Bittman’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
I’ve been making pizza at home for several years now but have never been satisfied with my homemade dough recipe…until now! For a while, I used a NYTimes / Jeffrey Steingarten recipe which never seemed to rise and was difficult to roll out but tasted fine. Other times I cheated and bought dough from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. A few weeks ago, I took a “bread education” workshop about starters and dough technique hosted by Sour Flour. I learned how to feed a starter, how to develop a dough based on feel and different ways to knead my dough.
Rather than throwing away half of my starter (part of feeding it), I figured I would use some in place of yeast for pizza. As often happens, our planned pizza party doubled from 4 adults to 8 adults so I tripled Bittman’s recipe using half white flour, half whole wheat flour, 2 packets active dry yeast and a golf ball-sized wad of my starter (which I’m told originated in Costa Rica). I used the dough hook on my KitchenAid mixer and did a little hand kneading based on the techniques I learned at Sour Flour.
My dough actually rose!! I was able to form little balls which were so much easier to roll out than any dough we’ve used in the past. I don’t have any pictures of the pizzas we made, but the crust had the perfect combination of crispy and chewy that I like…we finally have a winning dough recipe!
Pizza Dough (lifted straight from Mark Bittman)
Makes: Enough for 1 large or 2 or more small pies
Time: 1 hour or more
You won’t believe how simple it is to make pizza dough at home. And because the dough freezes very well (at least for a couple of weeks), it’s even practical to whip up a batch for one or two people and tuck the rest away for another day.
To make pizza dough by hand or with a standing mixer, follow the directions, but use a bowl and a heavy wooden spoon or the mixer’s bowl and the paddle attachment instead of the food processor. When the dough becomes too heavy to stir, use your hands or exchange the mixer’s paddle for the dough hook and proceed with the recipe.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube.
2. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)
3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut this rising time short if you’re in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.) Proceed to Step 4 or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or a zipper bag and freeze for up to a month. (Defrost in the bag or a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature; bring to room temperature before shaping.)
4. When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into 2 or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball. Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. With a nutty flavor and a little fiber: Use 1.5 cups each whole wheat and white flour (all-purpose or bread flour). You’ll probably need to add closer to 1.5 cups water or maybe even a little more.
Crunchier Pizza Dough. This dough may be a little more difficult to handle, but it has superior flavor and a pleasant crunch: Substitute 1/2 cup cornmeal for 1 /2cup of the flour.