For those you who don't know, I'm a FOODIE! ;) Here is a recipe with a few tips along the way I LOVE to make during the summer season. Prepare ahead of time to WOW your guests and loved ones.
American’s eat so many bready items and so much of it is made up of white flour. April is a wonderful time to recommit to your values. Affirm your love for your body by feeding yourself whole foods. Not only is it heartier, tastier and more filling, it is warming, healthier and most true to natures natural state. If you must eat flour products, eat whole grain.
One of America’s favorite foods is pizza. But it could be a whole lot healthier than it tends to be. Insist your local pizza joint start making pizza dough out of whole wheat flour, or, better yet, make your own. Making pizza dough can be therapeutic; it takes patience, warmth and stillness. You have the creative freedom to make the crust thick or thin, to put whatever toppings you like and you get to eat it fresh out of the oven. Add whole wheat or spelt flour into your dough and you have yourself a wonderfully healthy pizza crust. You can eat pizza and feel good about it afterward.
Healthy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Yield: Serves 8-10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
1 1/3 cup warm water (warmed to a point where you can just stand to keep a finger in it without burning, if it’s too hot the yeast will die)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon to coat 3 large mixing bowl
2 cups whole wheat flour, a handful for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup spelt flour or whole wheat white flour
3 Tablespoons corn flour
1) In a large mixing bowl, dissolve warm water and maple syrup, sprinkle yeast on top of water/syrup mixture. Cover and let stand for about 10 minutes.
2) Slowly add in extra virgin olive oil and a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.
3) Once dough starts to form, but is still wet, add salt. (If salt is added too soon, it will kill the yeast.)
4) Continue to stir while adding in the another cup of whole wheat flour. Once dough starts to come together and isn’t sticking to the sides as much, place the dough onto a floured hard surface. Being to knead dough, slowly adding the final 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and the cup of spelt flour. Knead for 10 straight minutes.
5) Place the dough in a ball form into a large well oiled mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a quiet warm place. Let dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
6) Once doubled in size, punch the dough down and divide into 2 balls. Place in two separate well-oiled bowls, cover with a towel and let the dough rise for another 45 minutes.
7) After 40 minutes, place your pizza stone into the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to warm.
8) While stone is warming, roll dough out into a flattened circle (or whatever form you’d like your pizza to be, thin or thick crust).
9) Remove pizza stone from oven. Sprinkle corn flour onto pizza stone. Place rolled dough onto warm pizza stone. Place whatever additional ingredients you like on your pizza. Perhaps sauce, cheese, pre-cooked veggies, etc.
10) Turn oven to broiler setting, place pizza in top shelf under boiler and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Whole Wheat -- how often do you take into consideration the grain you are eating when you eat pizza? If you eat white flour, the germ and bran are removed, which is where most of the nutrients are. If you’re going to eat flour, eat it whole. Your body will thank you in the long run.
Spelt flour adds a really nice nutty flavor to the pizza dough. Replace all of the whole wheat flour with spelt flour. Spelt flour is usually available at your closest health food store.
If you like corn, add a little corn flour into your pizza dough before kneading.
If you don’t have a pizza stone, grill it. Place the rolled pizza dough on a hot grill and turn over after 3-5 minutes. Grilling pizza is a tasty way to enjoy pizza on those nice sunny days.
Add an egg to the center of your pizza for a little added protein.
If the yeast does not become foamy as soon as you add it to the warm water and sweetener, your yeast is dead. Buy new yeast and keep it stored in the refrigerator.
Pizza can actually be pretty healthy, if you make good choices while you’re preparing it.