The recipe for this whole grain pizza dough came from a friend of mine Sara. She is a big time sourdough artist, and makes amazing pizza. She recommended a book to me by Peter Reinhart (fan girl moment)called Perfect Pan Pizza.
If you are interested in pizza making at all, I highly recommend ordering this book. It is amazing, as are all his books. He is so thorough, but also really easy to understand, not always the case with artisan bakers.
I used his whole grain country-style dough. You can use a variety of whole wheat here, but I chose spelt. Mostly because I have a good sized bag, and needed to start working on it. It is an ancient grain and perfect for whole grain baking. It was milled in my Nutrimill, of course.
He recommends using bread flour. It is a higher protein flour and so awesome to use in pizza. It has been a little harder to find as of late, but I was lucky enough to pick this up the other day.
Add your flours, salt, water and a little yeast to the bowl. Mix for 30 seconds.
It will look like a shaggy mess, but don’t worry about that it will come together soon.
Add the olive oil.
Mix another 30 seconds. Let it rest for 5 minutes to hydrate the flours. Then mix another 30-60 seconds. I did this all by hand, but it can also be done in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Next, create an oil slick on the surface and add your dough. Use the stretch and pull method, then cover with a bowl and let it sit another 5 minutes. You can see the dough is still shaggy, but again, don’t sweat it.
Repeat the process with 3 more mixing and covering. You should have 4 stretch and pulls total.
Place dough in bowl, cover and place in fridge for 12-72 hours. I put it back into the same bowl I started with, anything to save on washing dishes!
The next day preheat your oven to 450 degrees convection if you have it. You want the oven to be smoking hot! Now, you will see in the photo below, I place sheet pans upside in the oven for the preheat. This is a great way to transfer super hot heat to the bottom of the crust right away.
Next, start prepping your toppings. I love a good veggie pizza and will use whatever I have available. This particular day it was red onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and spinach.
Now, remove the dough from the bowl on a floured or greased surface.
This is a good sized batch. I made 4 pizzas, and they were big ones. We could have easily done 5-6.
On the next part, take your time. I dimple out the dough. Dimple it out just a little bit, let it rest and dimple again. I was working with 4 pieces, so I went from one to other. After the first one has rested, dimple it again, pushing it out even further.
I used to flour the bottom really well and transfer with a peel. My skills are not good enough yet, and I used to get so much flour in my dough. I decided to change and bake them on parchment. My pizza has been so much better. Spread with sauce.
Add your toppings, then cheese. All I had was mozzerella, but there are so many other cheeses that are so good on pizza too. Don’t limit yourself!
I also love to brush my edges with olive oil. Not necessary, but oh so good.
Slip the pizza on to your peel. I am telling you, so much easier than the floured method!
Slide it quickly on to your preheated sheet pans. You do this quickly, so you can close the oven back up and keep the heat inside.
Cook until it is golden brown or darker. This will be a personal preference. I like mine really dark, but my sons like it lighter.
While I prefer the veggie version, my hubs and sons love MEAT. Any and all kinds loaded on the pizza.
This is a version with red sauce, but I also love white sauce pizzas too. The possibilities are limitless.
Having just sat down to enjoy my pizza, I realized I hadn’t grabbed a photo of the crust. Here it is!