Herbed Pizza Dough

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Back in high school I was quite the wannabe Betsy Homemaker and one of the first things I decided to tackle was pizza dough. While it was everything I’d always dreamed of before (why don’t pizza places offer pepperjack cheese? It’s seriously amazing on a pie!), when I look back my dough could’ve been a little more refined.

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Considering I married a guy who worked in a pizza place for years, it’s surprising I’m only now jumping back on the pizza wagon. I think anything that involves yeast, exact temperatures and rising seems a bit formidable, but in reality it’s not difficult at all. So long as you’ve got a thermometer handy, it’s as easy as Mix This With That Then Go Do Something Else For An Hour.

This recipe is adapted from Pinch My Salt, as well as the one for pizza sauce, which is so easy I won’t bother re-hashing.

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My modifications weren’t anything major, though– I use more rosemary and cook the pizza at a lower temperature for longer. That last bit has less to do with taste and more to do with not choking and dying on the clouds of smoke that rise from my oven (I guess I should clean that thing once in awhile, huh).

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And for the pizza sauce, instead of plain salt I use a few heaping pinches of a Tuscan sea salt blend that can be purchased at Whole Foods. I store small batches of the sauce in a mason jar in the fridge, so it’s always on hand for pizza night/day/morning.

While practically perfect as is, I’m eager to experiment with upping the whole wheat flour. And, of course I look forward to trying this with some GF flours.

Herbed Whole Wheat(ish) Pizza Dough

Makes four 10″ pizzas

1 ½ cups Warm water (between 120 and 130 degrees F)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Brown sugar
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 cup Whole wheat flour
3 cups All-purpose flour
1 package Active dry yeast
2-4 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed from stem & chopped

  1. Heat water until boiling, either in a kettle or small pot. Pour 1 ½ cups into a glass measuring cup and insert thermometer.
  2. In a medium bowl stir whole wheat flour, yeast, brown sugar. Add oil and, once the water has cooled to somewhere between 120 and 130 degrees, add the water and mix well
  3. Add all-purpose flour, salt and rosemary, mixing with hands until a dough begins to form. Lift the dough and scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure all (or most) the flour is incorporated.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for ~5 minutes (or 1 ½ really good songs on your iTunes), until the dough is smooth.
  5. Pat into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Lay a clean towel over the top and place in a warm part of the kitchen. Let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Phew! Let’s take a break and see what we’ve got left to do:

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Not bad. We’re almost done!

  1. Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly oiled surface. Gently deflate with your hands. Gently is the key word here! Just press with the palm of your hand about 5 times, until it has flattened considerably.
  2. Cut into 4 equal pieces.
  3. Wrap in saranwrap and store in fridge for up to 3 days. Let sit 20 minutes prior to using (which is usually about how long it takes me to pull out and cut/slice/grate my toppings).
  4. Now for the fun part!

Baking the Pizza

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place dough on a sheet of lightly oiled parchment paper. With the bottom of your hand, gently push out in all directions, starting in the center, until a rough diameter of 10″ is achieved.
  3. Spread 3-4 spoonfuls of pizza sauce, leaving about an inch at the edges for the crust to form. Add choice toppings. I always like to grate an extra little bit of cheese over the top, making sure to hit up the edges as the burnt cheese makes for a fine-looking picture.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, or until delicious.
  5. I know it sounds like a lot of work, and… Well, it is if you intend on doing it all in one day. Make the dough ahead of time, and you’ll be amazed by how quick and easy it is to have pizza whenever you want. I prefer always and forever. 🙂

If you need any toppings inspiration, here’s a quick list of what I like to choose from: smoked mozzarella, pepperjack, dollops of chevre or whipped cream cheese, fresh tomatoes, pineapple, fistfuls of basil, purple onion, red bell pepper, kalamata olives and salami (Genoa or Calabrese).

Go dairy-free with some Daiya shreds, sliced almonds, pineapple and jalapeño. When I was in college my vegan pizza of choice had a garlic-oil base, purple onion, spinach and roasted garlic. This pizza can be procured at AP&D on the plaza of Arcata, CA. If you’re a pizza lover and are ever wandering around the North Coast of California, you simply must go there.

And that’s about all I can handle without short-circuiting my laptop from puddles of drool.

Enjoy Pizza Life!

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