Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
35 mins. to 45 mins.
Baking time:
18 mins. to 20 mins.
Total time:
7 hrs 52 mins. to 1 days 14 hrs 4 mins.
Yield:
two 10" to 12" round pizzas
Overnight
Take your salad fixings, combine them with your favorite pizza crust, and voilą — salad on bread. Or pizza topped with garden goodness. However you look at it, this light, chewy/crunchy crust, a tasty mixture of all-purpose and white whole wheat flours, is a wonderful base for all kinds of fresh ingredients.

We've included instructions for a baked ranch dressing-style sauce, but feel free to omit it — or substitute your favorite dressing, tossed with the toppings.

This recipe is a riff on our popular Now or Later Pizza, which details how to make these crusts ahead of time, then top and bake them when you're ready.
Volume Ounces Grams

Crust

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-ounce packet dry ranch-style dressing mix

Topping

  • your favorite salad greens, vegetables, meats, and cheeses

Directions

  1. 1) To make the dough: Beat the dough ingredients at high speed of your electric mixer, using the beater blade, for 2 minutes. Scrape the dough to the bottom of the bowl, switch to the dough hook, and knead for 7 minutes at medium speed. The dough will be smooth and very soft, and may not clear the sides of the bowl. You can also make the dough in a bread machine set on the dough cycle. If kneading by hand, mix the ingredients, then let the dough rest, covered, for about 30 minutes; this will give the flours a chance to absorb the water, which will make kneading easier.
  2. 2) Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes; then refrigerate it for 4 hours (or up to 36 hours); this step will develop the crust's flavor. It'll continue to rise in the fridge, so make sure it's in a big enough bowl.
  3. 3) Divide the dough in half. Note: for thicker, Sicilian-style pizza, leave the dough in one piece, and press it into a rimmed half-sheet pan (18" x 13").
  4. 4) Working with one piece of dough at a time, pick it up and let gravity gently stretch it into a circle, moving your hands around the perimeter of the dough as it stretches. For thinner-crust pizza, make a 12" round or oval. For a thicker crust, make a 10" round. Lay the crusts on lightly greased 12" pizza pans (or a couple of baking sheets).
  5. 5) Cover the dough, and let it rest while you heat your oven to 450°F. For thickest crust, let your pizza rest/rise for 60 minutes before baking.
  6. 6) When the crust has risen as much as you like, place the pan on the middle rack of your oven; if you're using two pans, place them on the lower and middle racks.
  7. 7) Bake for 8 minutes (for a thinner, larger crust), or for up to 10 minutes for a smaller/thicker crust. Rotate the crusts (top to bottom, bottom to top) midway through their bake. Remove the crusts from the oven; they should look set but not brown on top; and should be light to medium brown underneath.
  8. 8) While the crusts are baking, make the sauce. Stir together the mayonnaise and flour in a small saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat, and gradually stir in the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Some lumps will probably appear anyway; that's OK, just keep stirring and they'll eventually disappear.
  9. 9) When the sauce begins to thicken, stir in the dry ranch-style dressing mix. Stir to combine, and continue to cook gently, stirring regularly, until the sauce is as thick as heavy cream. Remove it from the heat.
  10. 10) Reduce the oven heat to 425°F. Spread the sauce onto the baked crusts, and return them to the oven. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is hot and barely beginning to brown. Remove the crusts from the oven.
  11. 11) Top with your favorite "main course" salad ingredients, including leafy greens, cheese, tomatoes, bacon, diced roast chicken, etc. If the salad ingredients are very cold, return the pizzas to the oven for 30 seconds or so, just to warm the topping briefly.
  12. 12) Cut slices, place on plates, and serve with a knife and fork.
  13. Yield: 2 pizzas, 8 to 12 servings.

Tips from our bakers

  • Substitute semolina for the whole wheat flour, if desired. Or use 3 cups all-purpose flour OR 3 cups Perfect Pizza Blend in place of the all-purpose/white whole wheat mixture.
  • So, what about that Pizza Dough Flavor — can you leave it out if you don't have it? Well, it definitely gives delicious "pizza parlor punch" to any crust. It's not integral to the structure of the crust, and can thus be omitted; but it absolutely adds wonderful flavor.
  • Use the lesser amount of water in the summer, or in a humid environment; the greater amount in winter, or when it's dry.
  • Once you've baked the crusts until they're set (before adding sauce and toppings), you can choose to use one right away, and save one for another time. Cool the crust completely, then wrap in plastic. Store at cool room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.