A combination of whole-wheat flour and bread flour in our hearty pizza crust offers the best balance of flavor and chew.
Whole-Wheat Pizza with Feta, Figs, and Honey
MAKES two 13-inch pizzas, serving 4 to 6 VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS We thought that a nutty, flavorful whole-wheat pizza crust would be a perfect backdrop for bold-flavored Mediterranean toppings. But using whole-wheat flour alone would give us a dense crust, so we incorporated just enough structure-building white bread flour. Increasing the amount of water in the dough made it easier to stretch and gave the crust better chew. But because our dough was so wet, simply preheating the pizza stone in a 500-degree oven wasn’t enough; we found we needed to heat the stone under the broiler’s high heat so that the crust would brown before the toppings overcooked. After perfecting our thin, crisp, earthy-tasting crust, we realized that the sweet-tart flavors of traditional sauce and cheese clashed with it. Instead, we topped our crust with garlic-infused olive oil, sweet fresh figs, verdant basil, and briny feta cheese. A drizzle of honey completed our unique Mediterranean flavor profile. We also developed two other topping combinations that would complement the whole-wheat crust. It is important to use ice water in the dough to prevent it from overheating in the food processor. We recommend King Arthur brand bread flour. Shape the second dough ball while the first pizza bakes, but don’t top the pizza until right before you bake it. Some baking stones can crack under the intense heat of the broiler; be sure to check the manufacturer’s website.
1½ cups (8¼ ounces) whole-wheat flour
1 cup (5½ ounces) bread flour
2 teaspoons honey
¾ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1¼ cups ice water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1¾ teaspoons salt
GARLIC OIL AND TOPPINGS
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
8 ounces fresh figs, stemmed and quartered lengthwise (1½ cups)
2 tablespoons honey
1. FOR THE DOUGH Pulse whole-wheat flour, bread flour, honey, and yeast in food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. With processor running, slowly add ice water and process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
2. Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of bowl, 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly oiled counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 18 hours or up to 2 days.
3. FOR THE GARLIC OIL AND TOPPINGS Heat oil in 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add garlic, pepper, thyme, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and let cool completely before using.
4. One hour before baking, adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element, set baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer dough to clean counter, divide in half, and cover loosely with greased plastic. Pat 1 piece of dough (keep remaining piece covered) into 4-inch round. Working around circumference of dough, fold edges toward center until ball forms.
5. Flip dough ball seam side down and, using your cupped hands, drag in small circles on counter until dough feels taut and round and all seams are secured on underside. (If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust top of dough with flour.) Repeat with remaining piece of dough. Space dough balls 3 inches apart, cover loosely with greased plastic, and let rest for 1 hour.
6. Heat broiler for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, generously coat 1 dough ball with flour and place on well-floured counter. Using your fingertips, gently flatten into 8-inch round, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Using your hands, gently stretch dough into 12-inch round, working along edge and giving disk quarter turns.
7. Transfer dough to well-floured pizza peel and stretch into 13-inch round. Using back of spoon, spread half of garlic oil in even layer on surface of dough, leaving ¼-inch border around edge. Layer ½ cup basil leaves over garlic oil. Sprinkle with ½ cup feta, followed by ¾ cup figs.
8. Slide pizza carefully onto baking stone and return oven to 500 degrees. Bake until crust is well browned and cheese is partially browned, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through baking. Transfer pizza to wire rack and drizzle 1 tablespoon honey over surface. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Heat broiler for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough, garlic oil, and toppings, returning oven to 500 degrees when pizza is placed on stone.