A pizza addict. Me. The person writing this post. The person slinging these pies and taking these photographs. I do have a problem, but do I need help? Asking for help is the first step. But I don’t want help, especially with pizza this good. And besides, I have some dough in bulk fermentation right now, I couldn’t possibly let it go to waste. Ok, one more round of pizza, I’ll write this post, then take a good long break, ok? Deal.
The Addiction means I’ve made some form of this pizza dough at least once, sometimes twice — or even thrice — a week since midsummer. One might think my desire to eat all this pizza would wane, after all, how much pizza is too much pizza? As it turns out (and as evidenced on Instagram), my upper bound on pizza consumption never really materializes. This is not because of some twisted gluttony I have for pizza, it’s just simply because it’s so good, and so dang easy.
The nighttime rote of mixing my ripe sourdough starter with flour, water, and salt — an all too common scene in my kitchen as the sun sets. The naturally leavened dough is just so easy to put together. It’s so forgiving and flexible. I mix everything in the mixer, do a short bulk fermentation on the counter, then toss it into the fridge. I take it out the next day when convenient. Then, I divide, shape, and proof the dough until it’s time to start the pizzaiolo dance in front of the fire. It’s an easy solution to lunch, dinner, or impromptu gathering at the house — the perfect food.
“Thirty percent whole grains in this dough means not only increased nutrition, but also a lot more flavor”
But pizza, in all its perfection and potential for a myriad of toppings beyond what’s conventional, also has another element that is only sometimes experimented with: the dough. I’ve talked about my sourdough pizza dough in the past, and I wanted to take that recipe and modify it to not only incorporate more whole grains for flavor, but also nutrition. I started with the modest 10% whole wheat of that recipe and slowly increased it over time. I finally settled at a point where the flavor of the dough was amplified but the aesthetic of a traditional pizza was not compromised. Thirty percent, that’s a lot of whole grains by most pizza standards — and I know you’ll enjoy the additional flavor the added whole grains bring to each bite.
With all these added whole grains I taste a hint more acidity and sourness in the crust, not enough to be overwhelming but enough to add depth and interest. This added complexity plays well with just about every topping selection I could throw on a pizza. More on all of this below, but first let’s talk about ovens.