Almost 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Barrier Approached

Started by mivler, September 15, 2011, 10:17:23 PM

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Thanks to those that commented on my first whole wheat pizza:,5682.msg151694.html#msg151694

My second attempt at a whole wheat pizza was much more successful than my first attempt in almost every way. Rather than outlining the changes I'll just post the recipe and results.

Here's the revised recipe: (it's about 95% whole wheat flour)
WW Flour 100% (1000g) (King Arthur)
Water 80% (800g)
Sugar 2% (20g)
Salt 2% (20g)
Oil 2% (20g to start)
IDY( 1/4 tsp)
Starter 10% (about 90-100% hydration with King Arthur Bread Flour)

1.   Mix salt, sugar oil and water until everything is dissolved
2.   Add  ¾  the flour then  mix for 30 seconds
3.   Add the yeast and mix for about 30 seconds until everything is incorporated
4.   Add starter and mix for about a minute until everything is incorporated
5.   Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes
6.   Over 5 minutes slowly add the rest of the flour at speed of 1
7.   Mix on speed 2 or 3 for 5 more minutes.
8.   Cover and let it sit for 15 minutes
9.   Hand knead for a 2 minutes
10.   Divide into 5 balls
11.   Lightly oil and over 5 containers with each of the balls
12.   Stick in the fridge for at least a day.
13.   Pull out of the fridge 2 hours before you plan to shape the pizza

This time I used much more assertive toppings.
-    I made some with pesto, mozzarella cheese and oven dried tomatoes. (Unfortunately most of my oven dried tomatoes weren't ready when the pizza came out so I had to add them a few hours later)
-    Prego sauce (not ideal bu I was focusing on the crust) that I cooked down so it was thick (with a mix of mozzarella, Provolone and Pecorino Romano) and I added a little baby spinach for some color)

I had a little bit of issue with the prepared pizzas sticking when I was trying to get them in the oven. I think it's partially due to the high hydration but I still feel like I'm out of practice. (I think around 80% hydration seems good so I don't plan to lower it any further)  I think with a higher oven temp you can get away with higher hydration but at 80 percent I actually had some crunch to my crustwith my oven that gets to 550. This pizza also browned better on the bottom than my last batch did. (This was partially because I kept it in the oven longer than my first attempt. )

None of the pizzas were gummy (my first round of pizzas were all gummy). I think that's due primarily to less watery toppings (and less of them) but also thinner crust, longer baking time and lower dough hydration. For one of my pizzas I brushed with oil which was a suggestion that someone had made. I liked what it did to the crust but as someone mentioned the toppings didn't stay on too well. I probably won't do that again.  This pizza did have a little more of a whole wheat flavor than my previous attempt but I honestly didn't mind it and since I was able to roll the dough thinner than the first batch I was happy with the tradeoff.
Overall I thought this pizza was very good. Next time (probably in a few weeks) I may try using a whole wheat preferment (as opposed to my sourdough starter which I had made with bread flour.)
One area that needs improvement is that the pizza still stretched out too easily. I got it to the size of my peel with less than no effort and by the time I transferred it into the oven it was a touch too big and that made getting it into the oven very difficult (especially considering the high hydration and the sticking. Happily this time the dough wasn't falling apart at all.

Next time I may skip the autolyse. I have always found the technique to work really well and I find it hard to give up but I may try it next time in hopes that it will prevent the dough from spreading out so much and so easily. 

A second area where I'm looking for improvement is spring.  I like a lighter (airy) outer  crust with big holes. They are there but overall the outer crust isn't as light as I would like. Finally I don't know if there's any way around avoid using a lot of bench flour. This time I didn't use as much as I needed when I made the 85% hydration dough but still I did need a decent amount. I may try to work as fast as possible once I start shaping the dough to see if I can cut it back, otherwise I'm going to try parchment. As the result of several pizzas that didn't come off the peel properly, my pizza stone has many burnt spots on it. The dark spots on my stone didn't impact later pizzas but I would prefer if they aren't there. Does anyone know if there's a way to get rid of them?


Wow, big improvement, that looks great!!  Good job!  I gotta get brave enough soon, still getting tradition flour dough down properly, then I want to start adding WW...  Keep inspiring me, please  ;D


Your pizza looks very good and seems perfectly cooked.  I don't know if one can get much better spring using WW and a conventional oven.  The bottom looks a little hard for me, which is why I use a pan.

If you are concerned about too much extensibility, you could try a little larger and much stiffer starter (levain).  That should bring more acidity which, if not overdone, will strengthen the gluten.  If you go that route, it would probably be best to break up the starter in the water before adding the flour. 

Using parchment paper between the peel and sticky dough is a good idea.  You can remove it partway through the bake.


Looks good.  For the burnt stuff on the stone,  I use an old cheap cleaver type knife held at an angle and just scrape it off.  To cut down on bench flour, you might want to use rice flour on your peel.  I find it sticks much less with rice flour than corn meal.  Glad to hear you have it working at 80% hydration.  I am at 75% ( with home ground wheat )  Somewhat surprised at your 10 % starter.  I am using Ischia at around 2% of the flour weight, and with a 18 hour room temp rise I am getting some over fermentation issues.  When I tried refrigeration, I didn't seem to get any rise, though it may be because my fridge is so cold, and I didn't use any idy.  keep posting your results.
Current Ovens  -  Qube 16, BS, Halo Versa 16
Mixers .  Famag IM-5S,  Bosch Compact, Electrolux ( ANK
Mills - Retsel, Lee .