Servings: Makes one 9- to 12-inch crust
Combine the unbleached flour and whole-wheat mixture in a small bowl. Stir 1/2 cup of the flour mixture, 1/2 cup of warm water, and the yeast in another small bowl to make a batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until the mixture doubles in volume and bubbles, about 45 minutes.
Pulse the remaining 1 cup of the flour mixture, the yeast mixture and the salt in a food processor fitter with the metal blade. With the machine running, add the cold water. Process until the dough forms a ball on top of the blade. Feel the dough—if it is too wet, add a tablespoon of unbleached flour and process again. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of cold water and process. To knead the ball of dough, process for 45 seconds.
Remove the dough from the food processor, knead briefly on a lightly floured surface, and form into a ball. Place in a lightly oiled medium bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Baking instructions: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, place a baking stone on the rack, and preheat to 450°F.
Punch down the dough. Roll out on an unfloured surface into a 12-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. (If the dough retracts, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for a few minutes, then try again.) Transfer the dough to a baker's peel or rimless baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Top with your favorite ingredients, then bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve hot.
Grilling instructions: Punch down the dough. Roll out on an unfloured surface into a 12-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. (If the dough retracts, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for a few minutes, then try again.) Brush the dough lightly with olive oil, and then season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the dough on the grill over low heat. (Too much heat will give you a burnt crust!) When the crust is browned on the bottom, brush the top with more olive oil, and again season with salt and pepper. Using tongs, carefully turn the crust over to brown the other side. Add some shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese and allow it to melt, then remove the crust from the grill, add the rest of your ingredients, and serve.
From Back to the Table by Art Smith
Published on September 16, 2002