Whole Wheat & Parmesan Pizza Crust from Make Ahead Bread
Trigger warning: carbs. Lots of them. In oh so delicious ways. (insert Homer Simpson noises)
A pizza crust chock full of flavor from parmesan cheese, with a great chewy texture thanks to the addition of whole wheat flour. This recipe is made in stages, so when you've got a couple small chunks of time you'll end up with easy homemade pizza.
When I am invited to spread the word about a new cookbook I am not encouraged to randomly share any old recipe that strikes my fancy from the book. Instead, publishers give us bloggers an approved selection of recipes and ask us to pick from that list. If there's a recipe using a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share-sourced ingredient, or something that fits with my blog and appeals to my family, I'm glad to participate.
Last time I shared a brand new cookbook all about macaroni and cheese called Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese (Amazon affiliate link). I did so because I could use a farm share pumpkin, filled with macaroni and cheese, as a recipe. That was a fun challenge and amazingly delicious. The flavor combo was so inspiring I went on to share 2 more variations on that theme, Macaroni and Cheese with Beet Greens, Ham and Manchego and Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Winter Squash.
Today, and for my next post, I am sharing recipes from Donna Currie's book Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day(Amazon affiliate link) in honor of the first anniversary of publication.
Looking through the assortment of publisher-selected recipes it was hard to narrow it down to one. So I didn't. Today, being a Friday and a traditional Pizza Night for our family I am sharing Donna's Whole Wheat & Parmesan Pizza Crust. Monday I've got a photogenic brunch treat with bicolor Sweet Potato and Pecan Monkey Bread. Again I've found recipes that use farm share-sourced ingredients as well as recipes that fit in with my blog and boy do they appeal to my family!
As I noted at the top, there's a trigger warning about carbs on this post. Looking through the recipes from Donna's book made me want to BAKE ALL THE THINGS! In fact, as I mentioned on my FB page, I weighed out more than 3 pounds of flour while baking on Saturday. And more on Sunday. I gave away bread to my neighbors, friends, and even my son's ACT test proctor because the kids and I were getting swamped with all of these yummy goodies and I am inspired to try more variations.
I'm baking like a fiend [do fiends bake? Maybe they'd be less fiendish if they did] so that on Tuesday, the one year anniversary of publication of Make Ahead Bread (Amazon affiliate link, still) my recipes will be added to a round up of recipes shared on Mother Would Know. Then we hope you buy a copy for yourself, for your local library, or for someone who will bake for you!
|Needs a bit more kneading--this is when I added the salt and cheese.|
For more pizzas ideas, since I fix one for my family nearly every Friday night, please see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index. I've got it broken down into pizza doughs (where this recipe will land), savory pizzas using fruit, vegetarian pizzas, and pizzas with meat toppings. I've got a Pinterest board of pizza ideas from around the web. On my FB page I often share what's going on in the kitchen as well as recipes and round ups that catch my eye. Want to know how to use this blog? Click here.
|Dough for 2 crusts, ready for the fridge.|
Note: I don't bother with measuring cups when I am baking from a recipe that calls for weights of flour. I just put my bowl on my kitchen scale and dump the required amount directly in. No fluffing, no leveling, no foolishness. If you bake, get yourself a kitchen scale. They are under $20 (less with a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon) and make so many kitchen tasks easier. This post is just filled with holiday gift ideas, isn't it?
Another Note: Donna recommends baking at 550 degrees Fahrenheit. I am afraid my kitchen will catch on fire (seriously, it's a concern) if I cranked my oven that high, so I intended to fire up my grill and grill this pizza at 550 degrees. However it was raining and I just wasn't that into standing in the cool windy rain for the blog. If you're not using a baking stone, Donna recommends a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet.
Whole Wheat & Parmesan Pizza Crust from Make Ahead Bread (makes 2 crusts)
- 1+½ cups lukewarm water
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast (I used active dry yeast instead as that's what I had on hand)
- 13+½ ounces by weight (3 cups) bread flour, divided
- 4 ounces by weight (1 cup) whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese (I used a combo of freshly grated and green can)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Instructions on Prep Day
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl with a spoon, combine water, sugar, yeast and 9 ounces (2 cups) of bread flour. Mix well (I used my stand mixer with a paddle), then let stand for 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining 4.5 ounces of bread flour and the 4 ounces of whole wheat flour to the bowl, mix in, then switch to the dough hook (if using a stand mixer, or turn onto a floured board) and knead until dough is fairly smooth.
