Weekend Herb Blogging: Whole Wheat Rosemary Pizza Dough

rosemary-crust-for-web.jpg

Hooray! It’s Weekend Herb Blogging time again and this week I’ll be talking about rosemary. And if you keep reading, you’ll even find my recipe for the super yummy rosemary pizza dough I made for lunch today. This week, WHB will be hosted by Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen so don’t forget to head over to her site and see what other herbs are being discussed this week.

What? You still don’t know anything about Weekend Herb Blogging? Go read about it here.

Now, let’s get started!

Here in Sicily, you’ll find rosemary (rosmarino, in Italian) growing all over the place! You’ll see it in gardens growing as a culinary herb, but also in planters and lining sidewalks as decorative shrubs. It can even be trimmed into topiaries and bonsai. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region but is a popular culinary herb throughout the world. It pairs well with lamb, chicken, beans, and potatoes and can be added to breads such as focaccia and potato bread. Although some people (like me) can’t get enough of it, it’s important to remember that Rosemary has a very strong flavor and can become easily become overwhelming if you aren’t careful.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods Web site, Rosemary does more than just add wonderful flavor to foods. It’s also really good for you!

“Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration.” — WHfoods.org

And if all those health benefits aren’t enough to make you want to start using the herb regularly, here’s another one. According to wikipedia, rosemary has long had a reputation to improve memory: “Rosemary has a very old reputation for improving memory, and has been used as a symbol for remembrance (during weddings, war commemorations and funerals) in Europe, probably as a result of this reputation. Mourners would throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead” (wikipedia).

Since I’ve been living in Sicily, I’ve fallen in love with the pairing of potatoes and rosemary. Next time you think about roasting potatoes, try tossing them with some olive oil, salt, and rosemary. You’ll never want to eat roasted potatoes any other way! I also love the pairing of rosemary and potatoes on pizza. You can use sliced, cooked potatoes, fried potatoes, roasted potatoes, whatever you want! Just make sure they are pre-cooked because pizza doesn’t stay in the oven long enough to cook the potatoes if they start out raw. I like to toss sliced cooked potatoes with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped rosemary before adding them to the pizza. Smoked mozzarella or scamorza cheese is wonderful on a potato pizza but regular mozzarella is great too. You can use tomato sauce or just leave the sauce off and sprinkle with some olive oil.

Other interesting uses for rosemary:

  • Use the long stick-like branches as aromatic skewers for kebabs: Strip the leaves from some long branches and thread through cubes of meat and/or vegetables.
  • Use a rosemary branch as a basting brush: When grilling chicken, dip the rosemary branch into a mixture of olive oil, salt and pepper and use it to baste the chicken.
  • Throw some rosemary sprigs onto the grill to create aromatic smoke.

Today, I was in the mood for a potato pizza and decided to try adding fresh chopped rosemary to the pizza dough for a new twist. It turned out great so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. I call this a whole wheat pizza dough because I use both whole wheat and all purpose flour. My main reason for doing this is because it gives the crust a great flavor. I don’t use 100% whole wheat flour in my pizza dough because I find that it is much harder to work with. But feel free to experiment with a larger percentage of whole wheat flour if you prefer.

Whole Wheat Rosemary Pizza Dough

1 1/2 C. warm water
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. brown sugar
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 package active dry yeast or 2 t. instant yeast
3 C. all-purpose flour plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 t. salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

  • Mix the dough: In a medium bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, yeast, water, oil, and brown sugar. Add all-purpose flour, salt, and rosemary and stir with a wooden spoon until dough starts to come together. Turn the mixture out onto a floured counter or board.
  • Knead the dough: using floured hands, knead the dough, adding extra flour as needed, until it is smooth and slightly tacky rather than sticky, about 5 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Turn ball in the bowl to coat both sides with oil then cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Set bowl in a warm place and let dough rise until doubled (about 45 minutes to an hour).
  • Preheat the oven: After dough has been rising for 15 minutes, prepare your oven. Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack and preheat oven and stone to 500 degrees (or as hot as your oven will go). It is best to let oven preheat for one full hour.
  • Divide the dough: When dough has doubled, lightly oil a countertop and turn dough out onto it. With oiled hands, gently deflate the dough. Using a knife or dough scraper, divide dough into four equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball then cover pieces with a towel or lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rest for 20 minutes. At this point, you can put each ball of dough in a ziplock sanwich bag and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to use, bring to room temperature and proceed with the next step.
  • Shape the crusts: Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter to the side of your oiled work surface. Move the balls of dough to the edge of your work surface and keep them covered. Take one ball of dough out and working on the oiled surface, flatten it slightly with the heel of your palm. Then start pushing the dough out from the center using the side of your hand and working in a circle. When the circle is about 5 inches wide, pick it up and transfer it to a piece of parchment paper. Continue working the dough into a circle, pushing outward with the palm of your hand until the crust is about 10 inches wide. You should end up with a small lip all the way around. Cover crust and let rest for 10 minutes. While the first crust is resting, start forming a second one. After the first crust has rested for 10 minutes, add your toppings.
  • Bake pizza: Using a pizza peel or the back of a sheet pan, slide pizza and parchment directly onto your preheated pizza stone. Check pizza after 8 minutes. When crust is golden, remove pizza using a peel or slide pizza back onto baking sheet using a large metal spatula.

