It Starts with the Crust

Our family loves eating pizza and we usually make it weekly. With three out of four of us not being able to eat cheese we’ve been making our pizzas homemade for years. The reason I love making pizza from scratch is you can customize it for your family.  Our daughter loves pepperoni so we top hers with some of that and mushrooms, olives, peppers or spinach. What an easy way to get whole grains, vegetables and protein into one meal. Plus you can serve it with a side of cooked veggies or cut up fruit.

My critique of a good pizza often comes back to how good the crust was. The thinner and crispier the better and nothing is better to me than Wells Brothers Pizza in my hometown (Racine, Wisconsin). The crust is thin, crispy and delicious.  Having homemade pizza with the perfect crust can be hard to come by. I have tried a lot of brands of pizza dough on the market and have found a few new obsessions worth sharing. One pre-made crust, one dough you roll at home and two recipes to start from scratch. I’ve found now that I’m at home with the kids I love making dough from scratch. The kneading is rather therapeutic mostly on days when our 2 1/2 year old is extra feisty and the rolling and assembly is a great way to get kids in the kitchen cooking with you. Plus, the end results are a win for everyone. Yum, yum, yum.

My Favorite pre-made crust: Angelic Bakehouse Flatzza-Sprouted Whole Grain Pizza Crust

These crusts are made in Cudahy, Wisconsin by Angelic Bakehouse and can be found at select Whole Foods Regions and Sprouts Farmers Markets (located in 10 states). I pick them up at the Milwaukee Whole Foods but good news for my Minneapolis friends and other American readers. You can buy them on Angelic Bakehouse’s website. I promise you will not be disappointed. They also have a Flatzza wrap that I imagine is just as delightful that I will have to check out next time I’m at Whole FoodsFlatzza Crust

  • Why I love them: They are super thin crust, come in a two pack and are made from sprouted whole grains which are higher in protein, have a lower gylcemic index and are said to be easier to digest.
  • Nutrition: 110 calories, 5g protein and 3g Fiber in 1/4 of the crust
  • Check out all the types of grains on their ingredient list: Whole sprouted grains of red wheat berries, quinoa, oat groats, rye berries, barley, amaranth, and millet, water, wheat flour, sunflower oil, vital wheat gluten, 100% domestic honey, oat fiber, cultured wheat, salt, molasses, yeast.

Favorite Pre-made Dough Choices-Whole Foods Pizza Counter or Trader Joe’s Ready to Bake Pizza Dough

  1. Whole Foods Pizza Counter
    1. Did you know you can go up to the Whole Foods Market pizza area and ask to buy some of the dough to take home? This was news to me but a great way to get a fresh homemade dough
    2. Why I love this product: Fresh choice that required no work
  2. Trader Joe’s Ready to Bake Pizza Doughpizza-dough
    1. This has always been a staple for us for grilled or baked pizzas. They have a regular, whole wheat and garlic & herb crust choice. Personally, I love the added flavors in the garlic & herb one for a classic pizza creation. The other two are great choices when it will be topped with lots of flavors.
    2. Why I love these: Whole wheat option if desired, cheap, easy to roll out and easy to find as Trader Joe’s have always been close to where I’ve lived

Favorite New Pizza Dough recipes from Seriously Delish Cookbook:

I received the Seriously Delish cookbook from Jessica Merchant’s How Sweet It Is blog for Christmas from one of my best friends. I love getting knew cookbooks and this one has been a big hit so far. Included in the book is the authors favorite pizza crust and a 100% whole wheat version of her favorite pizza crust that I have made with the help of my little sous chef and will definitely make again.

Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 3 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil in a large bowl. Mix together with a spoon and let sit until foamy (~10-15 minutes). Add 2 1/2 cups of flour and the salt, and stir with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky, Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour (you don’t need to use all if it is not needed) into the dough, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes.
  2. Rub the same bowl with a few drops of olive oil and place the dough inside, turning it over to coat. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for ~1 1/2 hours.
  3. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and remove it from the bowl. Place on a floured counter and, if it is sticky, knead a few tablespoons of flour into it until it is silky smooth.

100% Whole Wheat Version

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10-15 minutes. Add in 2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 2/3 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes.
  2. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
  3. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and remove it from the bowl. Place on a floured counter and, if it is sticky, knead a few tablespoons of flour into it until it i silky and smooth

 

 

2 replies
  1. JoAnn Selmo
    JoAnn Selmo says:

    Thanks Sina… great recommendations. I hope the Santa Monica Whole Foods have the Wisconsin dough!!! It sounds awesome.

    Another option is a half whole wheat and half all purpose flour recipe that is easy and can be rolled very thin for a crispy result. Can be found on eatingwell.com… .whole wheat pizza dough…

    Reply
    • Sina
      Sina says:

      JoAnn- great suggestion because I do find homemade whole wheat crusts can have a very powerful wheat flavor. A mix is exactly what I need. I’ll have to try that recipe this week for our pizza!

      Reply

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