Whole Wheat and Flax Pizza Crust with Veggie Sauce
Yields: 2 medium pizzas or 4 smaller pizzas Prep Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 2 hours
A great alternative to takeout, this pizza not only has omega 3 (think good fats) rich flax seeds and whole wheat pastry flour in the crust, but the sauce is rich in vitamin C from the tomatoes and spinach.
For the dough:
3/4 cup lukewarm water (around 100 degrees F)
2 teaspoons cane sugar
active dry yeast
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus a little extra for oiling the dough and bowl)
2 cups tomatoes, pureed (I used plain jarred chopped tomatoes)
1/4 cup frozen spinach
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt (if tomatoes have no added salt)
*(or you can just use your favorite marinara sauce with or without the spinach)
Your choice of cheese and toppings
1. Mix yeast, water and sugar in a bowl, and let sit about 5 minutes, or until yeast is bubbly. Add olive oil to yeast mixture.
2. In a separate bowl, combine whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached white flour, flax seeds, and salt. Slowly incorporate (pour in) yeast and water mixture. Knead for about 5 minutes. If dough is sticky, add additional flour (white or wheat) 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. When the kneading is complete, coat bowl and ball of dough lightly with olive oil. Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with a towel, and let sit in a warm place for an hour to let rise.
4. After an hour, knead dough another 1-3 minutes, return to bowl and let rise an additional 30 minutes.
5. Dough is then ready to roll out and oven can be preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Lightly flour space for rolling, and roll out dough to desired thickness (anywhere from 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 an inch). Thinner crust doesn’t require precooking, whereas thicker dough may need 4 – 8 minutes in a 425 degree oven to crisp prior to ingredients being added.
7. For the sauce, a hand blender works well to puree all ingredients. Or you can pulse in a food processor for a few seconds or so, as shown below. I did strain the chopped tomatoes a bit first to allow some of the extra liquid to drain out to not make a soggy pizza. It just depends on your tomatoes. If you are using fresh tomatoes and pureeing, you would definitely want to drain.
8. Add sauce to the dough, and top with desired ingredients. Bake at 425 degrees F for 8-14 minutes depending on size/thickness of dough and amount of toppings. Look for browning toppings and crust to indicate doneness.
I love pizza. I always have and probably always will. The challenge is, my metabolism isn’t what it used to be, and I have three kiddos for which I am also responsible to ensure healthy eating. So, occasionally, we do order from our favorite pizza place or even pop in a (healthier) frozen pizza on busy days. However, this recipe is a great and healthy homemade alternative to the less healthy options mentioned above. It is still dough, sauce and cheese, a combination all of my kids thoroughly enjoy.
As I mentioned in the serving size above, there are a variety of ways you could use this recipe. This exact dough recipe made about 4 individual (adult) pizzas, with a thinner crust. If you prefer a thicker crust, it may make about 3 individual ones. As you can see from the photos, I made them pretty thin (and heart shaped) – easier for my little ones to eat. Plus, I prefer an even ratio of dough to sauce to cheese!
Despite making these pretty thin, I still pre-cooked the dough about 4 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the toppings. It just helped crisp up the crust a bit. Our cheese mixture is all of over the board. I had some Parmesan, Mozzarella, Asiago and Cheddar, so on it all went!
When I make the sauce, I often place the frozen spinach in a small strainer and run it through a rinse of water to semi defrost. Then I pour in the jarred tomatoes to strain the extra liquid. After much of the liquid drains, I put both the spinach and tomatoes in the food processor, add the other ingredients, pulse a few times, and voila! It’s done!
Overall, this is a healthy and tasty option for a family pizza night in!