Now, once you get the dough made, it’s up to you to decide what toppings you want to try. For the pizza I made today I used Tangy Tomato Sauce, sliced, cooked potatoes (that had been seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil), chopped rosemary, and shredded mozzarella. Since my husband is gone right now, I have three more balls of dough in the fridge so I’ll let you know what else I come up with later in the week!

If you think pizza isn’t pizza without some meat, I think the potatoes would go great with some crumbled pork sausage. You might even want to add some sage along with the rosemary. Mmmm…I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it!

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I accidentally baked my pizza a couple minutes too long so the cheese got a little over-toasted :-) But guess what? The pizza still tasted great!

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What’s your favorite way to use rosemary? What toppings would you use with a rosemary pizza crust? I’d love to hear from you!

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31 Comments
  1. Kalyn

    Wow, I am impressed. I keep saying I’m going to make pizza with whole wheat crust, but I never manage to do it. Your pizza looks fantastic. I love rosemary, and it’such a good flavor with so many things. I haven’t had luck getting it to winter over in Utah, but this year it even came back in my garden despite the very cold winter we had. So I have some lovely rosemary growing right now!

    6:39 pm  Jul 1st, 2007
  2. shivapriya

    Yummy, never tried pizza with wheat flour. I’m sure its much cirspy than that regular (white) one. I use dry rosemary but never tried fresh. I should sometime.

    6:53 pm  Jul 1st, 2007
  3. Nicole

    I’ve never lived somewhere with harsh winters so we’ve always had rosemary year round. I’m going to experiment more with using whole wheat flour in pizza crust but so far, this ratio has given me the best results. I remember Heidi at 101 Cookbooks had a 100% whole wheat pizza dough recipe a while back. Have you seen it?

    6:58 pm  Jul 1st, 2007
  4. Nicole

    Padmaja: I use both dried and fresh rosemary. Using fresh rosemary is much better if you can get it, much more flavor!

    7:01 pm  Jul 1st, 2007
  5. Katiez

    I’m a firm believer that one cannot get too much of any herb… including sage and rosemary!
    I always use it with lamb AND potatoes and with anything that I use mustard with…. and in bread!
    Great pizza – I have put eggs on pizzas since living here but not potatoes – though I always see it on the menus. Next time – but I don’t make pizzas in summer, too warm for the oven.

    9:53 pm  Jul 1st, 2007
  6. Nicole

    Katiez: You’re right, it’s too warm to be baking pizza inside! I’m going to try cooking some on my gas grill later this week :-) I haven’t tried putting eggs on pizza at home but I’ve had a few good pizzas with egg when I’ve been out.

    11:10 pm  Jul 1st, 2007
  7. Peter

    Nicole, I’ve been roasting potatoes w/ rosemary for years and I’ll fire up a tray when cooler months arrive.

    Great potato pizza, the Irish will luv ya for it!

    1:13 am  Jul 2nd, 2007
  8. Kalyn

    Nicole, here is Heidi’s recipe:
    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001506.html

    I have it in my del.icio.us cookbook, along with hundreds of other recipes I never get time to make, but someday I *will* make that pizza! She uses white whole wheat flour which is great for my diet.

    1:18 am  Jul 2nd, 2007
  9. Karen

    Rosemary is my very favorite herb. And whole wheat pizza crust sounds so good – I’m really enjoying whole grain pasta right now.

    I use fresh rosemary in my Tuscan spiced salt mix and smear it on chicken with lemon and garlic before roasting it.

    3:48 pm  Jul 2nd, 2007
  10. Nicole

    Peter: How about doing some rosemary potatoes outside on the grill? I’m going to try grilling a pizza tomorrow I think.

    Kalyn: I looked it up after I left that comment for you. It’s funny because I didn’t realize that she had made a potato pizza, too :-)

    Karen: Your spiced salt sounds great! For everyone else, the Tuscan spiced salt recipe can be found here.

    4:21 pm  Jul 2nd, 2007
  11. Helene

    I´m a fan of rosemary and of bonsai,… and of pizza. You made my day Thanks!! :))

    5:35 pm  Jul 2nd, 2007
  12. Cynthia

    Oh yeah, I like this pizza, not too cheesy, that’s how I like it :)

    12:45 am  Jul 3rd, 2007
  13. Rebecca

    Hi Nicole! The pizza looks delicious.

    Wow – you really got me thinking. Like others, rosemary is my favorite herb. I like to add a sprig of rosemary, along with some olive oil and rock salt, to a head of garlic before roasting it. It smells amazing!

    My other favorite trick is to make a rub for roasted chicken using equal parts rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and salt.

    Finally, Sunset Magazine published a wonderful recipe a few years back for a mint and rosemary-infused “herbaltini” cocktail that remains an all time favorite of mine.

