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January 18, 2007

Whole wheat flour (Recipe: easy grilled whole wheat pizza)

Wholewheatflour

I'm an every-other-decade kind of baker.

In the 1960s and again in the 1980s, I baked bread, sometimes every week. I started with a basic recipe for white bread, from the classic Beard on Bread, and slowly I branched out.

My pantry reflected that bread passion, with jars of unbleached all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, rye, semolina, oatmeal, seeds and nuts and grains from the local health food store.

Now that we're nearer to the end of the 00 decade than to the beginning, I'm feeling the urge to bake again. (Actually, I bought Dorie Greenspan's book, after reading all the glowing reports here and here and here. But Ted's run off with it. I'm not complaining; he made glorious lemon madeleines!)

This time around, I don't need to seek out a health food store; my local supermarket offers a whole range of organic and specialty flours from King Arthur Flour, Bob's Red Mill, and Kenyon's Grist Mill right here in Rhode Island.

There are two main types of whole wheat flour available to home bakers, according to another amazing book I've added to my kitchen library, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: hard whole wheat flour, labeled "traditional" or "white whole wheat;" and soft whole wheat flour, called whole wheat pastry flour. Wheat flour comes in different grinds; the more coarse the grind, the more bits of bran and germ you'll see in the flour.

A comparison of nutritional values of whole wheat and white all-purpose flours confirms that whole wheat provides a huge bonus in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. While the number of calories is the same, all-purpose flour has no sodium and less fat than whole wheat, though the amount of fat (really oil from the germ of the wheat berry) is insignificant.

That oil does cause whole wheat flour to turn rancid, which gives it a bitter taste. The solution? Store your flour in the freezer from the moment you bring it home from the store. Let the flour come to room temperature before you use it, and return the unused portion to the freezer.

This winter I'll be making whole wheat bread, muffins, scones and pizza. Time to get busy, before the 20-teen decade arrives and my urge to bake goes into hibernation for another ten years!

Easy grilled whole wheat pizza

This recipe makes 6 individual pizzas. You can freeze the dough, in individual plastic bags, and have homemade pizza any time!

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp cornmeal, coarse ground
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rapid-rise yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil

Directions

Toppings of your choice: shredded mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce (homemade or good-quality from a jar), sliced mushrooms and onions, sautéed broccoli florets, leftover roast chicken, etc.

In a food processor, pulse together the flours, cornmeal, salt and yeast. With the motor running, add the water and 2 Tbsp of oil. Continue processing for approximately 30 seconds more, until the dough forms a cohesive ball that is smooth and elastic. If it remains sticky, add another Tbsp or two of flour.

Knead the dough a few times on a floured work surface, forming it into a ball. Pour the remaining oil into a large bowl, and add the dough, turning it over until coated with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and set in a warm draft-free spot to rise until doubled (approx. 1 hr).

Lightly oil half of a 12-muffin tin (dip a paper towel in a small bowl of olive oil, and rub the inside of each muffin compartment). Punch down the dough, and divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and place each ball in the muffin tin until ready to use. (You can refrigerate at this point for up to 90 minutes before using, but bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)

TO COOK ON THE GRILL: Heat a grill to medium high. Roll each piece of dough to approximately 1/4-inch thick. The dough should be quite oily, but if it is not, brush one side with oil, and place that side down on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until bottom is lightly browned. Remove the dough from the grill. Brush the uncooked side lightly with olive oil, and turn the dough cooked side up on a plate. Sprinkle selected toppings here and there. Return dough to the grill, and cook 3-5 minutes, until bottom is lightly browned and toppings are heated through.

NOTE: You can make this pizza on the stovetop, on a cast-iron griddle pan. After you flip the dough and add toppings, cover the pan to help cook the toppings, or place the cooked pizza under the broiler for a minute if the dough has cooked but the toppings have not.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

Comments

Another use for good whole wheat flour:

Scottish Buttermilk Oat Scones

Dried currants are the special touch in these buttery scones.

