I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for nearly a year. And finally, I was spurred into posting it because of Mother’s Day. Emma’s preschool class put together “Mommy Fact Sheets” which included the question, “What is your Mommy’s favourite food?” Emma’s answer about her mummy: pizza.
Thankfully, everyone in our family, including Emma, loves pizza and even more thankfully, I have a quick and easy pizza dough recipe that makes me actually prefer making the dough to purchasing/ordering pizza. And, to add to all this gratitude and joy, this recipe is made with whole wheat flour (mostly), and can be baked or grilled to produce outstanding results. Did I also mention you could make this by hand or with a stand mixer? And, should you get really enthusiastic, prepare the dough and refrigerate or freeze it for future use?
One of the blogs I love to read is Dinner: A Love Story. Awhile back, they talked about how broccoli makes any dinner healthy (giggle), and how the “the surest way to ring the death knell on family dinner is to cook something different for every party present“. The beauty of pizza is that everyone can have toppings/fillings that they like and it’s not more effort for the cook. How can we not be eating pizza more frequently? Love.This.
Quick Pizza and Calzone Dough
(makes 1 16″ round pizza and 4 small calzones, or whatever combination you choose to make)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1/2-3/4 cup extra for kneading
- 1 1/2 tbsp quick rise yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp dried basil (optional)
- 2 cups warm water (not more than ~125F, you’ll kill your yeast)
- 4 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp for pizza pan
- cornmeal (optional)
Toppings and fillings (bacon, mushrooms and cheese with no sauce and tomatoes on the side happens to be an Emma favourite combination, but you can use whatever you have on hand/prefer):
- 1/2-1 cup tomato passata
- 2 tbsp pesto (I use homemade, but store-bought will also do)
- 3 large mushrooms, sliced
- 3 slices uncooked bacon, chopped
- 2 cups partly skimmed mozzarella cheese, shredded
Whisk together 4 cups of the flour, yeast, salt and basil (if using) in a bowl. Add the water and olive oil and stir vigorously for a minute or two until all ingredients are combined. Then, tip on to a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 4-5 min until soft and not sticky, adding flour as it gets sticky during kneading. Put into a bowl, cover and leave in a draft free spot for 10-15 min (your dough will have doubled in size). I tend to leave my bowl inside the microwave (not on!).
See below for baking or grilling directions.
Preheat your oven to 400F. Prepare your toppings/fillings.
For pizza, lightly oil your pizza pan and sprinkle a pinch or two of cornmeal on to it. After the dough is ready, divide it in half, sprinkle it lightly with flour and stretch it to fit your pizza pan. Top with your sauces and other toppings and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
For the calzones, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. After the dough is ready, take the remaining half and then divide it into four. Stretch each into a round. You’ll have 2 per baking sheet. Add fillings to each round and fold each in half, pinching the edges closed. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
Preheat the BBQ to high for 10 min. During this time, prepare your toppings. Reduce BBQ to medium (direct heat).
Divide the dough into 2 balls and stretch to your preferred shape and thickness. Oil the side of the dough that will end up facing down on the BBQ. Place the shaped dough on to the BBQ and close the lid. Depending on the BBQ, this “baking” step will take 2-3 min. Pull the dough off of BBQ.
With the cooked side of the pizza facing up, top the pizza. Over medium indirect heat (that is, over the spot where you’ve turn a burner(s) off), put the topped pizza back on to the BBQ for another 5-7 min, until toppings are ready and the edges of your crust are lightly golden.
Pull off of the grill and serve.