Pizza’s allure is insatiable. Some 93 percent of Americans eat it at least once monthly, and people order it for taste, value, and cravings. But a quarter of the folks included in those stats quite honestly order it because it’s an easy meal.

For those who prefer lending their own hands to their food (and having a little more control over the ingredients going into it), with a blender and the smart use of an indoor grill, anyone can create authentic flavors that would make Dean scream “That’s Amore.”

What’s the homemade fuss?

If you’ve eaten pizza made by anyone’s hand other than your favorite pie maker’s, you know that the homemade kind is incomparable to nearly everything else: the crust is more crackly and yeasty; the toppings seem to taste fresher (even if they really aren’t); and its imperfect lack-of-roundness makes it all the more appetizing. Endearing, even.

Although there’s nothing like eating your own pizza … notice we didn’t say making your own. That’s because for fraidy-cat bakers, making dough is just plain daunting. Combine the anxiety of “my oven’s not hot enough!” and “white flour makes me fat,” and their ball of baking negativity all but forces their hand toward a take-away menu and a phone.

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Easy road to whole wheat health

In this recipe we combine just six ingredients (five, really: one is water) to form a dough that doesn’t need kneading, poking, or prodding to come out perfect. The white whole wheat flour boosts fiber and lends a nutty chewiness; the grilling adds smoky depth that will make you refocus your next take-out decision.

Grilled Pizza with Whole Wheat Dough

Ingredients – The Dough

  • 4½ cups unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 1¾ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1¾ cups water, ice cold
  • a few tablespoons chopped herbs (optional)
  • semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

Ingredients – The Pizza

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 slice provolone
  • ½ green pepper, sliced
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 2 spicy Italian sausage links, sliced into thin disks
  • 1 link pepperoni, sliced into thin disks

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Instructions – The Dough

  1. Using the scraper beater or flat beater, in the bowl of your electric mixer combine the flour, salt, and instant yeast. By hand, stir in the oil and cold water until the liquid is absorbed by the flour. Add the herbs.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for five to seven minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl (at this stage it kind of looks like a tornado: add a touch of water or flour to reach the desired effect). The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured countertop. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and mold each into a ball. Rub each one with olive oil and slip into plastic sandwich bags. Refrigerate overnight.

Instructions – The Pizza

  1. Heat your indoor grill to medium high.
  2. Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and mash them until they form a chunky sauce.
 From the refrigerator, grab a ball of dough about the size of a baseball. Stretch it out on a floured surface until it is roughly the size of your indoor grill, and very thin (you may need to take some dough away). Rub the top with olive oil.
  3. Carefully lay the dough on the grill and let cook for about a minute or until the edges begin to blacken. Remove from the grill, flip over, and put on a floured surface.
  4. Lightly brush the cooked side (facing up) with olive oil. Spread a layer of tomato on the dough. Sprinkle half the mozzarella, then the toppings, then the remaining mozzarella onto the cooked side.
  5. Very carefully return the pizza to the grill, lowering the top heating element so that it is an inch above the pizza. When the toppings begin to crisp and the cheese bubbles and browns, remove from grill. Let sit two minutes before cutting and serving.

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