Pizza with Curried Eggplant, Roasted Red Pepper, Corn and Boursin


THE PROBLEM:

Getting a pizza crust with a crisp exterior and tender interior in a home oven. Commerical ovens, brick-fired ovens or tandoors can go upto 900 degrees F. The pizzas bake for a very short span of time – three to four minutes, and come out just right.
The flours used are usually high-gluten (like bread flour, which is all purpose flour with added gluten). Gluten fibers are what make the dough ‘stretchy’ and the bread ‘chewy’. A high-gluten flour takes longer to cook than a low-gluten one. In a home oven that can range from 10-15 minutes, yielding a tough crust.

Cook’s Illustrated magazine has a series where they test variations of the same dish in their kitchen and come up with the “best recipe”. They are the folks who host the fabulous TV show America’s Test Kitchen on PBS.

THEIR SOLUTION:

Find ways to hamper gluten formation.
1. Knead it as little as possible.

Our tests proved that a great pizza crust depends more on tenderness and crispness than crumb structure, so we didn’t need to spend much time kneading the dough to develop gluten (which gives bread chew). In fact, we found that a food processor made quick work of our dough, mixing it in just two minutes. We also found we could shape the dough right out of the food processor, eliminating one of the two rises most bread recipes require.

2. Use low-gluten flour. They used a mixture of all-purpose flour and cake flour. Cake flour is all purpose flour plus cornstarch.

Our solution was to use 1 part cake flour to 2 parts all-purpose flour, a combination that made the dough more tender. Our pizza also stayed light and tender after baking for 10 minutes in a 500 degree home oven (pizza in a commercial 800-degree oven cooks in less than 4 minutes.

3. Use a baking stone (or get unglazed quarry tiles really cheap from the home improvement store or a tile store). It gives a crisper lighter crust.

We copied the recipe from The Best Recipe at the bookstore, and adapted it to make a whole wheat version. We shouldn’t have bothered, ‘cos Nic @ Baking Bites had posted the regular pizza crust on her blog. :)

Plus, we found the whole wheat recipe from Cook’s Illustrated‘s March 2007 issue with step by step instructions HERE.

Swiss Chard and Fava bean Pizza with Provolone cheese on one half.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
From Cook’s Illustrated - March 2007.

Makes two 12-inch Pizzas

FOR THE CRUST
1.25 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup water (8 ounces), room temperature
0.5 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2.5 ounces), plus extra for dusting work surface and peel
** we usually replace this with whole wheat pastry flour
0.75 cup whole wheat flour (3.75 ounces)
1.5 cups cake flour (6 ounces)
** or 3 tablespoons cornstarch and all purpose flour to total 1.5 cups
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, set pizza stone on oven rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.

2. In liquid measuring cup, whisk yeast into water to dissolve. In food processor fitted with metal blade (or bread machine bowl), process flours, salt, and sugar until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine running, slowly add liquid through feed tube; continue to process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (If after 1 minute dough is sticky and clings to blade, add 1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and continue processing. If dough appears dry and crumbly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water and process until dough forms ball.)

3. Divide dough in half and shape into smooth, tight balls. Place on floured counter or baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Roasted Squash, Onion and Pineapple Sage Pizza

4. TO SHAPE AND COOK THE PIZZAS: When dough balls have doubled in size, dust dough liberally with flour and transfer balls to well-floured work surface. Press one ball into 8-inch disk. Using flattened palms, gently stretch disk into 12-inch circle, working along outer edge and giving disk quarter turns. (Since this dough is not
stretchy, we find it easier to roll it out. If it bounces back, cover and let it rest for a few minutes.)

5. Pierce crust with a fork and add toppings (for topping ideas and sequence, see THIS post)

6. Lightly flour pizza peel, then transfer pizza to peel. Slide onto stone and bake about 10 minutes.

Or bake for 5 minutes, add cheese and bake five more minutes.

If using a convection oven, reduce the baking time by a couple of minutes.

(If you don’t want to burn yourself while putting it in and taking it out with a peel, put the pizza on a perforated pizza pan and place it on the baking stone. As in this picture.)

7. Repeat to shape, top, and bake second pizza.

Step by step demo HERE and HERE.

Wicked Whole Wheat Pizza Crust goes to Zorra @ 1x umrühren bitte for World Day of Bread, which is today.

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39 Comments

  1. Suganya says:

    I tried yr white sauce. It was different to have an alfredo sauce with some heat. But there wasn’t enough liquid as in tomato sauce. Was this how yrs tasted too?

    you can make it thinner quite easily. but drier doesn’t make the base soggy. also depends on what veggies you use. if they release water then you can have a thicker sauce. -j

  2. Dhana says:

    THIS is a pizzathon! What amazing combos and pics….when is the next pizza pardeeeee!!!

  3. kribha says:

    Did you cook for a party or something. Looks fabulous. Unusual combinations. A good variation from the usual ones.

