Author Notes: Pizzas are like snowflakes: no two are alike. Depending on your ingredients, the ratio, the temperature in your kitchen, humidity, how long your oven has been hot, the toppings you choose, the brand of cheese, the mineral content of the local tap water… I have probably made 500 pizzas in my life so far (no exaggeration) and I’d say there are plenty that are similar, but no duplication. That is what is so fun about pizza! This basic cheese pizza I make cooks up in just 16 minutes.
It is imperative for our family meals to be nutritious, and our lifestyle to be mindful of resources, so I’ll mention here that in most cases I buy only organic ingredients (99% of this pizza is organic, the yeast is not) and I mostly buy food in bulk. Since I don’t have a real pizza oven at home (oh, wouldn’t a wood-fired pizza oven be divine?) I have to rely on my ingredients for texture. For the base of this hearty pizza, I use (left to right) stone-ground whole wheat flour, unbleached bread flour, and ground golden flax seed, but you can use any flour you want.
For more detailed instructions and photos, see the full posting on my blog, here: http://craftyfork.com/2011/12/28/basicpizzawithwholewheatflaxseedcrust/ —Crafty Fork
Serves: 3-6 people, depending on appetite
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough with Flax Seed
cup warm water
tablespoons honey or sugar
2 plus 1/4
teaspoons yeast (regular or rapid rise)
cup unbleached bread flour
cup stone-ground wheat flour
cup flax seeds
teaspoon sea salt
pinches garlic powder (optional)
tablespoons olive oil
olive oil for coating dough ball
vegetable shortening to grease pan
Basic Healthy Pizza Toppings
ounces can of diced tomatoes, drained
ounces shredded cheese, I use a blend (mozzarella, parmesan, romano, asiago, provolone)
fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, or 1/2 t dried basic or oregano
pinches red pepper flakes (optional)
- In glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine warm water and honey or sugar. Add yeast and stir. Let mixture proof while preparing dry ingredients, or for at least 5 minutes. Add more honey or sugar if you want a faster rise on your dough.
- In large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Pour yeast mixture into dry ingredients, and add 2 T olive oil (or pour f/ bottle counting to 3, not exact science here). Mix with fork until ball forms, adding flour by small handful until dough is not sticky (I also scrape sides of the bowl w/ a rubber spatula). Use hands to knead well. Pour a little olive oil on dough ball and roll around to lightly coat dough. Cover bowl loosely with cloth napkin, towel, or plastic wrap and let set in warm area for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 425 – 450 degrees (depends on your oven). My oven browns the pizza best at 435 degrees.
- Coat pizza pan/cookie sheet with vegetable shortening. You can get organic, non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening at most health-food stores, or you can use Crisco.
- When the dough has doubled in size you can just dump it onto your pan and use clean, dry hands to spread into shape. Spread tomatoes evenly. Sprinkle basil or oregano over tomatoes, and red pepper flakes if you like them. Top with cheese as you desire, more or less than I suggest is fine.
- Bake in middle of oven for 18 mins or so. I usually start it at 15 and keep checking after that. Pizza is done when it smells delicious and looks right to you.
- Let the pizza rest in the pan for at least five minutes before manhandling it. When you’re ready to cut, the pizza should slide very easily onto a large cutting board (use a spatula for assistance). Cut into 8 slices. Serves up to 5 (but usually serves 4).