It’s a good thing that writing recipes for spa food hasn’t meant giving up pizza, because Sweetie definitely would not have liked the end of Pizza Night at our house. Truthfully, we both love eating pizza at home since I bought and learned how to use our baking steel for pizzas and breads. Pizza night requires planning, however, so it isn’t as spontaneous as ordering delivery or grabbing a frozen CPK pizza on the way to checkout at the grocery store. My pizza doughs always rest overnight in the refrigerator for superior flavor development so pizza night needs to be planned at least a day ahead. The really good spa food news is that I found a whole wheat pizza dough recipe that is perfect for a pizza insalata (salad pizza) or a pizza bianca (white pizza). Spreading a layer of hummus over the crust isn’t just a healthy move, it is a seriously delicious move with this type of pizza.
The whole wheat dough rests overnight, or longer, in the refrigerator and gets pulled out about an hour before you want to eat. It comes to room temperature then gets shaped and rests briefly again before cooking on a baking stone preheated to 500°F. It’s difficult to get quality pizza results at home without a baking steel or baking stone and if you dry the steel after cleaning it, the beast is practically indestructible. I should probably mention that it is also very heavy and can burn the beejeebus out of you if you are clumsy enough to touch it when it’s hot. So if your pizza doesn’t slide perfectly off your pizza peel onto the baking steel, just leave it there and don’t try to rearrange it until the underside releases easily in a few more minutes.
What Makes It Pizza Insalata
The salad is the last topping to put on the pizza before you slice it and serve it immediately to keep the lettuces from wilting. As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, dollop on some ricotta cheese (if using) then spread on the hummus. The ricotta and hummus will basically blend together as you smooth them across the hot pizza. Next, add whatever fresh vegetables you fancy. We laid out cooked asparagus tips, pepperoncini peppers, black olives, cherry tomatoes, basil, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano before the salad went on. A splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar is another welcome addition to the toppings.
- 1 ½ cups (8 ¼ ounces) whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup (5 ½ ounces) bread flour
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¾ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ¾ teaspoons salt
- ricotta cheese, hummus, basil leaves, and salad greens for topping
- Place whole-wheat flour, bread flour, honey, and yeast in a food processor and process until just combined, about 2 seconds. With the processor running, add water and process until no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Do not remove food processor blade and let dough stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Add oil and salt to the dough and process until it forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of the workbowl, about 60 seconds. Remove from bowl and knead on lightly floured countertop until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into a ball and place in a medium-size, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours up to 2 days.
- One hour before baking, remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Wrap and refrigerate one of the dough pieces or proceed to make two pizzas. Shape the dough into a smooth, tight ball. Place the ball on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with a damp towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap and let stand for one hour.
- About 30 minutes before baking pizza, place oven rack in upper position of oven, set pizza steel/stone on rack, and heat oven to 500°F.
- After dough has rested, place on a floured countertop and flaten into a disk with your fingertips.