I am so excited to be able to share this dough with you today! It is such a versatile delicious, whole-grain dough that includes a serving of veggies in it. My kids are pretty good eaters, but they’ve all gone through a bad patch around age 2. And they’ve always loved pizza, no matter how good they are at eating. So when I’m worried that Littlenificent isn’t getting enough veggies or when we want to have a pizza and movie night or both, this is my go-to dough. This also makes a really nice loaf of bread that you can bake in the oven or even in a slow cooker, so when Middlenificent gets into a peanut butter and jelly rut, I make this bread and smile while she eats her veggies! 🙂
- ½ cup barely warm water
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour, or mixture of flours (a GF mix will work)
- 1 cup veggie puree (pumpkin, beet, butternut squash, cauliflower, sweet potato, etc.)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
- 1 teaspoon salt
- (optional) ½ teaspoon of any or all of the following - onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning for pizza; cinnamon or other spices for breads and rolls; the possibilities are endless!
- Measure water in a wet measuring cup and stir in the honey and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- In a stand mixer with a dough hook, add all the ingredients including the yeast mixture and knead for several minutes. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead with your hands for a couple more minutes, forming it into the shapes that you want. If your mixer doesn't have a dough hook, you'll need to knead for longer with your hands.
- To bake bread, I usually use my crockpot, so once I'm finished kneading, I shape the dough and put it into a loaf pan that fits in my crockpot. I put it in the crockpot on high for 2 to 2½ hours, which includes the rising time, and it's done! To bake in the oven, let it rise for an hour in a bowl, then shape it and let it rise in the loaf pan for another hour, then bake for about an hour.
- For pizza dough, rolls, breadsticks or anything else, coat a large bowl with a little olive oil, toss in the dough turning once to coat, and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until large and poufy. Shape into your desired form and bake for about 20 minutes. This time will vary depending on what you are making so keep an eye on it in the oven. For pizza dough, you can prebake the crust for about 10 minutes if you like it more crispy. Otherwise, it makes a nice soft crust.
As I said, this is a very versatile dough. Not only do I use it for a wide variety of baked goods, but I’ve also had a lot of success varying the flours that I use. Most often, I use whole wheat, but I’ve done half and half whole wheat and all-purpose which makes it rise quite a bit more. One time, I started making it, only to realize I only had about half a cup each of whole wheat and white flour. I grabbed our oats to grind some oat flour and only had about half a cup of that too! I threw those in and went for the brown rice flour, of which I only had one cup. Yes, it was time for a shopping trip, but my yeast was already proofing, so in desperation, I pulled some barley out of the cabinet and ground it in my Korean fake Magic Bullet to make up the rest of the flour needed. I was skeptical that pizza crust would even turn out, but it was amazing! We loved it. This recipe also works well for pizza and breadsticks with my gluten-free flour mix, but I’ve never tried to make a loaf of bread with that. Please let me know in the comments if you do.
You can also vary the veggies you put in the dough. We use butternut squash or pumpkin more often than not, but beets make a lovely pink dough and cauliflower is good for white bread lovers. Spinach and broccoli taste great but the color is a little off-putting in my opinion.
Here are a few process pictures in case there are any of you that are scared of yeast doughs. It’s really not that bad once you get going! You can do it!
This is what the yeast mixture should look like after five minutes. If you don’t get this nice foamy texture on top, your yeast might be dead.
Mixing it with the Kitchen Aid dough hook:
Shaped into the bread pan and sitting in the slow cooker:
Shaping into pizza crust: (I just press it into the pan, but you could form it then set it on the pan.)
Finished products – pizza dough, bread, then a picture of breadsticks:
And finally, a picture of Littlenificent enjoying a cinnamon breadstick with her soup for lunch.
I really hope you will try this dough and that your family will enjoy it as much as we do! Please let us know what you think in the comments!