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1:56 am  Jul 3rd, 2007
  14. Jason

    How about a rosemary/thyme/cilantro stuffed sausage? That would really hit the spot.

    4:17 am  Jul 3rd, 2007
  15. Misslionheart

    Mmm… I can almost smell it!

    ~Peter, the Irish love to eat more than just potatoes! :wink:

    9:36 am  Jul 3rd, 2007
  16. Patricia Scarpin

    Nicole,
    I actually prefer the oven-toasted cheese! :)

    6:01 pm  Jul 3rd, 2007
  17. Nicole

    Helene: You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by…reading all these comments is what makes my day :-)

    Cynthia: Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned that Italian pizza is much better without too much cheese! But on typical American pizza…I still love lots of cheese :-)

    Rebecca: Just thinking about the smell of roasting garlic and rosemary is making my mouth water! Mind sharing the herbaltini recipe?

    Jason: I’m not sure how to respond to that :-)

    Misslionheart: It smelled great!

    Patricia: I like the oven toasted cheese too but I definitely should have taken the pizza out a minute earlier…the bottom of the crust was a bit burnt!

    12:19 pm  Jul 4th, 2007
  18. Homemade Wine

    Had a pizza one time just 2 blocks off Main St., downtown San Francisco that was made with whole wheat and Basil crust. The Basil was heavy enough to turn the crust an unusual color of green!

    The color may have been strange but the taste was sensational!

    Herbs in the dough will give your pizza….pizzaz!

    Chef Brian chefbrianscookingtips.com

    7:13 am  Jul 7th, 2007
  19. Mark

    Hi Nicole!

    Just recently made this pizza crust and it was a smashing success. Thanks!
    Mark

    6:59 pm  Aug 23rd, 2007
  20. Pizza homework: on my own « Mark Ruins Dinner

    [...] to work. I’ve been collecting pizza dough recipes since I now have a working oven, and I saw this beauty over at Pinch My Salt, author of my Valentine’s day dessert. It’s whole wheat and rosemary pizza dough and it [...]

    12:44 am  Aug 24th, 2007
  21. Nicole

    Mark: So glad the crust worked out for you! Thanks for pointing out that I forgot to specify how much rosemary to use. I’ve added it to the list of ingredients!

    1:27 am  Aug 24th, 2007
  22. White Pizza « Mark Ruins Dinner

    [...] started with my favorite pizza dough: Whole wheat and rosemary pizza dough from Pinch My Salt. I’ve tweaked it a little and I hope Nicole isn’t too offended. First, I’ve been [...]

    7:40 pm  Jul 6th, 2008
  23. Laura

    I used rosemary in a chicken stew today. I think I used too much.

    Is there anyway to repair the damage. What could I add to

    the stew to mellow out the flavor?

    12:49 am  Nov 23rd, 2008
  24. Molly

    This dough recipe was wonderful! I took some fresh spinach and garlic and tossed them with enough olive oil to keep the spinach from wilting in the oven, spread them on the dough, and added diced chicken and grated Parmesan on top. You’ve provided me with the base for a fantastic new weekly dinner– thank you!

    7:53 am  Feb 14th, 2009
  25. Sara

    So I’ve made this dough about 4 times now…its fantastic!! I have a ball of dough with 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 regular flour rising right now; its definitely a little more stiff to knead, but we’ll see how it turns out. :)

    I’ve made this a few different times with different toppings. One I love is pesto, mozz cheese, goat cheese, garlic, and cherry tomatoes. Another is with caramelized onions, proscuitto, fresh mozzarella, arugula and cherry tomatoes. Very very yummy :) This recipe is a favorite now!

    3:09 pm  Mar 17th, 2009
  26. Shelby

    I’ve been making this recipe every week for about a year. I divide the recipe in half and then plan to make pizza two nights a week with the two dough balls. This is a great pizza dough recipe! Our favorite toppings so far – bbq sauce with red onion, mushrooms, and smoked soft Bavarian cheese.

    1:10 pm  Aug 23rd, 2009
  27. What is White Whole Wheat Flour? Delicious. — Pinch My Salt

    [...] Whole Wheat Rosemary Pizza Dough [...]

    2:59 pm  Jan 21st, 2010
  28. Komiyan

    Just made this, it was completely delicious! This is going to be my default dough recipe from now, thanks so much!

    7:14 pm  Jan 2nd, 2011
  29. Whole wheat pizza with mushrooms and spinach | Girls Can Tell

    [...] My Salt has a very appetizing whole wheat crust recipe with fresh rosemary, so I went with that one. She provides a “tangy tomato sauce” recipe that we followed as [...]

    4:56 pm  Jan 3rd, 2011
  30. Preschool: Baking and the Letter Y | Karla M Curry

    [...] homemade pizza dough is very similar to this Whole Wheat Rosemary Pizza Dough, except my amounts are slightly different.  I pour 1 1/4c warm water in a bread machine along with [...]

    7:27 pm  Apr 3rd, 2012
  31. Mandi

    1:3 ratio of Whole Wheat to white flout I don’t think qualifies as “Whole Wheat.” What is the point?

    5:16 am  Jul 24th, 2012
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