I’ve made this pizza dough three times in the past 10 days. Now granted, I am 34 weeks pregnant and craving all things dough and cheese…but truely, this pizza dough is the best I’ve ever worked with…and I’ve tried quite a few recipes over the years. This is what makes this whole wheat pizza recipe special:
1. Initial soak. Instead of combining all ingredients into a mixing bowl, kneading, and then letting the dough rise, this recipe calls for an initial soak. You let 1 cup of flour sit in a watery mixture of yeast and honey for 30 minutes. Then, you add the rest of your flour, salt, olive oil…I don’t understand the chemistry behind this method, but trust me, it works.
2. Vital Wheat Gluten. Do yourself a favor. Buy a box of vital wheat gluten if you plan on baking a lot of whole grain breads. This does wonders! It makes yeast breads rise higher and produces a much less dense dough.
3. White Whole Wheat Flour. King Arthur makes my absolute favorite white whole wheat flour. You still get all the benefits of whole grains but with a much lighter texture than traditional whole wheat.
And the result? A dough that feels like heaven to touch (bakers…you know what I mean…) and a pizza crust that’s flavorful, chewy, and packed with whole-grain goodness. I dare you to try the recipe and not make it again the following week. I plan on making a batch of dough each Sunday until Lucy’s born. I can’t get enough pizza.
So we’re now at 34 weeks, and I thought I’d share how we’re all doing as the big day looms closer.
Cravings: Pizza, bagels with cheese, bacon, tortilla chips, and coconut cake
Fears: Ryan and I want a natural childbirth, but I’ve definitely been feeling a bit more intimidated about laboring without pain medication. Maybe I’ve just been watching too many birth videos, but I worry that I won’t be able to handle the intensity of transition and pushing. Thankfully, we have a GREAT doula, and I know she’ll help me talk through some of these fears.
Exercise: Margot (our pup) and I still walk 2-3 miles each day. I’m moving slower now, so I listen to Terry Gross a bit longer on my IPOD, but we’re making it out everyday. I’m also doing squats whenever I think about it, which means Ryan finds me awkwardly moving up and down as I brush my teeth.
Nursery: Lucille Amelia’s nursery is almost complete! We still need to hang up a few pictures, and my mom is painting my great-grandmother’s rocker…but it definitely looks like her room, and I can’t wait to share it with you in a few more weeks!
Health: We had an appointment with my OB today and all looks well. Lucille is in the 56 percentile, and my OB thinks she’ll be around 7.5 or 8 lbs if we get to 40 weeks. My blood pressure is right on track. And even though Lucy is already 5 lbs, I’ve only gained a total of 16. Here’s to hoping to a healthy and happy 6 more weeks!
Ryan: My sweet husband has been nothing but love to me. He comes home from work and showers us both with affection. He sings to Lucy, talks to Lucy, and plays with Lucy (she kicks him, he nudges her back). I can already tell they’re going to be close. She has him wrapped around her finger already. And tomorrow we celebrate 4 years of marriage. I’ve never loved him more.
So here’s to hump day and really good pizza. I hope everyone is well and warm.
Best Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (100°F to 115°F)
2 tablespoons honey
3 1/2-3 3/4 cups King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Stir together the yeast, water, honey, and 1 cup of the flour in a large mixing bowl, in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in the bucket of a bread machine. Cover the mixture and let it stand for 30 minutes; it’ll be very soupy.
Add 2 cups of the remaining flour, the vital wheat gluten, and the salt to the yeast mixture, along with the olive oil and sesame seeds. Mix and knead the dough-by hand, mixer, or bread machine-for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to make a smooth elastic dough. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for at least 2 hours, or until it’s doubled in size. At this point, you can make a traditional pizza or even a calzone. You’ll want to divide the dough into two pizzas or at least six calzones. Bake in a preheated 425 degree Fahrenheit oven.