Years ago when we first started living together my husband and I ate out fairly often. Almost every weekend he would suggest we order pizza, which can become boring and expensive. So I tried that pre-made pizza dough from the store but of course it was not very good. So I looked online and in cook books and decided it was time to learn how to make pizza dough from scratch. The first batch of pizza dough I ever made was not so great, it was dense, flavorless and dry plus it was really difficult to work with. Since then I have tried 10 plus recipes and countless variations in order to come up with what I consider to be the best homemade pizza dough I have ever had. We now have some version and flavor of pizza every week, and we haven’t ordered pizza out in over a year!
Place water, honey and yeast in a large bowl, I use the bowl to my stand mixer but you could make this in a mixing bowl if you wanted. Let the yeast react, which will take between 5 and 10 minutes, it will look frothy when it’s ready. Add the whole wheat flour in the bowl and turn mixer to a low setting using the dough hook attachment, if doing by hand use a large wooden spoon and mix. Once the flour is incorporated add the oil and salt, this is also a good time to add any optional seasoning or mix-ins to the dough. Keep in mind the type of pizza you plan on making when choosing your seasonings, for instance if you were planning on making a BBQ chicken pizza you may not want to use Italian seasoning but rather onion and garlic powder for a more subtle taste.
Begin adding the all purpose flour to the dough mixture ½ cup at a time. The mixer should be going the entire time so make sure to add the flour at a slow enough pace that it will not fly out of the bowl. The dough will begin to form a clump; it will be ready when the dough is not sticking to the bottom of the bowl. Depending on your climate and humidity it should take most if not all of the 2 cups of flour. Take your dough out of the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface and begin to knead the dough until smooth, if the dough is still sticky continue to add flour a little at a time. Coat the now empty bowl with olive oil cooking spray, place the ball of dough in the bowl and then spray the top of the dough as well. Most pizza dough recipes have you place olive oil in the bowl turning the dough to coat but I find the cooking spray works just as well without adding additional calories. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and set in a warm dry place for 2-6 hours.
An hour before you plan to make the pizza, punch down the dough and return the cover on the bowl. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the dough in half and roll each ball out to your desired size and thickness. I like to roll it out somewhat thin and larger than needed and then turn the edges under to form a crust. I also suggest blind baking the dough; I find it prevents the bottom from getting soggy and tearing from the sauce. Blind baking means that you would cook the dough in the oven for 5-8 min before placing the toppings on your pizza. Make sure to poke the dough with a fork first so that the dough does not puff up in the oven. Place your desired sauce, cheese and toppings on the pizza and bake for an additional 10-15 min until cheese is melted and the pizza has preferred amount of color.
This week we had pesto, Italian turkey sausage and mozzarella cheese calzones on dried rosemary dough… stay tuned for more flavor combinations and pizza related suggestions!
Much Love, Aislinn and Emily