“I Love You, Honey” Wheat Pizza Crust

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and Husband and I started a tradition last year of staying in, trying a new recipe and playing games.  Last year’s 1st V Day Unrefried-Refried Beans were SUCH a success, that I was a bit nervous we had set the bar too high. I was having trouble choosing a recipe for this year.  Not to worry, Grandma Johnson saved the day!!

This past weekend we traveled to Husband’s motherland to visit Grandma J.

Grandma J’s trademark, like any decent Grandma, is baking.  Cookies, pies, cakes, casseroles – you name it, Grandma J’s got it in the bag.  After many years of worldwide family fame, she has finally hung up the ol’ spatula.  (At 97 years old, I guess I can let it slide.) So you can imagine how humbled we were when we drove back to Kansas City with her Kitchen Aid mixer in the back seat.  I mean, this was like Ozzie Smith handing you his glove. WHICH, if you are paying attention, has been dipped in gold.  13 times.  Just sayin’…Husband and I knew whatever we made for Valentine’s Day had to incorporate the mixer. With the mixer came an instruction slash recipe book.  As I am flipping through, I see a recipe for pizza dough.  BINGO!  We LOVE pizza.  Usually we buy frozen cheese pizzas or premade dough and add our own fresh meats and veggies, but never before have we made dough from scratch. Husband suggested we make a honey wheat crust (I think my health nuttiness is rubbing off) so I reached out to my Twitter homies in search of the PERFECT recipe.  Thanks to EVERYONE who gave us suggestions!!!

We settled on Honey Wheat Pizza Dough from Budget Bytes, with a few modifications. Not only is the hint of honey delicious in this fluffy crust, it eliminates the need for white sugar.  And by replacing almost half of the white flour with whole wheat, you are getting a great dose of fiber.  And it’s delicious.  Did I say that already?

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“I Love You, Honey” Wheat Pizza Dough

 1 C. warm water

2 T. honey

1 pkt. active dry yeast (equals 2 1/4 t.)

3 T. olive oil (plus a little more to oil bowl)

1 1/4 t. salt

3/4 C. whole wheat flour (We ended up using 1 C.)

1 ½ – 2 C. all-purpose flour, divided (We  used 2 1/4 C.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if you don’t have a mixer) stir together warm water with yeast and honey. Let sit 3-5 minutes or until frothy on top.

Using hook (or paddle) attachment in mixer, stir in olive oil and salt, then whole wheat flour. Stir in 1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour until mixed in evenly. Then increase speed to medium, reducing speed to add more all-purpose flour by the tablespoon as necessary (we ended up using more flour than the recipe called for). Mix until dough is stretchy & soft but not sticking to anything. (If you do not have a mixer, stir in flour until you can no longer use a spoon, then switch to kneading on a floured surface).

Remove dough and place on lightly floured surface. Oil bowl lightly with olive oil, then replace dough and cover top lightly with more oil. Drape a towel over bowl, and let rise until doubled in size (about 45 mins).

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and shape into a round of desired size. Transfer to a pizza stone or greased pan covered in corn meal to prevent sticking, and top as desired. Bake in 425 degree oven for 16-18 minutes or until edges are golden. Makes 1 large (about 16-inch) pizza or 2 medium pizzas.

I topped my half with Trader Joe’s Lite Shredded 3 Cheese Blend, bell peppers, pineapple, olives, mushrooms, black beans, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.  Husband subbed pepperoni for the black beans.  When it came out of the oven, we sprinkled a little more cheese on top.  YUM!!!!

Thanks, Grandma J.  Once again, your superhero-like baking has saved yet another family holiday from eminent disaster. We love you!