Pizza has the unfortunate reputation of being an unhealthy choice. If you make it the right way, however, it can be a very healthy and balanced meal. Instead of using a traditional white crust, made with bleached flour that's lacking in nutrients and fiber, try making this whole grain crust recipe. Topped with tomato sauce, a little cheese and vegetables like onions and olives, it makes for a filling and delicious meal that your body and taste buds will love.
For this crust recipe, you'll need:
- 1 cup lukewarm water (110 – 115 degrees F)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
If you cannot find oat flour, you can make your own by grinding up rolled oats or quick oats in a blender or food processor. Process until the oats turn into a fine powder.
Whole flax seeds store better than ground flax seed, which tends to go rancid in just a few short weeks. For best results, purchase whole flax seed in the store, and grind it as you need it for various recipes. A coffee bean grinder works well for grinding flax seed.
- Combine ¼ cup water, the sugar and the yeast in a mixing bowl. Let it rest for 5 minutes, or until it appears foamy.
- Add the remaining water, all purpose flour, ½ cup of whole wheat flour, olive oil, sugar and salt to the bowl. Mix on medium speed with a mixer until a soft dough forms.
- Stir in the remaining whole wheat flour, the oat flour and the flax seed until a stiff dough forms.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand, or for 6 minutes in a mixer with a dough hook attachment.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, dry place for 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down, and divide it into two portions.
- Shape each portion of dough into a round ball.
- Place each dough ball on a baking sheet, and let them rest for 20 minutes before shaping them into pizza crusts and topping as desired.
Depending on what toppings you use and how thin you spread the crust, pizzas made with this crust recipe will take anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes to bake at 400 degrees F. They'll come out crispier when baked on a pizza stone, but also taste delicious when made on standard baking sheets. Talk to places like Chicago Deep Dish Pizza for more tips, or for a night out.