- Mozzarella cheese
- Homemade pizza sauce
- Homemade pizza dough
The veggies on this pizza all were fresh from our CSA – The Good Food Collective.
What flour is best when making pizza dough? This is a question I often get asked so I decided do an experiment and make three pizzas using three different types and combinations of flour: white, whole wheat, and spelt. Before we get to the results, I’ve detail the three types of flour used and provide their nutritional information below.
1. White flour is highly processed. The bran and the germ, which contain most of the nutrients, are removed during processing. I use Wegmans All Purpose Enriched, Unbleached, Unbromated Flour. While enriched white flour is restored with some nutrients (fiber, protein, and vitamin B), it is not as healthy as wheat flour. I don’t recommend consuming anything that is bleached and since some argue that potassium bromate is carcinogenic to humans, I recommend purchasing unbromated flour. In short, white flour is the least expensive flour, but also the least healthy.
2. Whole wheat flour includes the entire grain. You will notice that the red whole grain leads to more texture and a brownish color. For this experiment I used King Arthur Unbleached Whole Wheat Organic Flour. Most people looking to make a healthier pizza tend to use a combination of wheat and white flour. From my experience, the 100% whole-wheat store bought dough and whole wheat pizzas from local pizzerias taste dry and bland.
3. Spelt flour is a species of wheat with yellow-brown color and higher fiber content than white flour. Spelt four is marketed as having a “nutty” flavor. Some individuals that employ alternative medicine include spelt in their diet for treating bowel disease and allergies. However, a study from the American Institute of Baking and Colorado State University suggests that the superior nutritional claims about spelt wheat may be unfounded. I use Arrowhead Mills Organic Spelt Flower.
|Amount Per Serving|
Pizza Dough Experiement Results
I evaluated the dough at 5 different stages: mixing, proofing, after rolling, after pre-baking and the final product. Each dough was pre-baked for 4 minutes, topped, and then baked for an additional 7 minutes at 500 degrees on a pizza stone.
Pizza 1: White 50%, Wheat 50%
1. Mixing: added 1.5 tablespoons of water
2. Proofing: very similar to the wheat/spelt
3. Rolled out: not as nicely as the wheat/spelt , but not as much as white/spelt
4. After pre-bake: fluffier
5. End product: edges browned the fastest, it was softer and not as firm
Rating: 3 slices (okay)
Pizza 2: White 50%, Spelt 50%
1. Mixing: a little sticky
2. Proofing: got soft and fluffy quickly
3. Rolled out: didn’t keep its shape as easily and took some elbow grease to roll
4. After pre-bake: a little soft with some air bubbles
5. End product: light, crispy, and firm
Rating : 4 slices (delicious)
Pizza 3: Wheat 50%, Spelt 50%
1. Mixing: too dry, I need to add 1 tablespoon water
2. Proofing: didn’t rise as much as the other two
3. Rolled out: easy, like cookie dough
4. After pre-bake: underside more crispy
5. End product: the edge of this pizza is browner, but not because of heat. This pizza was not as crunchy, but it was still firm. This was the most bland crust of the three. In fact, the pizza was so dry that it gave my husband the hiccups.
Rating: 2 slices (tasted like cardboard)
Making pizza dough from scratch is easier than most think, but knowing what combination of flour to use can be tricky. This experiment taught me a few things. First, as much I’d like a healthy crust, you need to use white flour. Second, whole-wheat flour is easier to work with, but it doesn’t have the texture or flavor of spelt flour. Finally, my original 50% white, 50% spelt combination is the combination I enjoy most, but I imagine that it’s a personal choice so I look forward to hearing from you about the combination of flour you use to make thin crust pizza.
I created over 52 unique pizzas for the second consecutive year in 2011. Choosing my favorite pizza is liking choosing my favorite shoes, I love them all. Here’s what I came up with, but I’d love to hear from you about the pizza that made your mouth water the most.
10. Grilled Chicken, Asparagus and Feta Pizza
I created a number of tasty pizzas on our grill this summer, but the freshly grilled toppings and feta cheese over a crispy crust pushed this one into the top 10 of the year.
9. Fulmer Pie Pizza
The flavors from the kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, sliced jalapenos and yellow peppers jumped off this pizza. The Fulmer Pie has a special place on my list because it is when my Uncle Al taught me how to make homemade sauce.
8. Potato Skin Pizza
If you love potato skins, but don’t want all the grease that you get at Applebees then you will love this pizza.
7. Toasted Ravioli Pizza
The guilty pleasure pizza of the year: fried carbs with cheese on baked carbs with cheese. This is what I would make if Paula Deen came over for pizza.
6. Thanksgiving Day Pizza
My special occasion pizza of the year that I am certain will become an annual tradition. There’s no better way to use leftovers.
5. Kimchi Pizza
I love the process behind creating unique pizzas, but it’s not often I get to collaborate in the kitchen. This summer I got to team up with my Uncle Al and share his passion for good food in the creation of our Korean inspired Pizza.
4. Chimichanga Pizza
My Chicken Fajita Pizza made the Top 10 List from 2010, but my Chimichanga Pizza is my new Mexican favorite! UPDATE: this pizza was selected by Slice – the top pizza blog – as one of their My Pie Monday: The Wackiest Pies of 2011.
3. Hawaiian Pizza
I love pineapple but avoided Hawaiian Pizza my entire life until this summer. I was so surprised by how good this pizza was and even more surprised that a pizza with grilled pineapple made my Top 10 list for the year!
