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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whole Wheat Pizza

Also experimental baguettes and dinner rolls.

I've regularly made pizzas using Peter Reinhart's Whole Wheat Pizza dough recipe. This time, I tried some new things:
1. I used a recently refreshed mother starter instead of a biga.
2. PR's suggests making 5 small pizzas, but I usually make 4 slightly bigger pizzas, two on the same day and then I freeze the remaining two dough balls for pizza later in the week. This time, I used the second half of the dough to try to make baguettes and dinner rolls.

This dough has a normal soaker with whole wheat flour (fine grind), salt and water. The final dough contains, the soaker, biga or wild yeast starter, salt, instant yeast, optional sweetener and olive oil.

This was the first time I let the dough rise on the Silpat sheet instead of a container. It made it harder to judge a 1.5 increase in volume, so I did the wet finger ½ inch poke test.

Wet finger poke test after the first rise. If the hole doesn't fill
or the dough sighs, it is ready for the next stage

Because it wasn't yet time for dinner (and I didn't see any harm),
I let the dough rise again
Notice the bumps in the surface due to accumulated gas bubbles

One quarter dough (225 g) each for two pizza doughs on the left
and 1/8 pieces for baguettes and dinner rolls

Baguettes and dinner rolls
Baguettes are amongst the most difficult bread shapes. It doesn't make it any easier with whole wheat dough that is not as stretchy as white flour dough. One has to be very careful to keep as much of the gas trapped within as possible. This means minimum handling. I kept that in mind and didn't play too much trying to get them to look like baguettes. I used parchment paper as a makeshift couche to help the baguettes rise with the right shape. The dinner rolls are much easier to shape. Baguettes baked at 350°F in a steamed oven for a total of 30 minutes, with a pan rotation after 15 minutes.

Baguettes and dinner rolls proofing

Proofed and slashed (not very well) and ready for the steamed oven

Out of the oven. The slashes were lost because they weren't well made.
Registered a good 205° F when I got them out

Cross section. We had the dinner rolls with broccoli-cheddar soup for lunch

This was the first time I used the Silpat to roll the dough. It's nonstick, so the idea was that the dough would be easier to roll. But PR suggest a very well floured surface and hands when preparing the crust. I am not good at hand stretching the dough. Earlier I would simply roll it out with a rolling pin. Now, I do a little of both, rolling pin and hand stretching. Hopefully some day I will be able to do it all by hand stretching and maybe even be able to toss the dough!

Proofed pizza dough ready to roll out

Rolled out with a mix of using the rolling pin and hand stretching

Pizza toppings
We love our veggie pizza loaded, with lots of pizza sauce and toppings. Trader Joe's pizza sauce is the best I have used so far. Pepper Jack cheese is the cheese of choice, because it melts well and is spicy. Usual toppings are sauteed onions, mushrooms, red bell peppers, sliced olives and spinach. I've used soy crumbles and baked tofu, but didn't care much for them. I sometimes sprinkle the dough with ground flaxseeds and/or crushed pepper flakes before putting on the pizza sauce.

Pizza toppings: Partially caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms,
red bell peppers, Trader Joe's pizza sauce and grated pepper Jack cheese

Loaded pizza

I usually bake the pizza at 450° F for 10 minutes on the middle rack and then 3 more minutes on the lower rack.

Out of the oven. The half with less cheese is for those of us
who have to watch their calories

Two pizzas: One for dinner that night and the second for lunch the next day

Date: Jan 9, 2011
Recipe: PR's Whole Wheat Pizza

Flours: Whole wheat (fine grind, except for starter)
Bread specific ingredients: Olive oil
Sweetener used: Agave nectar (used half the recommended optional quantity)
Liquid for soaker: Water

First rise time: 105 minutes (using 1/3 the specified yeast)
Second rise time: 60 minutes 
Proofing time: Baguettes: 60 minutes, Pizza dough: 80 minutes after 30 minutes refrigeration (in order to bake baguettes first)
Comments:  Used recently refreshed mother starter instead of biga. Used only ½ tsp instant yeast in final dough (instead of 1 ½ t) to slow the rise. Baguette shaping is going to need more practice. Also need to learn to slash the dough better. Did a better job hand stretching the pizza dough than previous attempts. Dough was stuck to pizza pan (first pizza), so had to put it back for another 3 minutes on the lower rack. Second pizza got a nice bump during the baking (see right side of lower pizza in picture above). Pizzas tasted good. Baguettes and dinner rolls tasted like the whole wheat bread I normally bake.


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