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In an attempt to get Rich to eat more whole grains, I cunningly substitute brown rice for white, quinoa for orzo, and whole wheat for regular pasta. Of course, he always notices, and loudly protests, which does little to deter me from further trying to trick him into eating healthier!

One challenge was pizza. We’d been using the pizza mix from WinCo Foods, which comes in bulk. You simply measure three cups of the mix, add yeast, warm water, let proof, and then roll out. It’s simple to use, but made from enriched white flour.

The solution to healthy pizza came several months ago. While waiting for a meeting to begin, a vendor and I were chatting about food. He mentioned he regularly makes pizza dough from scratch. I commented it takes too long to proof, which is why I use the WinCo pizza mix.

“Ah,” he exclaimed, “Use BreadMachine RapidRise yeast.” According to him, it takes only an hour to proof, and can be done on the counter, rather than warm oven. He shared his recipe. I jotted down the ingredients and method, but didn’t write the proportions. Instead I’ve been using my “approximation” methods. He’s the recipe (more or less):

  • Add to a food processor:
    • 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
    • 1.5 cups of white flour
    • Sugar (tablespoon or so)
    • Salt (teaspoon or so, I use Alaea sea salt from Hawaii)
    • Splash of olive oil
    • Italian seasoning (tablespoon or so, the mix I have contains thyme, garlic, marjoram, onion, rosemary, oregano, basil, savory, and sage
    • Heaping tablespoon of BreadMachine RapidRise yeast
    • Cup or so of warm water
  • Process until it forms a ball.
  • Let sit a few minutes.
  • Process again for a few seconds. The dough should be firm, but not sticky. Add more flour if sticky. Add more water if it’s too firm.
  • Dump into a large bowl with a bit of olive oil, roll into a ball and coat with olive oil.
  • Place in a warmed oven for an hour or cover with a towel on the counter.
  • Roll into a large round on a marble slab with flour, place on cookie sheet dusted with corn meal or pizza pan with holes.
  • Brush crust with finely chopped garlic and olive oil, and then sprinkle with more Italian seasoning.
  • Top with sauce, vegetables, cheese, meats, etc.
  • Bake at 425-degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy, knowing the crust is at least 50% whole wheat!

Check out above the pizza we made on Sunday and the proud chef! We topped the pizza with red, yellow and green peppers, scallions, red onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, kalamata olives, garlic, New York Style sausage, mozzarella cheese, and a bit of cheddar cheese for color.