Whole wheat pizza crust loaded with fresh vegetables and cheese makes for a satisfying snack or meal anytime of year. Pizza is a comfort food in the winter, but isn’t too heavy for a summer appetizer or meal shared with salad. I’ve been making this particular crust for over ten years and it is always a favorite of friends and family. If you don’t want small pizza, just cut the dough in two for medium sized pizzas. This simple combination of Squash, Zucchini and Bok Choy is lovely on the palate, but you can substitute any vegetables or meats you desire. (If you do add meat be sure it is pre-cooked.)
“ME” indicates a healthier Mindful Eating option.
Yield: About 24 small pizzas
3/4 oz. Yeast
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
3 Cups White Whole Wheat Four*
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Coarse Ground Cornmeal to sprinkle on the baking pan
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil to brush onto Dough
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Freshly Ground Sea Salt
Sprinkle of Dried Calendula on each pizza (optional)**
1 Jar Marinara Sauce or Pizza Sauce
1 Yellow Summer Squash, cut into thin strips
2-3 Baby Green Zucchini, cut into thin rounds
1 Small Bunch Bok Choy, coarsely chopped
3 Cups any Italian Cheese, shredded
*White Whole Wheat Flour is not a processed flour. It is flour made from a softer Red Winter Wheat which has a lighter flavor and texture that makes it ideal for baking and cooking.
**You can substitute other fresh or dried herbs of choice. Calendula is a variety of Marigold, but is not the common annual Marigold often grown in gardens. You’ll have to seek out this variety specifically if you want to grow your own, or you can purchase dried petals online. Calendula Salt is heavenly on food and can be made by combining 5 Tbsp of Sea Salt to 1 Tbsp dried Calendula Petals. Store in a small mason jar in a cool, dry cabinet.
1. In a small bowl with a fork combine Yeast, Sugar and 1/2 the Warm Water. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes until mixture begins to foam.
2. In a large bowl whisk together Whole Wheat Flour, All Purpose Flour and Salt. When Yeast mixture is foamy, pour it into the Flour mixture and add 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Mix with a fork to combine all ingredients. Use your hands as needed to complete mixing of the ingredients. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 of Warm Water to bring ingredients together to create an even and elastic dough. Note: you don’t want the dough to be too sticky or wet so add the water a little at a time.
3. When the dough is a good, even consistency, lightly dust it with flour and let it rest in the large bowl (which should be at least double the size of your original dough ball). Cover the bowl with a towel and set it aside in a warm place (I usually let mine rest in the microwave) to proof for about 2 hours.
4. After 2 hours, remove the dough from its bowl and place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
5. Knead dough for a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into two manageable sized balls and roll it out with a rolling pin (or press it out with your hands).
6. Use a large biscuit cutter (3″) or the mouth of a glass to cut even circles out of the dough for small pizzas.
7. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil or use pizza baking stones. Sprinkle pans with an even layer of Coarse Ground Cornmeal (this keeps your pizzas from sticking and gives them a great texture). Place dough rounds onto pans, giving them a little room to bake.
8. Brush Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto crusts. Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper and Calendula to taste.
9. Spread about 1 tablespoon of Tomato Sauce onto each crust. Add Summer Squash, Zucchini and Bok Choy to each pizza. Sprinkle the top of each pizza with a layer of Italian Cheese.
10. Place pizzas in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until edges of crust and top of cheese is browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm. Enjoy!