Ingredients

1 C. Steel Cut Oats
1 C. buttermilk, room temp.
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. dried currants
1/4 C. unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
4 Tbs. softened butter, cut into pieces
1 Tbs. milk
Non-stick cooking spray for baking sheet
cinnamon and sugar for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the oats in a pie pan and toast them for 20 minutes stirring often to toast evenly and not burn. When slightly golden, remove. Combine with the buttermilk in a bowl and let stand for 20 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, sugar, baking powder, salt and dried currants. Reset the oven to 400 degrees and spray cooking spray on baking sheet. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into the flour until the texture is coarsely crumbled, then stir in the buttermilk mixture until combined. Flour your hands and scoop up the dough, forming it into a ball. Do not over-mix. Press the ball of dough directly onto the pan, then press directly onto the pan, then press into a 3/4" thick circle. With a sharp knife, score the surface, almost to the bottom, making eight wedges. Sprinkle a bit of sugar and cinnamon on top. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cut into wedges.

Also here: http://www.recipe4living.com/content/view/11491/162/

Caley, thank you so much for sharing the recipe, and welcome to The Perfect Pantry!

Caley, what a wonderful recipe. I love the idea of toasting the oats. Thanks for sharing it: I'll be making it as soon as I get some steel cut oats.
Guess I'll be busy in the kitchen, as I also make Lydia's pizza. Have never frozen individual little dough packets before...!

I have found that whole wheat pastry flour works well in almost everything. Well, maybe not fancy cakes when you are going for lightness, but otherwise it is great for muffins, carrot cakes and cookies.

I've frozen uncooked pizza dough in balls and it worked well. I used small food containers and made sure that there was enough olive oil with each pizza ball so that it did not stick when I defrosted it.

Marcia, I learned the secret of freezing individual pizza doughs from Mary (see comment above) -- it really works well, and it's always a treat to find ready-to-go dough in your freezer when you think you have nothing in the house!

Lydia,
You'll be making some delicious things, aren't you?

I really liked the tip on storing the flour. Very useful.

Those Nicole's muffins have been tempting me ever since she posted them. Yummy!

You need to get that Dorie Greenspan book back! It's worth it's weight in gold I tell you!

Lydia, great tips! So I've decided 2007 is the year I will recover from the brick bread of my teen years and bake real bread! Stay on my case about this.

funny Lydia, I had this package of flour in my hands yesterday in the store. I should have got it to try this recipe of yours, had I known!

Patricia, the muffins are wonderful. For me, 2007 is going to be the year of the muffin!

Brilynn, I'm hot on the trail of the book! But then, last night, my husband made the most wonderful sables....so perhaps I'll let him hang on to it for just a while longer.

Catherine, please stay on my case, too. I do love baking bread (and I don't even mind the kneading....), so it's just a matter of getting in the habit again.

Bea, I'm still amazed that I can find these great products out here in the boondocks. I do miss all of the wonderful markets in Boston.

I love baking with whole wheat flour. Not only do I make stuff for us humans to eat, my dog's favorite homemade biscuits are made with it!

I do dig working with Whole Wheat Flour...just takes forevah to rise!

Ari, please share your recipe, for all the dog lovers out there in Pantry Land!

Jeff, I know what you mean. But it's worth the wait, eh?

Caley, The scones are divine! Thank you for the recipe. An added bonus is a kitchen that is fragrant with toasted oats.
The dough was very moist. I ended up putting it in a scone pan, rather than shaping. Perhaps I hada different quality of steel cut oats? or thinner buttermilk?
oh, I know, I'll go to your website and ask.

I own neither a grill nor a cast-iron pan :( Lydia, will this work as well on a baking sheet in the oven?

Nupur, this will definitely work on a baking sheet in the oven. And given the cold weather in your part of the country, it's probably a much more practical way to make this pizza!

Hi,
This is chataniya.I have gone through the information in your website, its thoroughly
splendid. Here is a which is minute relevant to yours. Hope it will be valuable for you.
pastry chefs

Chataniya, thank you, and welcome to The Perfect Pantry. Hope you'll visit again.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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