Whole-Wheat Pizza with Pesto and Goat Cheese

I clipped this recipe from Cooks Illustrated years ago.  I love this whole wheat pizza dough!  I love that you make it a day or two ahead of time and then it’s all ready when you decide to make dinner.  I love the whole wheat flavor, and I love the little air pockets that develop as it cooks.  I have never found another homemade pizza dough that makes those beautiful little air pockets.  They do this by using the food processor to mix the dough and then letting it sit for a day or two in the fridge.  You can’t put just any topping on this crust though.  If you load it up too much and the toppings get too heavy it doesn’t seem to cook through and the air pockets aren’t as noticeable.  My favorite variation is the pesto/goat cheese version.

WHOLE-WHEAT PIZZA WITH PESTO AND GOAT CHEESE

Ingredients for Dough:

  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 C bread flour
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/4 C ice water
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Process whole-wheat flour, bread flour, honey, and yeast in food processor until combined, about 2 seconds.  With processor running, add water and process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds.  Let dough stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Add oil and salt to dough and process until it forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 45-60 seconds.
  3. Remove from bowl and knead on oiled countertop until smooth, about 1 minutes.  Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl.  cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 18 hours or up to 2 days.
  4. One hour before baking pizza, adjust oven rack to 4 1/2 inches from broiler element, set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.  Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half.  Shape each half into smooth tight ball.  Place balls on lightly oiled baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart.  cover loosely with plastic coated with vegetable oil spray; let stand for 1 hour.
  5. Heat broiler for 10 minutes, meanwhile coat 1 ball of dough generously with flour and place on well-floured countertop.  Using your fingertips, gently flatten into 8-inch disk leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center.  Lift edge of dough, and using back of your hand and knuckles, gently stretch disk into 12-inch round, working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch.  Transfer dough to parchment paper and stretch into 13-inch round.
  6. Top with desired toppings last night I spread pesto and then topped with crumbled goat cheese.
  7. Turn off broiler and return oven to 500 degrees.  Place pizza and parchment paper on pizza stone and bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbling and partially browned, 8-10 minutes, rotating pizza half way through baking.  Remove pizza and place on wire rack.  Let rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Heat the broiler again for ten minutes and then repeat the process with with remaining dough.

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