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2 Pizza Base Recipes: Whole Wheat and Regular

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Michelle is a blogger, cook, freelance writer, and editor living in Seattle, Washington.

My whole wheat pizza base recipe with roasted garlic, mozzarella, leftover grilled chicken, basil, and some tomato

My whole wheat pizza base recipe with roasted garlic, mozzarella, leftover grilled chicken, basil, and some tomato

Pizza Base Recipe

When I say we eat a great deal of pizza around here, I do not exaggerate. We eat homemade pizza at least two or three times a week. Those who find out often take a gander at my midsection to look for all those calories—or at my hands, to see if the effort of kneading and preparing all that dough has ruined them for good. I learned a few years ago, however, to use a top-notch pizza base recipe to save myself headaches and calories, and you can, too!

A recipe for a good pizza base doesn't have to cost you blood and tears: I did all the hard work for you and decided to share it with you. (I'll expect my flowers and thank you notes any day now!)

In This Article

  • Regular pizza base recipe
  • Whole wheat pizza base recipe
  • My favorite pizza sauce recipes
  • Pizza baking tips
  • How to freeze dough for later use

Regular Pizza Base Recipe

Makes: 1 large pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bread flour (if using all-purpose flour, add 2 tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons (1 packet) yeast*
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water (just warmer than body temperature)

*Note about yeast: If using active dry yeast, mix together the yeast and warm water and allow to rest for 10 minutes, or until frothy. If using instant yeast, omit this step and combine it with the other dry ingredients.

Instructions

  1. Mix together all ingredients. Stand mixer instructions: Using the dough hook, knead on 2, or low speed, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pulls away cleanly from the bowl. Hand kneader instructions: Work with your hands and knead for about 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and light to handle. You'll feel the change!
  2. At this step, you can choose to stick your dough in the fridge for use in the next 48 hours, or in the freezer for use within 3 months (see below). In both cases, wrap it thoroughly in oiled plastic wrap first.
  3. Oil your bowl or flour a board and set aside the dough, covering it with a tea towel or oiled sheet of plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Spread your dough and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slathering with sauce and toppings.

Recommended Sauce: savory tomato basil (see below)

Whole Wheat Pizza Base Recipe

Makes: 1 large pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) yeast*
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water (just warmer than body temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
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*Note about yeast: If using active dry yeast, mix together the yeast and warm water and allow to rest for 10 minutes, or until frothy. If using instant yeast, omit this step and combine it with the other dry ingredients.

Instructions

  1. Mix together all your ingredients. Stand mixer instructions: Using the dough hook, knead for 8 to 10 minutes on 2, or low speed, until the dough pulls cleanly away from the bowl. Hand kneader instructions: Work with your hands and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and light to handle. You'll feel the change!
  2. At this step, you can choose to stick your dough in the fridge for use in the next 48 hours, or in the freezer for use within 3 months (see below). In both cases, wrap it thoroughly in oiled plastic wrap first.
  3. Set aside and cover the dough with a tea towel or oiled sheet of plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Spread your dough and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slathering on the sauce and toppings.

Recommended Sauce: sweet 'n savory tomato (see below)

My Favorite Pizza Sauce Recipes

Here are my favorite pizza sauce recipes. These are the ones we make again and again.

Savory Tomato Basil

  • 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 small Roma tomato
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or salt substitute

Mix and spread! Feel free to make up a large batch and freeze the remainder for later use.

Sweet 'n Savory Tomato

  • 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or salt substitute

Mix and spread! Feel free to make up a large batch and freeze the remainder for later use.

Pizza Baking Tips

  • Use a baking stone.
  • Spread dough on parchment paper, which helps the dough hold its shape and slide easily from the peel to the stone.
  • Use high-quality white or whole wheat flours: King Arthur and Bob's Red Mill are widely available quality brands.

How to Freeze Pizza Dough

I like to make my dough in double batches, freezing half the dough for use another night. When I've had a stressful day or my hands feel weary from writing about pizza recipes and Shakespeare, I defrost a ball of dough and go from there.

You Will Need

  • Plastic wrap
  • Some freezer space

Instructions

  1. Follow my directions for your preferred pizza base: Mix together all the ingredients and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  2. Before you let your dough rise, plop it on an oiled piece of plastic wrap. I give my plastic wrap a good spray of oil. Shape the dough into a tidy little disc and wrap up it up with the plastic wrap, thoroughly. Only the plastic wrap actually touching the dough requires oil, but you should use several layers of wrap. The goal is to (1) make sure as much of the dough surface touches the plastic as possible and to (2) prevent as much air as possible from circulating around the frozen dough.
  3. Frozen dough keeps for about three months.

Note: Two drawbacks of using frozen dough are that ice crystals can adversely affect the gluten strands and that defrosting may create a wetter dough. Combat the former issue with a generous rise-time. Combat the latter issue with a few sprinkles of flour. Use a light hand!

Get down to the serious business of enjoying that pizza!

Get down to the serious business of enjoying that pizza!

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