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mgraban 08-05-2007 09:52 AM

Whole Wheat Pizzas
I'm going to fire up the oven today and, along with some VPN dough, I am going to experiment with a few whole wheat recipes and flours.

I used some "whole wheat pastry flour", both in a 100% WW recipe and one that was about 33% WW. Neither was really developing a good texture during kneading (both were more like play-doh than good dough). The 33% seemed the more promising of the two.

I also used some regular stone ground WW flour with some bread flour (the first second, above, were made with Tipo 00 style white flour mixed in). This dough seemed to be developing the best of the three.

I'll report out results and share some pictures later.

maver 08-05-2007 12:47 PM

Re: Whole Wheat Pizzas
Mark, I've given up on whole wheat in my pizza dough, although find a small amount added to bread dough adds good flavor. If you are doing it for health purposes, I prefer to go lean or add fiber in the toppings. If for flavor, maybe try a smaller amount, such as 10%. That's what I use in my bread, and it does not seem to be enough to ruin the gluten development.


Dutchoven 08-05-2007 06:15 PM

Re: Whole Wheat Pizzas
I agree with maver...whole wheat in pizza dough in larger percentages does not bode well for me either. I would say the most you might include is maybe a percentage like that in a pain d'campagne which as I recall is about 15% ww and the remainder of high gluten bread flour or such. That might make an interesting flavored dough, I think, especially if you make the dough using a preferment. I might have to try that myself and report the results.

CanuckJim 08-06-2007 07:14 AM

Re: Whole Wheat Pizzas

You're spot on with the percentage of WW. Using a preferment would also be beneficial for flavor development. Lest we forget, whole flours, like wheat or rye, have a fair amount of the bran left in them. The bran is sharp and has a tendency to cut the gluten web during mixing. It's a good idea, therefore, to reduce the machine mixing time and finish kneading on the bench by hand. You can also stretch and fold the dough once or even twice during bulk fermentation. This maneuver will strenghten the gluten web and result in better spring and volume.


Dutchoven 08-06-2007 11:39 AM

Re: Whole Wheat Pizzas
Excellent ideas Jim. I tend to hand mix the pizza dough for the last few minutes so I can "feel" the development. Would make great sense with the addition of the WW. Would never have thought of the folding during bulk ferment on my own, another excellent idea.

mgraban 08-06-2007 07:46 PM

Re: Whole Wheat Pizzas
Here's my report, might not surprise anyone.

The Wolfgang Puck 100% whole wheat was a total disaster. I could tell the dough wasn't developing and I only made one at the end just to try. It was flavorless with a gummy texture.

The 33% WW's had good flavor and were well received by my family (who also had some of the regular white dough pizzas). The dough with the wheat pastry didn't puff up as much as the stone ground whole wheat. I'm guessing the wheat pastry flour was too delicate? Flavor was good, texture was OK. I still prefer the good old VPN myself.

It was worth the experiment though.

james 08-06-2007 10:48 PM

Re: Whole Wheat Pizzas
Hey Mark,

Excellent posting. I have mixed thoughts about whole wheat pizza -- whether it is for the nutty flavor, or the healthy aspects. We try to eat a lot of whole wheat bread for toast, sandwiches and breakfast, but maybe pizza is one of those things that has to be light to be good. I tried making croissants with olive oil once, and it wasn't the same thing.

Do some things have to be basic? Pizza/Tipo 00 flour, croissants/butter??


wlively 08-07-2007 05:20 AM

Re: Whole Wheat Pizzas
I started my pizza baking in my electric oven with the modified Puck recipe (50% whole wheat). I think it is better suited to convential ovens at the 500deg and does not work well in our brick ovens.

In general I prefer the flavor of whole wheat, so I am still trying. Thanks to input from CJim and others here and Jeff Varasano's blog I am fine tuning a recipe that at last try turned out pretty well. Not VPN, I know. I used 33% King Arthur stone ground whole wheat, 33% King Arthur AP (Jeff noted the very high gluten) and 33% Tipo 00. Thanks to CJim I realized that higher hydration was needed especially with the whole wheat. So started at recommended amount and added more to feel. That is where Jeff's blog came in. It turns out to be a very wet dough, but the pizza came out very nice. Almost same size bubbles as a 100% Tipo. I recently ordered some Italian sourdough starter, so incorporating that will be my next variation.

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