The first time I made pizza from scratch including the crust was a long time back. In those halcyon college days when everything seemed adventurous and lack of ingredients or the long process involved did not faze me or my cousin who used to hang out with me and who joined me in my kitchen adventures.The first step in making the pizza involved a trip to various stores around our block armed with a long list of ingredients that included basics such as all purpose flour, yeast and marinara sauce, since all of these items were completely absent from my pantry in those days. My oven at that time was a tiny space ship shaped portable oven that had a small circular glass on the top that we would keep looking into to see how the baking was proceeding. Maybe it was beginners luck or maybe it was because we followed the recipe to the letter but our first attempt at pizza itself was a wonderful success.We thoroughly enjoyed both making and having it :-)
After that one time of making pizza from scratch, pizza has always meant either dine in or to go. For some time now I have been wanting to make whole wheat pizza and have been looking around for recipes to try. I used the recipes I found here as my reference to make this pizza. I was apprehensive that using whole wheat flour entirely for the crust would somehow ruin the taste and fun of having pizza, but it was not that way at all. I divided this dough into three parts and made three different types of crust, one very thin crust which tasted very crunchy and yum. The second and third I made more like pan pizza which worked out perfectly, it was crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.I also added Italian seasoning to add some more flavor to the crust. I could have done so much more but did not want to stray too far from the basic recipe since our dinner depended on it :-) So this time I stuck to basic outline, the next time I may be far more adventurous.It looks a little rustic but that probably is because of the way I rolled it out,but the taste was pretty good and we did not miss all purpose flour in this at all...
Ready to enter the oven.....
Ready to be enjoyed.......
For the crust.
3 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 tsp salt.
1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)
For the toppings
Marinara sauce as required
1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional)
If using red chilli powder mix it with marinara sauce and keep aside
choice of toppings (about 1 cup per pizza)
(I used sliced yellow onions, thinly sliced green bell pepper, thinly sliced mushrooms, jalapenos cut fine )
Cheese as per choice
For cheese I tried a new type of grated cheese available in the grocery called pizza blend cheese which was a mixture of mozarella and cheddar.
Dissolve yeast in warm water and keep aside for 5 to 10 minutes until slightly frothy.
In a large bowl mix together whole wheat flour, sugar, salt and Italian seasoning.
Add water with yeast and olive oil to the flour mixture and knead. Knead for a few minutes, apply a tsp of olive oil to it and keep aside in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
( I placed it in my oven with the oven light on so that it would provide some warmth)
After the dough doubles, flatten it a little and divide into two or three balls.
Let the divided dough rise again for about an hour.
Pre heat oven to 425 deg F.
Roll one of the balls of dough into a thin crust or regular crust.If you are adventurous you could try tossing the dough to stretch it or use your fists to stretch and shape the dough too, I just rolled it out normally this time :-)
For thin crust top with marinara sauce and all other toppings of choice and cheese
Bake in the oven for about 16 to 20 mins depending on thickness until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted and slightly golden on the top.
For a thicker pizza crust, before adding the marinara sauce bake the crust in the oven for about 5 mins, remove add marinara sauce and toppings of choice and cheese and bake for about 15 mins until crust is crisp and the cheese is melted and golden on top.
Enjoy hot. If not using all the dough refrigerate the balance dough for a day or two and remove and use as required.
Yielded 3 very thin crusts of about 12 inches or regular crust size of about 8 inches