Whole Wheat Italian Sausage Pizza

Truth be told, I prefer a pizza crust with some whole-wheat flour in it…it allows me the illusion that I’m eating a healthier pizza! But then, when you pile on chopped veggies, tomato sauce, and cheese, pizza isn’t really such a nutritional disaster. Makes a fine breakfast the next day, too! This recipe rolls out to cover a 14-16” pizza pan or stone.

1 T. cornmeal
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 C. whole wheat flour
2 T. dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. very warm water
2 T. vegetable or olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 C. pizza or spaghetti sauce
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
1 1/2 – 2 C. chopped toppers such as bell peppers, olives, mushrooms
2 C. shredded mozzarella or other Italian cheeses
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
More shredded cheese, as desired.

Spread cornmeal on pizza pan or stone. Prepare the toppings by slicing, dicing, etc.

In a small, deep bowl, mix the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix the water (very warm to touch but not steamy-hot) and oil, then pour into the dry ingredients and stir until blended. Finish blending by hand, and then knead briefly on a floured surface until smooth but not sticky. Wash the bowl with hot water, spread inside with oil or butter, and put the dough ball in to rise, covered with plastic wrap, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375º. Roll out the dough on a 14-16” pizza pan or stone, spread with sauce and toppings. Bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is golden.

Kitchen Hint: The more stuff you pile onto the crust, the more time you should allow for baking! And, as with the crust recipe above, there’s no such thing as too much cheese on pizza–I like to put a bigger shred on the sauce, then pile on the meat and veggies, and then top it off with a smaller shredded cheese and the parmesan.

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