Pepperoni pizza with soaked whole wheat crust

Pepperoni pizza slicePepperoni pizza has always been a favorite food, but we don’t eat it very often since we switched to a healthier diet.  For Super Bowl Sunday, I thought I would make some pizza for a treat and wanted it to be as nutritious as possible.  We don’t make bread very often, so don’t keep sourdough starter on hand.  I decided to make the pizza dough with a variation of Nourishing Traditions soaked Yeasted Buttermilk Bread.  Here’s how I made our Super Bowl pizza:

Ingredients

Dough

2 cups organic whole wheat flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup kefir or buttermilk
2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 cup unbleached organic white flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted or softened
1 package dry yeast, preferably not quick acting
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
cornmeal (for dusting the bread peel and baking pan)

Pizza sauce

8 ounces of organic tomato sauce (I used Muir Glen canned organic)
1 teaspoon organic oregano (Frontier)
1 teaspoon organic Italian herb mix (Frontier)

Combine tomato sauce and herbs.  I just mix the herbs in the can, but you can use a small bowl.

Toppings

Pepperoni (I used Applegate uncured pepperoni)
Shredded cheeses (I used mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar)
Other optional toppings

Making the pizza dough

Combine the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of kefir or buttermilk (I used homemade raw milk kefir), and butter in a food processor or bread machine.  I use a bread machine on the dough setting.  I let the machine run until the dough had formed a ball.  If necessary for the dough to form a ball, drizzle in a little more kefir as the machine mixes.  When the dough forms a ball, turn off the machine and place the dough in a bowl, cover with a towel, and place in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours.

Pepperoni pizza on peelWhen it’s almost time to make the pizza, combine the warm water, yeast, and honey in a small bowl and leave for about 5 minutes until bubbly.  Add salt and baking soda and mix well.  Put the soaked dough back in the bread machine. Add the yeast mixture and 1/4 cup of white flour.  As before, set the bread machine on the dough setting and combine until well mixed.  Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to the shape of the pan.  I used a round cast iron griddle to bake the pizza so I rolled out the dough to about a 12 to 13 inch circle.  Transfer the dough to a bread peel lightly sprinkled with corn meal.  I used the bread peel to assemble the pizza because I wanted to preheat the iron griddle.  If you are using a pizza pan or cookie sheet, just put the rolled out dough into the pan and press up the sides to form a rim.  If using a griddle, shape about a 1/2 inch high rim around the edge of the dough.

Assemble the pizza

Top the dough with the tomato sauce, pepperoni, and cheeses. After assembling the pizza, set the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover the assembled pizza with a towel and let rest for about 10 minutes while the oven heats.  If you’re using a cast iron pan, put the pan in the over to heat while the oven preheats.

Bake the pizza

Pepperoni pizza on cast iron panAfter the resting period, remove the iron pan from the oven, sprinkle with a little cornmeal, and transfer the pizza from the peel to the hot pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Enjoy!  The pizza was delicious and tasted exactly like a pepperoni pizza should!  The soaked crust is not as chewy as more typical pizza crust, but it works very well to hold the slices, and it tastes great!

This was the first time I’d made soaked pizza crust so I didn’t get too fancy with the toppings, but next time I plan to add more of my favorite toppings, like green pepper, onion, and olives.

As always, use local and organic whenever possible, and, if you have the equipment, freshly ground flour is the most nutritious.

This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday.

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