1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for rolling
2 tsp (1/4 ounce) fresh yeast 2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp olive oil
1 2/3 cups lukewarm water
Place the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. While the mixer is running, gradually add the oil and water. Knead on low speed until the dough is firm and smooth, about 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into four balls, about 7 1/2 ounces each. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place two balls on a sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let them rise in a warm spot until they have doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
To roll out the dough, dab your fingers in flour and then place 1 ball on a generously floured work surface. Press down in the center with the tips of your fingers, spreading the dough with your hand. When the dough has doubled in width, use a floured rolling pin and roll out until it is very thin, like flatbread. The outer border should be a little thicker than the inner circle. Pick the dough up with a spatula or the back of a knife, allowing it to fold up almost like an umbrella and transfer it to a paddle. Don’t worry that the pizza is not round—you are looking for an 8- to 10-inch shape, a cross between an oval and a rectangle. If you get a hole, simply pinch the edges back together. Repeat with the remaining balls. This recipe makes four rounds of pizza, though the topping recipes make two pizzas. We figure that this way you only have to make the dough every other time. Simply wrap the remaining 2 balls of dough in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks.
NOTES FROM TODD’S KITCHEN: With a little bit of time and effort, Todd English’s signature figs pizza dough can easily be mastered. However, if you don’t have the time or are intimidated by working with yeast, call your local pizza place and see if they’ll sell you some of their dough. In some areas you can buy refrigerated dough (not the kind in a tube) that would work well. If you use a heavy, bready, prebaked, vacuum-packed pizza crust, it just won’t be the same.
Our dough is far wetter than you’d ever believe. It makes a light, crisp crust. It may take you a few tries before you get it right. Be patient and err on the side of underworking the dough; if you overwork it, the crust will be tough and dry.
(makes about 1 cup)
1 tsp canola or vegetable oil
3 shallots, diced
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup chicken broth or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup veal or beef broth
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup sugar
1 rounded cup dried mission figs, quartered
Place a medium-sized skillet over medium heat and, when hot, add the oil. Add the shallots and cook until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Deglaze with the red wine and reduce by half Add the broths and vinegar, and reduce by half. Add the rosemary and sugar.
Turn down the heat to low and cook until the sugar has melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the figs and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are rehydrated, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cook until the mixture has the consistency of a liquidy jam, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.
NOTE FROM TODD’S KITCHEN: Fig jam
is more like a dried fruit preserve than a true jam. We use it primarily on our Fig and Prosciutto Pizza, but after you’ve tried it, I’m sure you’ll come up with your own uses.
Chef Stephen Crocker is the Executive Chef at Todd English Food Hall.