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100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Makes four 8-inch pizzas, serving 8

I love to make my own pizza dough, especially because I can control the ingredients. In my search for the healthiest, easiest and most delicious dough I could find, I came across a recipe from Wolfgang Puck that only uses whole wheat flour and, surprisingly, much less salt than most breads. I tried it and it is the best of the best. I really have not changed the recipe except to add my own comments to make it a little easier for the novice to understand. If you do not have a food processor, the dough can be mixed and kneaded by hand or in a heavy-duty mixer with a dough hook, following the manufacturer's instructions for bread dough. You can make large or small pizzas as desired. Just separate the dough into two large or smaller portions as needed. This is easy, simple and basic, but makes a delicious and nutritious pizza crust that can be used with any toppings.

Ingredients

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the honey and let set for 5 minutes, until foamy. (If the mixture does not foam, the yeast is dead. You will need to start over with new yeast.) Put the flour in a food processor. Add the olive oil and salt to the cool water in the measuring cup and mix. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil mixture, then the yeast mixture, through the feed tube. Process until the dough forms a ball on the blade.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, then a towel. Place in a relatively warm, draft-free spot and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions (or desired sizes) and roll them into tight balls. Place on a tray, cover with a damp towel and let rest for several hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.

The best way to bake a thin crust pizza is on a pizza stone. If you have one, place it in the oven and preheat to 475° F. To form the crusts, roll or stretch each ball of dough into a 7 to 8-inch circle. Place on a pizza peel, one at a time. Top with your favorite pizza toppings, being careful not to overload it. Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake until nicely browned, about 12 minutes. Continue with the remaining dough. (If you do not have a pizza stone, you will get a similar effect by using an upside-down baking sheet that is preheated in the same manner.)

Notes: If you prefer a lighter wheat flavor, substitute white whole wheat flour, which is as nutritious as the regular whole wheat. You can use this dough following the instructions for any of your favorite pizza recipes. Do not stress over forming perfect circles with the dough. Irregular shapes are just as good and look homemade, which is a good thing.