Pizza is one of my favorite fun foods to make. When my kids were in high school in a small rural Alaskan town, one of the other Moms and I would get together weekly to make Friday night pizza. We both contributed our specialty – she made the sauce, I made the crust.
Five years ago I discovered a special yeast just for pizza crust. It is formulated to make pizza dough easier to stretch out without the typical dough pullback. I had fantastic results with this yeast with both special pizza flour and all-purpose organic flour. Pizza crusts with the sprouted grain flours were good, but not as pliable and they did not have the same oven spring as conventional flours.
So I started experimenting. What I’ve learned with the sprouted grains, they need more time to hydrate, and they need more time to develop the gluten structure. So I did three things to make an amazing pizza crust from sprouted grain flour:
- Increase the kneading time – five minutes with the dough hook and five minutes kneading by hand.
- Increase the time to hydrate the flour by having the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight.
- Add a small amount of diastatic malt powder – the enzymes break down starches and protein making the dough softer with a better rise.
Adding these steps created the results I wanted in a pizza crust.
- 1 cup sprouted grain hard red wheat berries milled on fine.
- 1 cup all-purpose organic flour (with 1/4 cup extra if needed).
- 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten.
- 1/4 tsp diastatic malt powder
- 1 package pizza yeast
- 1 tbs ultima frontiera spice
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 tsp salt
Make the dough the day before you want to make pizza. (You can also freeze the dough balls and thaw them out before you need to use them).
Mix all the dry ingredients – except for the salt. Add in the water. Mix to form a ball – either by hand or with a dough hook on a stand mixer. Mix in the salt.
Knead with the dough hook for five minutes.- if the dough is sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Let the dough rest for five minutes. Knead another five minutes by hand. Dust with flour if the dough is sticky. As you are kneading the dough, the gluten structure will make it less sticky.
This makes about 760 square inches of pizza crust – that is two, 11 inch pizzas, three 9 inch pizzas, or six 6 inch pizzas. Split the dough into equal portions based on the size pizzas you are making. Form them into balls. Put into a covered container and put in the refrigerator. You can also save the dough balls in the freezer and thaw them out before you want to make pizza.
After at least 12 hours of resting in the refrigerator, take the dough out of the refrigerator two hours before you are to make your pizzas.
Form the pizza dough balls into their respective size. You can use the standard dough toss, stretch it into shape or use a rolling pin.
When putting toppings on the dough – leave about 1/3 of an inch space to the crust. This allows the outside of the dough to rise making a nice rim on the pie.
Put the shaped pizza dough on a pizza pan with olive oil or a pizza peel with corn meal.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, put it on the lowest rack.
Pizza sauce – 1 cup Pom Tomato Sauce, two cloves crushed garlic, 2 tbs ultima frontiera spice blend, 1/4 tsp anchovy paste
- Cover with 1/3 cup of Pizza Sauce for a 9 inch pie
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese over the sauce.
- Cover with small pepperoni slices.
- Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Sprinkle ultima frontiera spice blend over the cheese
- Top with more sliced pepperoni.
- Put either pizza pan on the lower rack or slide the pizza from the pizza peel onto the pizza stone.
- Cook for five minutes.
- Rotate pizza
- Turn heat down to 400
- Cook for another five minutes
- Check the bottom – if the bottom is brown and the cheese has started to turn brown on the top, it’s done. If not, cook for several more minutes.
Take out and let rest for five minutes before cutting.