How to Make a Really Delicious and Nutritious Deep-Dish Pizza (and a loaf of bread, too)

Pizza is one of my favorite homemade comfort foods to make (click here for additional pictures and recipes). And while many believe it to be time-consuming and somewhat laborious–or even difficult–to make, it is neither. It’s basically bread dough with stuff baked on it. Thus, when I bake pizza at home I usually make twice the amount of dough as needed and use half to make a loaf of bread…it rises and ferments while the pizza is baking. Over the years I’ve gravitated to baking almost exclusively with whole grains and whole wheat flour and this is no exception. What’s a bit different about this particular recipe is that I made it a deep-dish pizza, meaning I made a sort of rim around  the edge to hold even more stuff (mmm…). And in this night’s variety I used broccoli, which I par-cooked and chopped before adding it to the pizza, homemade tomato sauce, made with some of the last tomatoes from the garden (click here for a recipe), and a 3-cheese blend I had in the freezer.

The combination of the above said ingredients–for the dough and it’s filling–translates, in my mind, to not only flavor but also nutrition…this is anything but junk food. As usual, these recipes are just suggestions; use your own adaptations for an equally good outcome. Anyhow, here it is in pictures and recipes.

7-Grain Whole WheatBread
Makes 1 (14”) pizza and alarge loaf of bread
or 2 large loaves of bread
1 cup (6.6oz/187g) 7-grain mix
3 quarts (96floz/2.83L) water
fully cooked grains
2/3 cup (5.3 oz/157ml) cookingliquid
2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheatflour
2 tablespoons (.5oz/14g) vitalwheat gluten
2 teaspoons (.2oz/5.6g) instantyeast
4 cups (21oz/595.3g) whole wheatflour
1 1/3 cups (10.5fl oz/315ml) cookingliquid
1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) honey
1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) olive oil
3 teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) instantyeast
3 teaspoons (.5oz/14.1g) koshersalt
Combine the grain and water in a mediumpot and bring to a boil; lower the heat to simmer and cook the ricefor about 45 minutes or until very soft. As the grain cooks add morewater to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which isfull of nutrients, will become part of the recipe. After the grainsare cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature,refrigerating if necessary. Then drain it, squeezing it with yourhands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.
Place two bowlsside-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. Inone bowl combine the cooked and drained 7-grains with 2/3 cup (5.3oz/157ml) of the cooking liquid, 2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheatflour, 2 tablespoons (.5oz/14g) vital wheat gluten, and 2 teaspoons(.2oz/5.6g) instant yeast. Stir just until combined then cover itwith plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups (21oz/595.3g)whole wheat flour and 1 1/3 cups (10.5fl oz/315ml) cooking liquid;stir just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take carenot to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at roomtemperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment willbegin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and theautolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.
After an hour or so, combinethe ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixerfitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) of yeast (add the yeast and salt on oppositesides of the bowl). Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover itloosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled inbulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30minutes.

Turn the dough out onto afloured work surface and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape into loavesand place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves withplastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until doublein size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentationremains. Preheat an oven to 450f (232.2C).

Bake the breads forabout 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (eitherwith ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every tenminutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and soundhollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allowthem to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Garden-Fresh Tomato Sauce

To see the original posting for this recipe–with additional pictures of it being made–click here.

(This is a simple but excellent tomato sauce that can be used as is or as a base for other sauces. I usually make this a few times throughout the summer months–as the tomatoes ripen in the garden–and freeze it in increments. This way I have homemade sauce throughout the winter. This recipe makes about 6 quarts but it’s really just a guide)

4 quarts fresh tomatoes (click here to see them)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 bunch fresh basil

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds; discard the seeds and dice the tomatoes. Heat the oil in a heavy sauce pan; add the onions, then the garlic, then the sugar, salt, fennel, and hot pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and the chicken broth (or vegetable broth). Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook the sauce for about 45 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened. Stir in whole basil leaves and remove from the heat. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Taste it for seasoning, then puree in a blender. Refrigerate until needed.

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