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KAF whole-wheat pizza crust, step-by-step
As Heather and I have been eating our way through the pantry and freezer, we decided to make homemade pizza, since we had all the ingredients on-hand. Instead of using the dough recipe that came from my breadmaker (not bad in a pinch, but made with all white flour, which I don’t prefer), I decided to take a peek in my King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook.
This was a book withdrawn from the Carmel, IN, library (libraries withdraw older, outdated books all the time and often sell them for 50 cents or so all the time) that Andrew’s grandmother gave me awhile ago. I LOVE it. I treat it kind of like a whole-wheat baking “bible” of sorts. If I have something I’d like to make, or something I’d like to make in a whole-wheat version, I just open to the index and wha-lah! There is a recipe for it!
I found this recipe:
Sounds yummy, huh? Well, before you start salivating too much, I just used it for the crust.
It called for the water, honey, yeast and some of the flour to be mixed and then given a rest for an hour.
Disregard my crappy photos…my kitchen has almost ZERO natural light (something I MUST change in the next house!) and I’m still a beginner on Andrew’s fancy-schmancy camera.
After the rest, it called for 1 tbsp each of dried oregano and basil (a teaspoon probably would have been fine), as well as salt, cayenne pepper and olive oil.
After mixing the herbs in, the dough shrunk way down and was really wet. Then I added the remainder of the flour, and this is what I got:
Doesn’t look much like dough, yet does it? I should have used my KAF pastry mat here–would have made a better photo, and the measurements on it are so handy.
After 5 minutes of kneading, this is what the dough turned into:
Nice! I did think this was one of the better photos, by the way. I got two of these softball-plus size balls of dough, then gave them a 20 minute rest while I prepped ingredients.
A pineapple (how appropriate), leftover ham that had been frozen after our Easter feast, green peppers and mozzarella cheese.
I LOVE hawaiian pizza. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Unfortunately, neither Andrew nor Heather share this love, so I kept the pineapple pieces to 1/4 of the pie.
I rolled each ball into about a 12-inch round crust, then pricked the bottom with a fork and into the oven it went. This was one of those recipes that calls for you to pre-bake the crust, which I have to admit, works best. All too often my pizza crust is doughy in the middle from all the sauce and toppings. Pre-baking ensures a nice crispy bottom and top before adding all the goodies.
Our topped pizza. With two pizzas, this was a bit of a process. Pre-heat pizza stone. Slide crust #1 onto hot stone (tricky, to say the least), roll out crust #2, remove crust #1 and find somewhere to put it, then load #2 onto hot stone (trickier this time) and into the oven. Top crust #1 while #2 is baking, then remove #2 from oven, crank up the heat and load topped pizza #1 onto hot stone AGAIN (this time, the crust was crisp, so very easy).
Our finished pizza! YUM. Verdict on the crust: Heather wasn’t a huge fan, but it wasn’t bad. If you’re in the mood for total splurge-worthy pizza, go with a white or half-white flour dough instead. This is not pizza hut pizza. While not cardboard-like in any way and very flavorful, it’s definitely a wheat crust. I really liked it, mostly because of the texture. It was a cross between a “hand-tossed” and a “thin and crispy” crust, which I loved. And for me, a lot of the joy of eating is knowing I’m having something really good for me.
And because it made TWO crusts, I have one topped and in the freezer ready to bake for later :). Half hawaiian and half green pepper and ham.