2. Sun Dried Tomato, Corn, and Brie Pizza
This vegetarian pizza wins the prize for having the most fresh ingredients and any pizza with brie is a delicious pizza!
1. Apple Bacon Caramelized Onion Pizza
Any pizza with turkey bacon and cheddar cheese is going to be good. Add caramelized onions and apple and you get my favorite pizza of 2011.
In what can now be considered an annual tradition, I prepared a special pizza to celebrate Imagine RIT: Innovation & Creativity Festival, which will be held on the RIT Campus tomorrow between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Andrew and his student’s Lauren and Ashley are doing some final planning for the event this evening so I got busy preparing them a pizza. I started by slicing red, yellow and orange peppers. My experience making this pizza last year taught me to slice the bell peppers with the logo in mind so it is easier to form. After pre-baking the dough I spread on minced garlic and olive oil, sprinkled on mozzarella cheese and then began the artistic part of making the Imagine RIT logo with the peppers. I was very careful when slicing the peppers and the logo was much more manageable this time around. After I was satisfied with the image Ibaked the pizza for about ten minutes and hit the road to RIT. I hope Andrew, Lauren and Ashley enjoy my Imagine RIT pizza and I hope to see you all at the festival tomorrow!
It has almost been one year since I began my 52 Pizzas Project. I never imagined that when I blogged about my first pizza in January that I would exceed my goal of creating a new pizza recipe each week in 2010. Instead, I created my fifty-second pizza in September and kept on going. My current project is off to a great start; I’ve selected eight cities, found out what food each city is famous for and turned those dishes into unique pizzas. As the year comes to an end I thought I would share with you my ten favorite pizzas from 2010. In no particular order…
Macaroni and Cheese Pizza Recipe 2/14/10
This was the pizza that stretched my thinking about trying pretty much anything on a pizza. I was completely opposed to the idea when Andrew requested it, but it turned out to be incredibly delicious and remains one of my favorites.
Kelly’s Pizza Recipe 2/27/10
The sun-dried tomato pesto sauce on this pizza hooked me on using sun-driedtomatoes in many of my other pizza recipes. I loved the sauce along with the cheese, prosciutto and spinach and I really loved that my in-laws enjoyed my pizza as well!
The Quagliata Pizza Recipe 3/27/10
This pizza was the most flavorful and unique pizzas I have made and the one I use as a comparison for all others. It also happens to be one of the most visited pages on this blog. The flavors of the brie, kalamata olives and capicola married perfectly together.
Deep Dish Pizza Recipe 4/17/10
Most of my pizzas used the same dough recipe so creating dough for the deep dish was a fun challenge. I also tried a few new ingredients that all tasted amazing together. Maybe I’ll make this one again when I get to Chicago for my current project!
Pesto Pizza Recipe 6/4/10
Pesto has been one of my favorite flavors for as long as I can remember. My mother usually put it on pasta, but putting it on pizza combines my two favorites foods. Heaven.
BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe 7/11/10
The sweetness of the BBQ sauce and the red onion complimented each other beautifully. This is an ideal summer pizza.
Chicken Fajita Pizza Recipe 7/29/10
This is the pizza I make for guests most often when I make multiple pizzas and as a result is the pizza I have made more times than any other. The flavors of the marinated chicken, the salsa/marinara mixture and the cheddar cheese together are so gratifying.
Pulled Pork Pizza Recipe 8/7/10
Using my mom’s pulled pork recipe and my Uncle Al’s BBQ sauce recipe I made the most delicious pulled pork pizza. At times I struggle when choosing the cheese to go on a pizza, but the Colby Jack cheese was definitely the right accompaniment to the tender and juicy pork.
Grilled Sun-Dried Tomato, Olive and Asiago Pizza Recipe 9/5/10
The rumors are true, grilled pizza is awesome! The grill gives the dough a light, smoky flavor. And the tastes of the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and Asiago cheese were the perfect tastes for summertime. This is my most favorite vegetarian pizza.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe 11/14/10
This mouthwatering pizza had just the right amount of Buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese dressing and chicken. I would watch a whole lot more football if I could eat this every game!
As Susanne’s husband, I am often asked about which of her pizza creations is my favorite. It’s difficult to select just one, so while she prepares her top 10 list for 2010, I thought I would share five of my favorites. – Andrew
#8 Macaroni and Cheese Pizza Recipe 2/14/10
I love Susanne’s pizza and I love her mac and cheese. It only took until Valentine’s Day for her to give in and create this carb heavy recipe.
#14: The Quagliata Pizza Recipe 3/27/10
Brie is one of my favorite cheeses; I could eat an entire block in one sitting. Combining Brie with kalamata olives and capicola was brilliant.
#24: Moe’s Pizza Recipe 5/26/10
Susanne uses a tasty salsa and marinara mixture on every Mexican-inspired pizza that she creates. Using left-overs from Moe’s Southwest Grill, most notably their queso dip, this one was a winner!
#41: Pulled Pork Pizza Recipe 8/7/10
Inspired by Susanne’s mom’s pulled pork recipe and her Uncle Al’s BBQ sauce recipe, this pizza is one that I hope Susanne will create again in 2011.
#46: Grilled Potato Leek Pizza Recipe 8/22/10
If you told me this would be one of my favorite pizzas at the start of this project I probably would have laughed. But, after our participation in the Good Food Collective, I have come to appreciate so many more vegetables on my pizzas. The potatoes and leeks with Fontina and mozzarella cheeses on a crust prepared on our barbeque grill was delicious.