Flax and honey pizza crust

The stars of this week’s recipe are Valley Flax Flour‘s, you guessed it, pure flax flour, and Cosman & Whidden liquid honey. I wasn’t sure how the flax flour would affect the texture of the pizza dough, so I started with a half and half mixture and added additional white flour until the dough felt right. Next time I’ll try it with more flax flour instead.

Flax flour

As for the honey, boy where do I begin? This is hands down the BEST honey I have EVER had. I’ve never even really been that big of a honey fan until I tried this stuff, and now I’m struggling not to eat it by the spoonful. Just look at it.

Honey

It’s beautiful. And delicious. And I swear you can taste the flowers the bees gathered the nectar from.

Honey2

And yes. I did just go sneak a spoonful. Don’t judge.

This week’s recipe also features an assortment of fresh veggies I picked up from the Noggins Farms booth at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. I’ve never had such crisp, fresh peppers before. Look at those beauties.

Peppers

Ok, enough looking. It’s recipe time. I’ve been playing around with this recipe for years. I originally found it in this cookbook. That’s right. These recipes are “kid approved nationwide.” I think my mom got it for me when I moved out back in 2004. I generally take the basic pizza crust recipe from here, increase it by a half, and then play around with it. Sometimes I use herbs and spices, sometimes I change the sweetener, some times I add garlic. Every time it’s a little bit different. The alterations I’m sharing with you today might just be my favourite so far.

Flax and honey pizza crust
Yields approx. One 12 inch round pizza and one 11×17 rectangular pizza

1 ½ pkg. active dry yeast (or 3 3/8 tsp active dry yeast)
1 ½ C hot water
1 ½ tsp honey (I’ve already stated my preference: Cosman & Whidden. All the way.)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
2 C flax flour
2 C white flour (additional flour may be used as per your preference)

Put hot water in a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over it and let it dissolve.

Yeast

In another bowl, mix all of the flax flour and half of the white flour. Leave the other 1 C of white flour aside.

Flax and white flours

Once the yeast has dissolved, stir in the honey, salt and olive oil.

Slowly add the flax/white flour mixture until blended. Sprinkle flour on a clean, flat surface and scrap the dough out onto it. I recommend the kitchen counter. A kitchen table is also acceptable. Please do not used your freshly cleaned floor. Ever.

Cover your hands with flour, and knead the dough. The dough will be pretty sticky so make sure you have extra flour on hand. What I find works best is to knead the dough until it has absorbed all the flour you’ve poured out, then sprinkle a bit more down and keep kneading, then repeat.

Pizza dough

When you’re done, the dough should be kind of sticky, but not sticky enough that it sticks to the counter.

Once your dough has been kneaded into a nice ball, cover it with olive oil.

Oiled dough

Yeah… just pour it all over it.

More oiled dough

Place your oiled up dough in a clean bowl, and let it rise for about 15 minutes.

Oiled dough

While your dough is rising, you can prep some of your toppings and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

For veggies, we usually go with minced garlic, red, orange and yellow peppers (sorry green peppers, you’re not my type), onions, mushrooms, and thin slices of zucchini.

Pizza toppings

Throw in some Frank’s hot sauce and some Yves meatless pepperoni and we’re usually all set, but this week we discovered something intriguing at the grocery store and we decided to try it out.

Pepperoni

Chris Brothers (from New Brunswick) makes a “natural pepperoni” – that is, with no added preservatives, no by-products, and ingredients that are words I actually recognize. Though I am curious what exactly “smoke flavour” is…

I also like a lot of cheese on my pizza. I recommend a blend of mozzarella, gouda, and jalapeno havarti.

Three cheeses
So good.

By this time, your dough has probably risen enough. Take it out of the bowl, place it on a greased counter and knead it to get the air bubbles out. Depending on the size of the pans you are using, divide your dough. I do 2/3 for my large rectangular pan and 1/3 for the round pan.

Now it’s time to roll it out. In order to have the nice, thick crust all around the outside, you need to make sure that as you roll it out the dough is thinner in the middle and thicker around the edges. – Hey now, there may be people reading this who have never tried to make their own pizza before, and this may not have occurred to them. Be nice.

Once you have your dough more or less rolled out, place in on the greased pan. Gently press the dough out on the pan so it reaches as close to the sides as possible without tearing. Try to press out any air bubbles that might have formed under your pizza crust.

Pizza pans

Once your crusts are in the pans, put them in the oven for 5 minutes. When you take them out, they will have risen a bit and may have some sneaky air bubbles. You can carefully pop the air bubbles with a knife if you need to.

Spread your pizza sauce of choice over the crust and then layer on your toppings (minus the cheese) as you see fit. Put the pizza back in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take the pizzas out, cover with cheese and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese and crust are getting a little golden.

Pizza

Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Try to let the pizza cool a bit before you cut into and stuff it in your face or else you will burn yourself. Please… learn from my mistakes.

And there you have it. Homemade pizza!

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