Monday, April 16, 2012


This is Mark Bittman's recipe for healthy pizza dough. You use two cups whole wheat flour and one cup all purpose flour. You add 1/2 tsp. of instant yeast and a tsp. of salt. That's it. No mixing or kneading. It needs to sit in a warm place for 8-14 hours to ferment and it's ready to go. It takes 5 minutes in the morning and it will be ready for dinner. It freezes well too. We made this dough as part of the Food Matters Project and most everyone called it a winner. I loved it. We cooked the dough in a cast iron skillet over the BBQ but the oven works well too.


(makes 1 large or 2 small pizzas / 8-14 hours, almost entirely unattended)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing

1. Combine the flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water (I used warm water and also added in 1 tbsp olive oil). The dough should be relatively sticky and wet, like biscuit batter. If not, add a little more water.

2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover, and put it in a warm spot. Let the dough sit for at least 6 or up to 12 hours. (The longer it ferments, the more complex the flavor.)

3. When you’re ready, heat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone put it in the oven at the same time so it can preheat as well. If not, generously oil a baking sheet or large ovenproof skillet. Dust your hands with a little white flour and fold the dough over in the bowl a few times. It will be sticky, but resist the urge to use too much flour; dust your hands again only when absolutely necessary and use a light, gentle touch. If you’re making small pizzas, divide the dough in half or quarters. Gently press the dough into the skillet or onto the baking sheet; it’s not important that the pizzas be perfectly round, but you do want to be careful not to tear the dough. Note that pizza dough freezes really well; after dividing it, just wrap it tightly and use it within a couple of months.

4. Brush or drizzle the top of the pizza or pizzas with 2 tablespoons oil, cover, and let sit while you get your toppings together, but no more than 60 minutes or so.

5. Top with your favorite Food Matters Way Toppings (see below) and cook for 8-12 minutes.
Crunchy No-Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Substitute 1/2 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind) for 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour.
Herbed No-Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: This works of the main recipe or the variation above. Add 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, or tarragon, or 1 tsp dried, to the dry ingredients at the beginning of Step 1.

Topping Pizza, the Food Matters Way
Go easy: Overloading your pizza makes the crust doughy and often underdone.
-All-Purpose Tomato Sauce
-Herb Pesto
-Cooked Mushrooms
-Caramelized onions with fresh thyme or rosemary
-Roasted garlic
-Sun-dried Tomatoes, soaked in hot water and drained
-Chopped, pitted oil-packed black olives
-Chopped marinated artichoke hearts or baby artichokes
-Spoonful of capers
-Chopped anchovies or sardines
-Sliced fresh tomatoes
-Thinly sliced fennel
-Parboiled broccoli, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts, drained
-Sautéed spinach, chard, or kale
-Sliced cooked waxy potatoes or sweet potatoes
-Grilled or broiled eggplant or zucchini
-Lightly mashed beans: black beans with chopped chipotle chiles or salsa, white beans with walnut oil and lemon juice, chickpeas with tahini…
-Smear of fresh ricotta or creme fraiche
-Crumbled goat cheese
-Sliced Fresh Mozzarella

Ingredients to Put On After Baking
-A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, flavored olive oil, nut oil, or sesame oil
-Chopped fresh basil, mint, or cilantro
-Shaved Parmesan, grated ricotta salata, or crumbled feta
-Freshly ground black pepper
-Baby spinach, arugula, or macho, tossed with a little olive oil
-Sliced hard-boiled eggs (or raw eggs, broken over the pizza and broiled for the last 2 minutes of baking time)
-Toasted pinenuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, sesame seeds…
Recipe by Mark Bittman

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