fancy pizza

This year I have decided to give up wheat for Lent.  Please don’t click away!  I’ve always wanted to give a gluten-free diet a shot and figure with the added guilt of Lent this will be a good six-week period in which to do so.  I am going to try to make wheat-free baking awesome over the next month and a half so don’t you fear– you’ll never know the difference.

However, before I get started on that I have one more non gluten-free recipe to share with you.  Pizza!

I made this pizza last weekend and kind of had a rough idea of the toppings I wanted to try but wound up winging it based on what I had on hand.  Started with butternut squash puree as the sauce and then snipped some rosemary from the plant that I have somehow managed to keep alive since last summer.  Miracle of miracles.

I caramelized up some onions and added those and then I added a local cured meat that is in the salami family by my estimations.  Like a third cousin to it.

Cheese.  You can’t have pizza without cheese.  I had just purchased a nice hunk of Manchego so sliced that with a vegetable peeler and put that on top of the whole thing.

Then I baked it on a pre-heated pizza stone and enjoyed.

The recipe below is for the whole wheat crust but please have fun experimenting with toppings.

100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust with Olive Oil (from “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois)

Note this recipe makes enough dough for 4 pizzas.  Refrigerate unused dough in lidded container for up to 7 days.

  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon granulated yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/8 cup olive oil

Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten.

Add the liquid ingredients and mix without kneading, using a spoon, food processor, or heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle).

Cover (not airtight) and allow dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.

The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold.

Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 550 degrees F (or 500 degrees F if that’s your maximum) with a pizza stone placed near the bottom third of the oven.

Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece.  Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

On a wooden cutting board or pizza peel, flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin to produce a 1/8-inch-thick round.  Dust with flour to keep the dough from adhering to the board.  Use a dough scraper to unstick the dough as needed.  When you’re done the dough round should have enough flour under it to move easily when you shake the board or peel.

Transfer the rolled out dough to the pre-heated pizza stone and top as desired.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Allow the pizza to cool slightly on a cooling rack before serving.

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