Wholegrain Pizza Dough

Serves:

6 (Makes enough dough for 3 medium pizzas)

Prep Time:

7 minutes, plus rising

Cook Time:

5 to 10 minutes per pizza

Introduction

About this Recipe

Recipe from Baking Day with Anna Olson
Appetite by Random House, 2020

If a lacklustre wholegrain pizza crust has left you wary, this recipe should change your mind. On a recent culinary tour to Parma, our group enjoyed a pizza feast hosted by a maestro of pizza, Giovanni Mandara. Hands down, our favourite pizza (of about six in total) was a nutty, crunchy wholegrain crust topped with artichokes, pancetta and, of all things, a barely cooked egg. This is my attempt to recreate that crust at home.

Ingredients

  • 2⅔ cups (400 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (100 g) regular rolled oats
  • 2¼ tsp (1 pkg) instant dry yeast
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) warm water (105°F/41°C)
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp (40 g) ancient grains mix (see note)
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • Pizza toppings of your choice (see note)
  • Cornmeal, for dusting
NOTES: Ancient grains mix is a pre-blended combination of buckwheat, millet, flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds and amaranth seeds. If you can’t find something similar, you can make your own using 2 Tbsp (30 mL) each of flaxseed, millet and chia.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Measure the flour, oats and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the water and olive oil and mix at medium-low speed for 1 minute, just until blended. (If mixing by hand, measure the flour, oats, yeast, water and oil into a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes too difficult.) Let the dough sit for 10 minutes to hydrate.

Step 2

Add the ancient grains mix and salt. Blend the dough at low speed for 30 seconds and then increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 2 minutes. (If mixing by hand, add the ancient grains mix and salt, stir once or twice and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface to knead for about 3 minutes, until the dough feels elastic; it will likely be quite sticky, but try not to add too much extra flour.)

Step 3

Place the dough into an ungreased bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rest on the counter for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). Place a pizza stone into the oven, or invert a large baking tray onto a lower rack. Have ready three sheets of parchment paper roughly 14 inches (35 cm) square.

Step 5

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into three pieces. Shape the pieces into balls and set aside, covered with a tea towel, while you prepare your toppings.

Step 6

Roll out a piece of dough into a circle or oblong so that it is about ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick (and 12 inches/30 cm across, if a circle). Dust a sheet of parchment with cornmeal and set the pizza crust on top, then carefully place it onto an inverted baking tray (to carry it to the oven). Top the pizza as you wish. Open the oven door and gently slide the pizza-laden parchment from the tray onto the pizza stone (or heated baking tray) and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is fully melted.

Step 7

Open the oven door (watch for steam!) and gently slide the cooked pizza and parchment off the pizza stone (or baking tray) onto a cutting board. Close the oven door but leave the heat on. Carefully slide the parchment out from under the pizza and slice to serve hot. Repeat with the remaining pizzas.

A hearty but tender dough such as this one warrants hearty toppings. Try a loaded baked potato style of pizza (pictured). Spread a layer of sour cream on the rolled dough and top it with sliced boiled Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked bacon and cheddar mixed with mozzarella. Once it comes out of the oven, sprinkle it with chopped green onions.