i know, i know. whole grains are SO boring and white bread is so much better. but let me tell you…this pizza crust is so f@$&ing good you won’t even miss all that white flour. trust me. i like to make this dough one day in advance because the most amazing and delicious thing happens when you let it sit in the fridge overnight: it comes out tasting like a mild sourdough! without all the hassle of feeding a starter and all that. (i mean, yes i maintain a sourdough starter, but i am a crazy baker lady!)
want pizza tonight? don’t fret! its also super delicious when made right before you use it. well…um…a few hours before, because: yeast.
for the whole grain flour you can use whole wheat, whole spelt, or any other whole grain, unbleached flour you’d like. my favorite (big surprise!) is spelt! spelt is an ancient heirloom variety of wheat, so it’s not gluten free but it IS lower in gluten than wheat flour. also it’s totally non-GMO and it’s genetics have not changed in thousands of years! so it’s basically what wheat should have been. i’m pretty sure that jesus and buddha and muhammad all ate spelt. so, you know, it’s divine. i’m still checking into whether or not lionel richie eats spelt. i’ll have to get back to you on that.
there is also “white” spelt flour on the market that you can use in place of the all purpose flour, or in place of all the flour. because of the decreased gluten content in spelt, the dough will be stickier and you will have to reduce kneading time in order to maintain the delicate gluten bonds in the spelt flour. you may also have to add an extra 1/4 c flour during the mixing process, but have no fear! it can be done!
all in all, this dough is super easy to make, and a great beginner dough for all you yeastaphobes. just take a deep breath, strap on your apron, and get your spelt on!
whole grain pizza dough
- 1 teaspoon sugar/honey/molasses
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole grain flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the sugar/honey/molasses in warm water. sprinkle the instant yeast over the top, stirring to incorporate.
stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then slowly mix in the whole grain flour and 1 c of the all-purpose flour. stir on low power or with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together. it will be sticky but should hold together in a nice ball at this point.
dump the dough out onto your counter or a mat that is floured with the remaining 1/2 c all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. place the dough into a large oiled bowl, and toss it about to coat the surface. cover the bowl with oiled cling wrap (a can of PAM is great for this), and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (i like to put the dough on my stovetop under the hood lights, but inside the oven with just the oven light is a great alternative! on a warm day, no need to add extra heat 🙂
when the dough is doubled, dump it out onto a lightly floured counter or mat, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crusts, or leave whole to make one thick (or huge thin) crust. form into a tight ball, removing the air that has accumulated inside. let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled, or place into oiled zipper storage bags for several hours, overnight, or up to 48 hours. you can also freeze one crust in an airtight bag for later use!
if you refrigerate the dough, make sure to remove it from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to using. an hour is best! if it’s frozen, pull it out and place into the fridge the night before you want to use it, then pull it out of the fridge an hour before you make your pizza.
preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). using a good handful of all purpose flour, pat the dough into a disk, gently stretching with your hands. when the dough is about the size of a salad plate, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. don’t forget to flour your hands if the dough starts sticking! if your dough is too chilly, it will snap back when stretched might tear if stretched too much. if this happens, let it rest on the counter for another 10-15 minutes.
when the circle of dough has reached the desired size, place on a well-oiled pizza pan, or alternately on a pizza pan/stone sprinkled with a fine dusting of cornmeal. top the pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables. if you don’t like bubbles in your crust (i do!) pierce the exposed edges with a fork all the way around. feeling fancy? brush the exposed crust with olive oil and crushed garlic! yum!
bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the upper portion of your preheated oven, rotating once halfway through the baking process, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.