I made some frikkin’ BBQ Chicken Pizza, because it’s Pizza Month!
You didn’t know about Pizza Month, did you? Well, that’s because I just now established it. I decided that pizza is important enough to the American culinary palette that it deserves its very own 4-week span in the year. Also, I need a good excuse to really tailor my whole wheat pizza dough recipe. 1
And now Google is telling me that October is somehow Pizza Month. That is absolutely incorrect, Google. June is Pizza Month, because I have deemed it so. Thus shall it forever be. 2
Like I said, I am working on making my 100% whole wheat pizza dough a regular, replicable staple, and that involves working with it a lot and getting a feel for what it can and cannot do. For example, it is a very high hydration dough. Because of this, it is very sticky, and no matter how much olive oil you use in the pan, it will hold tenaciously. Then you will have your mother, and your wife, and your 10-year-old nephew, and your cousins from out of state, who are all visiting at your house for supper 3, all separately walking by and witnessing your despair as you try and fail to pry the crust from the cookie sheet, and they will all cock an eyebrow shrewdly and comment ‘Guess somebody forgot the oil, huh?’ 4
You want to avoid this scenario. 5There’s your solution. Parchment paper is your only friend here, because everyone else is going to be waiting for your to fail. Again. Vultures.
I covered the basics of 100% whole wheat pizza crust back in February. I messed around with ideas from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads until I came up with my basic dough formula:
- 500 grams whole wheat flour
- 450 grams water
- 10 grams salt
- 1 packet yeast
Huh, you don’t have a scale? Well, then get one, because if you’re gonna bake things, you need to measure by mass and not volume. Stop whining and get a scale. Or go back to my pizza dough article and use my approximate volume measurements from there. Or better yet, get a scale.
What you do is just mix all that shiznit, the whole wheat and water and salt and yeast, all together in a bowl, cover the bowl, and put it in the fridge for the night. The next day you can do a little stretch and fold action to develop the gluten a bit.
STRETCH AND FOLD
The term ‘stretch and fold’ may not be familiar to folks who aren’t on the testosterone-soaked edge of extreme grain baking. 6 Basically, when you have a dough that uses all whole grains and no white flour at all, you have to use a lot of water. (If you don’t use a hell of a lot of water, you will probably end up with the same nightmare brick of whole wheat bread that haunted 1970s health food stores.)
High hydration doughs are too soft and sticky to knead as you would a white flour dough, so instead of kneading, you pull the dough out and then fold it back together. Kind of like taffy. It takes a little practice, but it actually takes less hands-on time than kneading. Here’s Peter Reinhart demonstrating the technique.
Like I said, this dough is sticky as Spiderman, so you want to do two things: prebake the crust, and bake it on parchment paper. 7 I’ll put specific instructions in the recipe at the bottom.
BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA
You know this is what you came for.In your FACE.
Chicken thighs. Red onions. BBQ sauce. TWO kinds of cheese. A sprinkle of cilantro.
Oh, yeah, and the crust is 100% whole wheat. Whatever. So it’s actually, like, a MEAL, instead of just greasy gut-busting grossness.LIKE THAT. This is what happens when you eat too much white flour pizza, kids.
Well, you should be, because LOOK AT THIS BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA.Oh, man, don’t you just want to-
Geez, she really shouldn’t have gotten that Domino’s special.
So remember, guys, make my BBQ Chicken pizza if you want this:Because if you use some other recipe, you will probably get this:
That’s science, folks.
- 1 batch of whole wheat pizza dough (see notes)
- 3 squares of parchment paper
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 oz cheddar cheese
- 8 oz jack cheese
- After preparing the pizza dough and letting it rest in the fridge overnight, divide it into three equal pieces. (You will want to put a lot of olive oil on your hands, because that stuff is super sticky.)
- Preheat oven to 550°.
- Roll one of the pieces into a ball and place it on top of a square of parchment paper. Rotate the parchment while pressing the dough down and outward, so that after a bit of work you end up with a thin disc of dough that looks pretty much exactly like a pizza crust. Because that's what it is. It should be about 8" in diameter.
- Repeat with the other two balls of dough.
- Bake the crusts for six minutes. This will ensure that they cook fully when you bake them with toppings. Remove the crusts from the oven and let them cool. Press down any big air bubbles that have developed.
- Note that the ingredients are enough for three BBQ chicken pizzas, but you now have three pizza crusts, and you are free to put anything you want on them. Just sayin'.
- Spread the bbq sauce on the crusts, then add cheese, then the rest of the toppings. Don't make piles. Spread the toppings around to make sure everything bakes evenly.
- Bake at 550° until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned here and there.
- Let the pizzas cool, then throw some cilantro on them to make it all pretty, because you know you're gonna Instagram that shit. Then slice 'em up and enjoy the hell out of them. With beer. Or wine. Or hell, margaritas, it's not like BBQ chicken pizza has any traditional accompaniment anyway.
- Whole wheat pizza crust: http://feralcuisine.com/100-whole-wheat-pizza-crust/
- This dough is too soft to knead. Instead, use the 'stretch and fold' technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1timJlCT3PM
- You see, unlike many bloggers in the culisphere, I do not have time for such things as ‘recipe development’ and ‘food photography’. I am documenting and photographing what I am eating, because that is what’s for supper, and if I end up with an inedible mess of an experiment, that is too bad, because we do not have extra money for dilly-dallying around. What you see is what I eat. ↩
- I quite enjoy reading this in a voice reminiscent of Mitch Hedberg. ↩
- ‘Josh is such a good cook, I wonder what he will make??’ ↩
- Translation: ‘How the mighty have fallen.’ ↩
- It might lead to dead relatives. ↩
- It’s a very macho art. ↩
- Parchment paper is magical. Just use it, you’ll understand. ↩