I love pizza. It’s in my blood.
My family owned a franchise company of pizza restaurants and operated several, so it’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve never gone a week without eating pizza. Even though my family is now out of the pizza business, I’m still a regular at my favorite local shop, Rudy’s Pizza. But I also like to make my own at home. This week we made a five cheese—ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, and asiago—pizza on my tried and true whole wheat crust.
Great pizza starts with great dough. Don’t get me wrong—I love all the carb-y goodness of a dough made with 100% all-purpose flour. Since I’m trying to eat less refined sugar and flour, I made this with whole wheat.
At home, it’s fun to experiment with different toppings and methods. Though I love loading up a pizza with tons of veggies, for this one, cheese takes center stage.
I use part-skim ricotta and a blend of provolone, mozzarella, parmesan, and asiago. First you poke holes in the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles, then lightly oil the crust. I have this Prepara Oil Mister that I got from my mother-in-law, and it works wonders to evenly coat without the excess oil you’d get from using a pastry brush. There are lots of varieties available and they really have cut down on my use of olive oil, which saves money and calories.
This pizza is a cheese lover’s dream.
5 Cheese Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust
makes 2 medium size pizzas
- 2 1/2 C flour (I use half whole wheat, half all-purpose, but any blend works)
- 1 T yeast
- 1 1/4 C water
- 1 T honey
- 1 T salt
- 2 T olive oil + more for coating bowl
- olive oil, for brushing or misting
- 1 cup ricotta
- 2 cup pizza blend cheese (mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 t rosemary (or basil)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Heat water to 120F. Dissolve yeast for 5 minutes. Add flour, water and yeast mixture, and rest of ingredients to Kitchenade mixer (you need to use the dough hook attachment). Mix for 5-8 minutes until you have a nice dough. Add flour if it’s too sticky and water if it’s too crumbly or hard.
Oil a medium glass bowl, and turn dough inside. Cover with a damp bar towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise one and a half hours.
Punch down dough and form into two balls. Allow to rest on a lightly floured service another 10 minutes. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to pizza pan. Some people swear by pizza stones, but I use this Calphalon Classic Round Nonstick Pizza Pan. If you don’t have either, use a flat cookie sheet with no lip, and slide the pizza off the pan directly onto a baking rack for the last couple minutes of the baking time.
Mist dough with olive oil or brush on lightly, then punch wholes in dough with a fork. Add half of the ricotta and sprinkle half the mixed shredded cheese.
Sprinkle half the rosemary and a few minced cloves of garlic over the top of the cheese.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Repeat process with second ball of dough.
Enjoy the pizza! Pairs well with a Chardonnay.