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February 27, 2009

Quick and Easy Whole Wheat Pizza

Who doesn't love pizza? I'm not quite sure. I do know that I love pizza, especially homemade pizza. When you make pizza at home you can control the ingredients and most importantly it is dirt cheap. I'm still working out the details on a grilled pizza so I'm going to share my favorite emergency whole wheat pizza dough recipe that I've been using for years.

quick and easy whole wheat pizza!

For the whole wheat dough:
1 pkg rapid rise yeast
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup AP (all purpose) flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup warm water and some extra if needed
1 T extra virgin olive oil

For the toppings:
1/2 can of Don Pepino's pizza sauce (a truly incredible sauce in my opinion)
1 cup monterey jack cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
a few dashes of crushed red pepper
a few dashes of oregano
a few dashes of basil

Begin by making the dough. Open up your pouch of rapid rise (also known as instant dry) yeast and mix with 1/4 cup of warm (about 100-110 degree F) water. Allow this to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. In the meantime combine all of your flours and salt into a large mixing bowl. After the 10 minutes, add your yeast mixture, oil, and some more hot water to the dry ingredients. Mix it together with a wooden spoon, adding enough hot water to make a dough that comes together and is slightly tacky. This should look like a rough dough ball clumped together in your bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel (paper towel works too) and stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. After this fermentation, turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead two to three times. Just fold it over onto itself a few times, no fancy technique is really "kneaded." Next, stretch the dough out onto a floured pizza pan being careful not to stretch the dough too much and rip it. No windopane test is needed here, this is quick and dirty!

hand kneading whole wheat pizza dough for a quick and dirty and easy healthy pizza pie

Once the crust has been formed by pushing and streching the dough out to the rim of the pizza pan, bake the dough only for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Remove the dough from the oven and top it as you like. My sauce is 1/2 a can of Don Pepino's sauce, which I am highly fond of. If you are into making your own sauce, go for it. Pizza sauce is very easy to make. My cheese mixture is about 1 cup Monterey jack and 1 cup mozzarella. Then crushed red pepper, oregano, basil, and pepperonis are put on top.

a gorgeous quick and easy whole wheat pizza pie

After the toppings are in place, the whole pizza goes back in the oven for 10 minutes at 450 degrees to melt the cheese. Remove and let cool for a few minutes and there you have it.

a gorgeous quick and easy whole wheat pizza pie

You can choose to use a prewarmed pizza stone, a normal pizza pan, or a pizza pan with holes in the bottom. This will alter the consistency of the crust and will allow you to change it from soft to crispy.

For your information, this type of dough, because it only takes 15-20 minutes to ferment is referred to as an emergency dough. Other pizzas that I enjoy making take 1-2 days to ferment. The longer the fermentation, the more organic acids are allowed to accumulate which provide a more rich taste.

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By John Thomas
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