Introduction: The Epoxy Method Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
A light dough using whole wheat flour?
A while back I was watching this TED talk about bread where Peter Reinhart talks about how to make a light dough using whole wheat. He calls his method: the Epoxy Method. Because you do 2 batches of goo and mix them together, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
I must say I obsessed about it, and after a few tries I was able to make a pizza dough using the Epoxy Method.
After a few tries I was able to get there
Baker's percentage primer:
Assume that 100% means the the total percentage of flour by weight
Every other ingredient weight is measured in percentages of total
For this pizza dough I'm using
60% bread flour
40% whole wheat flour (fine ground)
Don't be afraid of the 182%, it is in baker's percentage (see comment for more info)
Instant yeast (reasonable amount)
So assume that you plan to use 1000g (1kg) of flour (combined bread and whole wheat)
You would have:
600g bread flour
400g whole wheat flour
800g of water (or 800 ml as water has 1:1 ratio volume to mass)
and 20 g of salt
All that and 2 packs of instant yeast for that amount.
And that is all that you need for this.
Step 1: The Morning Before Pizza Time
Making the first goo: The Soaker
Lets assume that you are using my 1kg as the full weight of flour.
In one bow add all the whole wheat flour and the same weight of water (400g)
Important: No yeast on this bowl, only water and flour.
Cover and reserve.
This mix will soak water but not grow, so there's no need for a huge bowl.
The second goo: Biga
Now, here you need a large bowl.
Add the same weight of flour and water and one pack of instant yeast, mix with a fork and leave covered in a warm place.
This is called biga in bread making in Italy or (Tuscany at least)
Keyword: large. This biga will grow and might overspill
Let both bowls rest until the afternoon when we make the dough
The idea is autolyse. That happens when the enzymes alter the proteins of the flour and specially of the bran.
Autolyse releases flavor and also make the water be better absorbed.
The resulting dough very relaxed, pliable and elastic.
Step 2: Mid Afternoon: Dough Time
Mix in a bowl the rest of the flour (200g) the salt and an extra pack of instant yeast.
On a working surface add the whole wheat goo(soaker) and the yeast and grown goo (biga).
Work them together just like epoxy until you have a single textured mass.
Word of cauton: that mix will be sticky. If you are mixing by hand use only one hand.
Cover the dough with the dry mix and work a little the dough. Repeat.
Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes incorporating the dry flour mixture or until it is very elastic
Divide into four parts, roll each part into a ball, dust with flour and let it rest in a warm place for about 1 hour (two would be best)
There's no way to say that without sounding dirty, but: if your warm place is to windy or too dry cover the dough balls with a teacloth.
Step 3: Contemplating the Toppings and Sauce and Shaping
You have now about 2 hours of waiting, so get your ingredients for the toppings and you might.
For the sauce I just pulse 3 tomatos 2 cloves of garlic and one can of canned tomatoes in the food processor. Salt and oregano to taste.
After 2 hours it is time to shape the pizza.
Create a small mound of flour and move one dough ball on top of it.
Very gently enlarge the disk, Try hard to not smash the bubbles inside the dough.
Step 4: Bake It and Enjoy!
I've baked this recipe both in wood burning ovens and kitchen ovens and the results seems always nice.
Hope you have fun trying it and enjoy!