Whole Wheat Spinach Artichoke Pizza

Those who are on a specific diet can now have a hearty meal with The Rookie Cook's recipe which is adapted from Lauren's Latest. 

Ingredients: 

For the crust: 
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour 
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the sauce:
1 Tablespoon olive oil 
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, torn
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
2- 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
4 Tablespoons tomato paste
3-4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
1/3 cup water

For the toppings: 
3/4 cup fresh spinach
1/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts
10 basil leaves, torn
3 large button mushrooms
1 large tomato, sliced thinly
1 - 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 

Directions: 

For the crust:
1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine yeast and warm water (follow the directions on the yeast - usually needs to be between 100-110°F).  Add in honey and stir to combine.  Let yeast rest, "proof", for 5-10 minutes, or until you can tell its rising.
2. Add the whole wheat flour, oil, and salt.  Stir til combined.  Gradually add the rest of the flour until the dough forms a ball and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. (I wait til about this time to use my stand mixer, so I can just put the dough hook on it.)  Once dough is no longer sticky (as in, forms a ball and slightly springy, but doesn't stick all over your hands when you touch it), set the mixer on the highest setting allowed for your dough hook and let the mixer "knead" it for 6-8 minutes.  (On the professional KitchenAid, the highest setting you're supposed to use for bread is 2).
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, lightly grease it, then place the dough back in the bowl and spray the top with nonstick spray.  Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled. (In the summer, my laundry room stays hot so I let dough rise in there. When it's cool or I'm in a time pinch, I turn my oven to the lowest setting -170°- let it preheat, then turn it off and set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, I put my bowl of dough in the oven on top of a cookie sheet.  Usually this makes it double in 30-45 minutes.)
For the sauce:
4. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low until hot.  Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add spices and stir until combined.  Add tomato sauce, paste, and water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes - 1 hour.  (If you don't have this much time, that's fine.  I've used mine after only 5 minutes of simmering.  It just tastes better the longer it's simmered.) 
To assemble the pizza:
5. (I highly recommend using a pizza stone for "crustiness"). Place your pizza stone in the oven and preheat oven to 500°.  You want your pizza stone to gradually warm up with the oven and be HOT when you put your pizza on it.  This helps the texture of the crust.  If you have a little more time, leave the stone in the preheated oven for at least 10 minutes before baking your pizza to make sure it's hot.
6. Meanwhile, once the dough has risen, liberally flour a cutting board and roll out dough in a circle (or square, or hexagon, or whatever).   I try to get mine fairly thin because otherwise it will be super thick.  Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper the same size as your pizza stone. (You may need to roll it out again a bit.)
7. Top dough with pizza sauce, leaving about 1 inch free around the edges for the crust.  I usually use 1/2- 3/4 cup of sauce, but it all depends on how much you like sauce!   Add spinach, artichoke, basil, mushrooms, and tomato.  Top liberally with mozzarella cheese.
8. Transfer pizza to stone and bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. (I just use the parchment paper and slide my pizza off the cutting board and onto the hot stone.)
Posted by Diane Araga, on August 10, 2013 at 9:00 AM