- Dump the salt and parmesan cheese into the bowl, and continue kneading until they are distributed throughout the dough. My green can grated parmesan had some herbs added to it, so I watched the little flecks of green until they were spaced out reasonably evenly.
- Grab a 1 gallon zip top bag (I reuse mine and store in the freezer between pizza dough sessions) and drizzle in the oil. Transfer the dough into the bag, squish it around to coat with oil, and refrigerate. Donna recommends chilling the dough overnight or up to 2 days. I made my dough Saturday morning and used half of it Saturday night for a pizza (after about a 6 hour refrigerator rest) and the other half Sunday night for a different pizza.
Instructions for Baking Day (very closely adapted from Donna Currie's instructions)
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. I do this about 1-2 hours before I plan to bake.
- Preheat the oven (see Another Note above) to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and leave your baking stone in the oven as often as possible so that it gets a good preheat as well. Donna recommends at least 45 minutes which appeals to Vincent the wiener/beagle mix as he loves the warm air coming from the bottom of the oven.
- While Donna recommends flouring your work surface, I just use a piece of oiled parchment paper which follows the crust into the oven and keeps my counters cleaner. Divide the dough in half (I grab it around the middle and choke it into 2 parts) and if you're only baking 1 pizza, return the other half to the fridge.
- Push and stretch the dough into a pleasing shape (my photo tutorial for no roll pizza dough is here) or roll it out like Donna recommends into a circle between 8 and 12 inches in diameter.
- Ok, now I'm just going to flat out divert from Donna's instructions because I am very slow in the kitchen and any time I read "working quickly . . ." I freeze up. If you're talented, sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel and move the dough over and reshape it and top it and slide it into the oven to bake for 8 minutes. If you're not talented, read on for what I do . . .
- With the dough on an oiled piece of parchment paper, brush the dough with a bit of olive oil and top as desired in a leisurely manner. Take your time. There's no rush.
- Using a pizza peel or cookie sheet, transfer to parchment paper+pizza onto the hot pizza stone.
- Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, then use the peel to shimmy the parchment paper out from under the pizza and continue baking the pizza directly on the stone for another 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Cool the pizza on a rack, then slide it back onto the parchment paper to cut which saves on clean up. And when you're the only adult in the house, any clean up savings is a good one.
How I topped this pizza ^^
I had some leftovers from fajitas in the fridge. I'd marinated a flank steak using Elise's terrific Carne Asada recipe and did not adequately cook [in some people's opinions] all of the meat. Therefore I had about ½ cup hunk of nearly raw steak, plus about a cup of grilled peppers and onions from the farm share. I chopped the steak into tiny bits and spread those out atop the oil-brushed dough. I scattered the chopped vegetables around, added some fresh cilantro leaves, and covered the whole thing in 1+½ cups of crumbled queso. Then I baked it as described in step 8 above. Since this post is about Donna's whole wheat & parmesan pizza dough, and since I don't expect most people to have
nearly raw carne asada lying around, and since you probably think the combination of carne asada and parmesan dough would be weird (it was terrific), I chose to minimize the topping part and focus on the dough.
Want to see what the rest of the crowd have created for the Make Ahead Bread Virtual Book Party?
Check out all the delights:
- Blueberry & Cream Cheese Buns with Lemon Zest from Meghan of Clean Eats, Fast Feets
- Buttermilk Rolls from Renee of Magnolia Days
- Cheese Ball Rolls from Sandra of Dear Lauren Love Mom
- Pizza Bread from Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Pumpkin Yeast Bread from Faith of An Edible Mosaic
- Sesame Seeded Semolina Bread from Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Sourdough English Muffins from Alisa of Go Dairy Free
- Stuffing Bread with Dried Cranberries from Stacy of Food Lust People Love
- Sweet Potato Monkey Bread from Kirsten of Farm Fresh Feasts (that's me!)
- Sweet Potato Monkey Bread from Renee of Magnolia Days
- Sweet Potato Monkey Bread from Laura of Mother Would Know
- Whole Wheat Pita from Jenni of Pastry Chef Online
Would you like to win your own autographed copy of Make Ahead Bread? Head on over to Party Central to enter!