allergies. I suspect it could even be adapted for a gluten-free diet without too much finagling.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups whole wheat bread flour
- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups regular bread flour, plus more for dusting
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in lukewarm water. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- In another small bowl, combine cold water, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and olive oil to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Mix together the two types of flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast and cold water mixture, mixing to incorporate as much of the flour as possible.
- Knead the dough for 10 to 12 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until soft and elastic.
- 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.
- Punch down dough. Separate it in thirds and reshape into balls. Cover again with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- 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).
- On a well-floured surface, roll out one ball of dough until it is approximately the size of your pizza stone or baking sheet.
- Prick the surface all over with a fork to prevent bubbling in the oven.
- Par-bake the crust until barely brown and rigid, about 3 minutes.
- 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.