Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

We have pizza/movie night most Friday evenings, and I feel much less guilty about serving pizza to my family when it's made out of fresh, whole, homemade ingredients. This pizza crust is so delicious--I promise, you won't even know its whole wheat! We usually make a cheese pizza for the kids and a "Whatever Pizza" {whatever's in the fridge!} for my husband and I. This recipe is a favorite in our house, and if you try it, I'm guessing it will be in yours, too! It will make enough for two large pizzas, and even with our family of 6, we still have some left over. If you won't use two crusts, just divide the dough in half and freeze some for next time. 

Ham, vine tomatoes, and onions

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
{adapted from 100 Days of Real Food}

2 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
A pinch of honey or other sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons EVOO
6 cups whole wheat flour
{I use King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour}
Grated mozzarella cheese
Toppings of your choice

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Add the yeast to the warm water, add a pinch of honey/sugar, and allow the yeast to bloom. If it doesn't get foamy, it isn't alive. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer with a dough hook or food processor with a dough blade {or by hand}, combine the salt, EVOO, and whole wheat flour. Turn the mixer on low and gradually pour in the water/yeast mixture. Continue mixing until the dough forms a ball. There shouldn't be any flour left on the bottom, and the dough also shouldn't look too wet. If either of those occur, add more water or flour, respectively. Having made this dough using different whole wheat flours, I've realized that not all flours are created equal. This recipe will turn out perfectly using the flour mentioned above. If using a different flour, more water may need to be added to achieve the right consistency. 

Have your kids help--this is a fun one for them to participate in!
Take the dough out and kneed it into a smooth ball. The dough should be very pliable, almost rubbery, not sticking to the counter at all. Return the dough to bowl, lightly coat it in olive oil, and cover tightly with foil. No need to refrigerate it. Allow it to rise for at least a half hour or until it's doubled in size.

Once it's risen, cut the dough in half. Kneed into a ball, pat it flat, and roll it out into a round crust. Fold the dough in half, then in quarters to easily transfer it to a lightly oiled cookie sheet. I find that once you get the dough onto the cookie sheet, you can continue to gently stretch it out into the desired size. Add a few ladles of your sauce, cheese, and toppings. Cook the pizzas for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.

Black olives, green olives, onions, buffalo chicken, grape tomatoes, and yellow bell peppers

Buffalo chicken, blue cheese, caramelized onions, and red peppers

There are plenty of combinations that don't require pepperoni {have you looked at the ingredients on those things?!?!}, but you can use those, as well. I still buy them on occasion. Whatever you decide to use, have fun, and enjoy!