Folks, I have a tried and true pizza dough recipe. One I've been using for years and years. One I know off by heart. One I know by smell and feel. One I know I can slide off of my peel and onto my stone and turn out a damn fine pizza. This? Isn't it.
Here's the thing; I have a pizza dough recipe. I have a brownie recipe. I have a scone recipe. My old faithful, never let me down, work every time recipes. But, variety is the spice of life, right? So I've been challenging myself to try new things. Also? At the outset of our last pizza party (back me up, friends, Paul and I throw one hell of a pizza party) my pizza stone cracked in half. When I read about this pizza dough, which is not only mostly whole wheat, and no knead, but also is cooked not on a stone but in a skillet, I wanted to give it a whirl.
One Friday morning not too long ago I stirred together the ingredients for this pizza dough, covered the bowl with plastic, and then went to work. I came home a good 10 hours later, schlepping a bag of pizza toppings along with me, and turned the oven on as hot as it would go. All I needed to do was organize my toppings, press some of the dough into my (well greased) skillet, and I was in business. 20 minutes later I had a pizza and 4 back to back episodes of Grey's Anatomy all to myself. It was one heck of a Friday night. I put the rest of the dough (which I had attempted to divide in 3) into the fridge, covered, and went to bed.
The pizza I had made on Friday night had been a little thick for my taste, and not quite crispy enough. I wanted more. I wanted better. I wanted to see if the dough was still viable. So, Saturday morning I cranked my oven, greased my skillet, and pressed a thinner layer of dough in for a second go around. I made a simple pizza with spinach, tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella, and then at the last possible second when everything was brown and bubbly like I like it, I cracked a couple of organic free range eggs over the top and threw the whole thing under the broiler for a minute. Out of the oven, a handful of fresh arugula and a few grinds of fresh salt and pepper - breakfast pizza? Yes please!
Will this replace my tried and true pizza dough? No way! Will it grace my kitchen many times more? Heck yes! Especially as the base for this glorious breakfast pizza. Looking for something interesting to add to a Mother's Day brunch this weekend? Give this a go!
Mostly Whole Wheat No Knead Pizza Dough Recipe:
Let me say a few things about this dough; first off, this is sticky business. If you have a pizza stone, put it away. This dough is waaaay too wet and sticky to possibly slide onto a stone. Get out a skillet - I used my large, shallow Le Creuset skillet, but a cast iron skillet would be a great tool as well, or for a bigger pizza, a large cookie sheet would work too. Secondly, don't be shy about greasing your skillet or sheet pan if you want your pizza to come out easily. I used olive oil this time, but I might try butter next time. Lastly, with well floured or greased hands, spread your dough as thin as you can get it without tearing holes in your dough. I found my first pizza to be way too thick and not crispy enough. The breakfast pizza I took as thin as I could, and it was just right. Oh, and a word about the flour; I used whole wheat flour and bread flour - all purpose flour in Europe generally has a much lower gluten content than in North America (and within North America, Canadian AP flour has a higher gluten content than American AP flour) so depending on where you live you could use AP flour or bread flour, just do a little research into the gluten content.
Makes enough dough for 2 - 4 pizzas, depending on the size of your pan or skillet and how thin you like your crust.
Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour or bread flour (see head note)
½ teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing.
In a large bowl, combine flours, yeast, and salt. Stir in 1 ½ cups water. The dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot to ferment for 6 - 12 hours. The longer it sits, the more yeasty (good!) the flavour will be.
When you're ready to make your pizza, heat your oven to 500 F / 250 C or as high as your oven will go. Let the oven pre-heat for a good hour if you have the time.
Generously oil a large baking sheet or oven proof skillet.
Flour or oil your hands (I found oiling them a little more effective) and fold the dough over its self in the bowl a few times.
Divide the dough into half or quarters if you're making smaller pizzas, and gently press into the skillet or sheet. Try to get the dough as thin as you can without tearing holes into it. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil, and let it sit while you're getting your toppings ready.
For my breakfast pizza I used:
-fresh baby spinach
And baked for about 15 minutes, until cheese was brown and bubbly. Then I cracked 2 eggs over the top, and returned to the oven under the broiler for about 1 minute. I threw a handful of fresh arugula and some fresh cracked pepper and salt over the top, and ate immediately.
Know what you're eating: what's good about this? It's pizza! You made it! It's delicious. Sure, this pizza dough is made from ⅔ whole wheat flour, and whole wheat flour is higher in fiber and nutrients than all purpose. But! It is flour and this is pizza no less! Let's moderate! We'll enjoy our pizza on the weekend (you did read that I ate an entire pizza for dinner on Friday and then another for breakfast on Saturday, right?) and then we'll move on with some healthy eating.
Damage control! How about we move on with a delicious green smoothie for breakfast the next morning? Try this one!
Do ahead: You can (and should!) start this pizza dough 6 - 12 hours ahead of when you want to make your pizza. You can start it in the morning for a pizza dinner, or the night before for a breakfast pizza. My dough seemed to survive reasonably well in the fridge overnight, I just let it come to room temperature for about an hour before I made my breakfast pizza.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012
Ooh, cast iron pizza! I would definitely be all about this one--mostly because I have plenty of cast iron pans but no pizza stone. Thanks for the tip! And I keep seeing the egg trick on pizza--one of these days I must actually try it.
It was my first time trying the egg, but it won't be the last!
Looks delicious - I like the 'mostly whole wheat' aspect. I imagine spelt flour would be nice here too. Thank you!
I think you're right! I'll have to give it a try with spelt some time and see how that changes things. If you do try it out, please let us know how it goes!
I wonder if the extra large All Clad saute pan would work well for this?
I assume that any oven-proof pan or skillet would be fine, so give it a whirl and report back!