Yes, that is in fact a jar of Newman’s Own Tomato and Basil in the above picture. I’m not ashamed. I think I get a pass for using store bought sauce for two reasons: 1. It’s manufactured by Paul Newman’s company and 2. I made my own pizza dough. Oh…ok…CK made it. Not wanting to eat at 10PM, I emailed him the recipe and asked him to “pretty please” make the dough while I bounced around on the T for my nightly hour long commute back to our apartment.
There were a few snafus, mainly he couldn’t find the yeast I “hide” on the refrigerator door, but by the time I arrived home the pizza dough was safely rising in its little pink bowl and I went to work as CK’s sous chef and prepped all of our toppings.
When my grandfather was still alive we had a weekly pizza night where we would gather as a family and make our dinner completely from scratch. The dough and sauce would be homemade, someone would slice all of the vegetables and pepperoni, and I would grate the cheese. To this day, grating cheese is still one of my favorite kitchen activities.
When it came time to stretch the dough, my grandmother had several different pizza pan shapes and sizes, and being a complete twit, I would only eat boring cheese pizza from a round pan. If someone made the cheese pizza in a square pan I wouldn’t touch it. Charming, right?
In the end, CK loved the Honey-Wheat Pizza Dough from the California Pizza Kitchen Family Cookbook. I was a little more ambivalent about the crust, but I definitely want to try making it again, perhaps with a different array of toppings.
“The Works” Pizza with Honey Wheat Crust
Originally published in the California Pizza Kitchen Family Cookbook
For the Honey-Wheat Pizza Dough:
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (not “quick rise” type)
1 cup + 1 tablespoon warm water (105º-110ºF)
1 cup unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons clover honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
For the Toppings:
6 tablespoons Marinara/Pizza sauce
7 ounces, grated (2 1/3 cups) mozzarella cheese
6 ounces, cooked and crumbed Italian sausage
1/2 cup sautéed white mushrooms
1/2 small, thinly sliced onion
32 (about 8 ounces) pepperoni slices
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 small, cut into 1/4-inch rings green bell pepper
In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in the water. Make sure the water is not too hot, or this will kill the yeast and prevent the dough from rising.
If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment because the dough hook will not mix this size batch efficiently. In the mixing bowl, combine the flour, honey, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir by hand just to distribute. Add the dissolved yeast and place the bowl and paddle on the mixer. Start mixing on the lowest speed to mix. Increase the speed slightly and mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Do not over-knead, as this will build up too much gluten and make the dough difficult to shape.
Place the remaining teaspoon of oil in a 1-quart mixing bowl and spread it with your fingertips. Place the dough ball in the bowl, move it around the oil, then turn it over so that the oiled side is facing upward. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Note: I used the dough at this point. There are optional instructions in the cookbook for punching the dough down and refrigerating over night again but I chose not to follow them).
Place a seasoned pizza stone in the middle of your oven and preheat to 450ºF, at least 30 minutes.
Roll and shape the dough into one 13-inch or two 9-inch circles and place on a floured pizza peel. (Note: I don’t own such a thing so I made my pizza on a large cutting board).
Spread the sauce to within 1 inch of the outer edge of the dough. Reserve 1/3 cup of mozzarella and distribute the rest over the sace to within 1/2 inch of the outer edge of the dough.
In this order, distribute the topping ingredients over the mozzarella: crumbled sausage, mushrooms, onion, pepperoni, black olives, and bell pepper. Finish by sprinkling the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella over the entire pizza.
Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese at the center is melted and bubbly. Slice and serve.