Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads has a whole wheat pizza dough that I couldn't wait to try. We love having pizza at home, mostly so we can make any weird topping concoctions that we want. I'd already found a great white dough and deep dish dough recipe, but with my new attitude towards clean eating, whole wheat dough was next on my list. If the pizza dough came out half as good as the bagels, hearth bread, and burger buns, it would still be amazing.
The dough follows a very similar 2 day pre-dough process. On day one, the biga and soaker are mixed. On day 2, those come together with the remaining dough ingredients to make the final dough. The dough rests for an hour (while you pre-heat your oven and pizza stone) and is then ready to bake! The book calls for making 5 pizzas from the recipe (at 6.25 ounces each), but I decided I wanted them slightly bigger and made 3 10-ounce pizzas. After dividing and shaping, I left one out, as directed, to rise. The other two were wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer in a freezer safe ziploc bag. I will report back and let you know how the frozen ones turn out!
The thing I loved most about this dough was how easy it is to work with. It is so soft and stretched out perfectly and effortlessly when I was shaping the pizza. No tug of war with a dough that bounces back! No tearing! It's fabulous.
The dough retains its softness while baking, and while I probably could have baked mine a tad longer to get a crisper skin on the crust, it was very soft and wonderful inside.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Source: Rewritten from Whole Grain Breads, Peter Reinhart
Day 1: Make the soaker and biga
1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (198 grams) water
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl for about one minute, until all of the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 12 to 24 hours. (If you need more time, place in refrigerator for up to 3 days, but leave at room temp 2 hours before continuing with bread).
1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) instant yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (198 grams) filtered or spring water, at room temperature (about 70 degrees F)
Mix all the biga ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball of dough. With wet hands, knead dough in the bowl for 2 minutes to be sure all ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is fully hydrated. The dough should feel very tacky. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead again with wet hands for one minute. The dough will be smoother but still tacky. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Remove from the fridge two hours before making the dough.
Day 2: Make the final dough, and bake
All of the Soaker
All of the biga
5/8 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) instant yeast
7 tablespoons (56.5 grams) whole wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoons (14 grams) honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons (28.5 grams) olive oil
1. Chop the soaker and biga into 12 smaller pieces (sprinkle flour over pieces to prevent sticking).
2. By hand: Add the biga, soaker, salt, yeast, flour, honey, and olive oil to a bowl. Stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or knead with wet hands for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are evenly integrated. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Add more flour or water as needed.
By stand mixer: Add the biga, soaker, salt, yeast, flour, honey, and olive oil to a the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed for one minute with the paddle attatchment. Switch to dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes until dough becomes cohesive and assimilated into each other. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.
3. Dust a work surface with flour, the roll the dough in flour to coat. Knead by hand for 3 to 4 minutes, incorporating only as much flour as needed until the dough is soft and very tacky, almost stickly. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with parchement paper or a silicone mat, then oil with 1 tablespoon of oil.
4. Resume kneading for 1 minute to strengthen the gluten and make any final water/flour adjustments. Dough should have the strength to pass the windowpane test, yet feel soft, supple and very tacky, verging on sticky. Divide the dough into five equal pieces, each weighing about 6.25 ounces. Form dough into tight balls and place on prepared pan, rolling to coat with oil, then cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap.
5. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with a pizza stone for one hour, then dust the stone with cornmeal. When oven is ready, shape dough on a lightly floured work surface. If desired, add toppings, then slide topped pizza onto pizza stone with a peel. Otherwise, remove hot stone from oven, place dough on top of stone, add toppings and then return to the oven. (If you do not have a baking stone, use the underside of a sheet pan, or simply place the shaped dough on a sheet pan, add the toppings, and slide the sheet pan in the oven.)
6. Once pizza is in the oven, close the door. Wait two minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated for even baking, do so. The pizza should take 5-8 minutes to bake.
7. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3-5 minutes before slicing to let the cheese set slightly.