I’ll admit it; I am a pizza-holic. It is my favorite cheat day treat; I mean cheese and sauce and bread (and sometimes pepperoni!)…it can’t get better. I honestly have had dreams about pizza and I will wake up feeling guilty; like oh no it’s not cheat day I can’t eat pizza!! Well, now I can!
I have been working on a clean eating pizza dough recipe for about six weeks (basically the entire fitness challenge, because I knew 6 weeks without pizza may be the death of me!). The first one I tried…well, not to be rude, but it was horrible! So, I figured I can do better than that, and I did!
Now, again because it is pizza it is not really low-cal (I am topping it with cheese!), so I have been having it for Sunday night dinner. I am Italian, so we have to have a delicious Sunday night dinner, it’s in my blood! So this pizza works out as a perfect Sunday night dinner, but does not destroy my entire week of healthy eating! Making pizza at home, you are able to top it with all healthy ingredients and you use substantially less cheese than any pizza place would! (Trust me, I managed a pizza place and let me tell you, you wouldn’t believe the amount of cheese we went through in a day!)
For my toppings, I use sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, olives, and artichoke hearts, but any and all veggies will work. (Of course, you can top it with some pepperoni, I won’t tell anyone!) For cheese, I buy a part-skim whole block mozzarella and grate it myself and I also top it with a little pecorino for saltiness. Ok, on to the dough recipe!
Clean Eating Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
This makes 1 sheet pan pizza
1 cup of hot tap water
1 ½ tbsp. Honey
1 package of Yeast (I have used active-dry and pizza dough yeast, both work great)
2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 tsp. Kosher Salt
3 tsp. Vital Wheat Gluten*
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
*Vital Wheat Gluten can be found right in the baking aisle, near the yeast. This ups the gluten in the dough and gives the pizza dough its chewiness.
First, mix the hot water and honey in a small bowl until the honey is dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast in the water, mix gently, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. You are waiting for the yeast to bloom and foam up; you’re looking for lots of foam about two inches of it!
In the meantime, mix the flour, salt, and vital wheat gluten.
I do this entire dough in my Kitchen Aid Mixer with the dough hook, which makes it so easy, if you do not have a mixer, you can certainly do it by hand, and you’ll get work out!
Add the yeast and olive oil to the dry ingredients and mix. Once the dough comes together, I let the mixer run for about 5-8 minutes to really get the gluten working.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and cover with a kitchen towel. I let this rest for a couple of hours. I usually make the dough in the morning for dinner that night. I will occasionally go and punch the dough down throughout the day. I would recommend allowing the dough to rest for at least an hour, and if you do not have a long time to rest the dough, I would recommend using the pizza dough yeast, as it requires less rise time.
When you are ready to make your pizza, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
I take the dough out and knead it slightly. You will notice that it doesn’t bounce back as much as regular pizza dough. That is ok. I actually do not roll this dough. I pat it out with my hand right into a greased sheet pan. It is honestly so much easier to work with that traditional pizza dough!
Once the dough fills the pan, I top it with marinara sauce and spray the crust with a little olive oil. I bake it, with just the dough and sauce, for about 6-8 minutes. Then, take it out of the oven and top with your toppings and cheese. Bake for another 6-8, until the edges are nicely brown. And then the best part…ENJOY!!