  4. roopa says:

    wow looks inviting! adding cake flour for pizza got to try for the crust!thanks for sharing

  5. sreelu says:

    Wow love the red onion and squash and pineapple pizza, thanks for the pointer on getting a thin crust

  6. musy says:

    The much promised crust is finally here :) Can’t wait to try this!

  7. Kaykat says:

    This crust sounds perfect. After several iterations, I finally got my dough consistency right by switching to low gluten flour – it makes a huge difference! And it sounds like using a baking stone goes a long way in making the pizza bake more uniformly.

    Thanks for this post, it is exactly what I needed to get started on baking pizzas again!

  8. raaga says:

    bad bad people… making me crave yummy pizzas in the morning. I don’t want to know :notlisten

  9. Rachna says:

    FINALLY the pizza dough recipe…great also that its whole wheat… i use a self raising flour we get here and works great..

  10. Lakshmi says:

    I do not :nono: have a taste for Pizza for some reason. I like its Indian cousin Uttapam ;) :yes: However Pizza picture looks gr8 :dance:

  11. coffee says:

    So finally its out!! :)

  12. sunita says:

    Wonderful pizzas :yes:..I so want some.

  13. Priya says:

    yumm..yummy..yummier… ;;)

  14. indosungod says:

    Pizzas all look wonderful
    America’s Test Kitchen is a favorite TV show of mine too. I have not ventured to making pizza crusts by myself yet.

  15. Suganya says:

    I used the same veggies as you did.. Yellow squash and red onions.

  16. Siri says:

    Pizza looks sooooooooooo inviting B&J… :D :love:.. love the veggie toppings too… ;;)

  17. Asha says:

    I am not sure about whole wheat crust but love love the Pizza with red onion! Slurp!!:)

  18. padmaja says:

    Bee
    I can live on pizzas anytime, yours look so delicious!! You know what i bought a baking stone an year back to get those crispy bases for the pizzas but still haven’t put to test yest!!!i am gonna try one of your recipes and see!!!

  19. Rajitha says:

    yum! whole wheat..love that..i am amazed how round ur pizza was!

  20. TBC says:

    Love pizza :yes:
    Love pineapple in my topping.I like to add corn too. :)

  21. lakshmi says:

    You guys just love wheat – so ……. is for “wheat” if sweet tooth for sugar? is there a word yet? :)

    it’s called ‘sweath’ tooth. – b.

  22. Rina says:

    Luv the pizzas..

  23. Namratha says:

    Oh fabulous Bee, these pics look amazing (as always!) and pizzas are mouth watering. All your pics make me wanna try all the you make..hehe! Thanks for all the tips, my home made pizzas are no doubt never good. Now I know what needs to be done, thanks again! :)

  24. sandeepa says:

    Loved that red onion and pineapple pizza…am not a pizza fun but that looks great

  25. Laavanya says:

    Only last week I was wondering if the wicked pizza dough you have been promising for some time has been posted yet… and here it is! :yes: and what an array of amazing pizza creations with it. Thank you!!

  26. Srivalli says:

    thats really mean mean of you guys having all those by yourselves :cry:

  27. saju says:

    Yay pizza :yes: they look so good.

  28. Mansi says:

    looks nice Bee..I made a whole whaet pizza some time back and it came out great! you just need to get your hands on a fool-prrof recipe and you are ready to roll!:)

  29. ammalus says:

    I love these recipes, Im going to try all as cocktail pizzas and get back to you! I cant wait to try them !

  30. [...] the rest of this great post here [...]

  31. enjay says:

    I was looking for pizza crust recipes yesterday and was quite sure you must have one; healthier than the one I’d used. Also love the tip for buying a baking stone..next stop, Lowe’s for bakeware! Thank you.

  32. Kay says:

    Is the step 4 and 5 mixed up? :o hno:

    someone actually reads the recipes? :D – b.

  33. [...] Jugalbandi’s Wicked Whole Wheat Pizza Crust [...]

  34. yummm says:

    I’ll be over soon for dinner. Great ideas!

  35. Subha says:

    Does this recipe really uses 1.5 cups of all purpose flour(maida) + cornstarch mix instead of the cake flour or should it be whole wheat flour instead? I was trying to see if there is a recipe that does not use any maida at all..

    Thanks,
    Subha

    yes, it does.

  36. arasu says:

    what kind of whole wheat and cake flour do you use. i substituted corn starch/all purpose for cake flour and used indian store whole wheat roti flour for whole wheat flour. and the crust was not that good when compared to allpurpose flour containing ones

    thanks

    arasu

    the regular whole wheat flour, not indian atta, which is ground finer.

  37. [...] So we whipped up a batch of our WICKED WHOLE WHEAT PIZZA DOUGH. [...]

  38. [...] yeah, we gotta use them in a day or two. Plus there’s the pizza dough sitting in the fridge, ready to explode with the yeast action, ‘cos the freezer is full. With [...]

  39. [...] crust from B’s share. Well, B doesn’t care too much for crusts (hmm…except for pizza crust made her way!) and I love all forms of crust. A win-win I must [...]



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