Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza

Makes 1 (12-inch) pizza; about 8 slices

For a quicker version, use a store-bought 1 pound ball of whole wheat pizza dough.

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:
1 (1/4 ounce) packet active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water

3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour

Pizza Toppings:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups white or brown cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda, Gruyere, or mozzarella
1/4 cup sliced olives, such as green Cerignola and black Kalamata

3/4 cup shredded part-skim milk mozzarella
fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley for garnish

1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast, salt, and sugar in warm water and let rest for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, gently stir in 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add flour and blend with a spoon just until the dough starts to form; using using your hands, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly for 1-2 minutes. The finished dough should be smooth yet heavy and dense.

2. Place the dough in a medium, clean bowl coated with olive oil and rub some olive oil on top of the dough. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size (about 1- 1 1/2 hours). Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 12-inch disc. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper (if using a pizza stone) or to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. If you like, you can let the rolled out dough rest for about 30 minutes; it will rise slightly and create a puffier crust.

3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add onions and saute 3 minutes, or until just translucent. Add mushrooms and saute 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add red bell peppers and saute 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from heat.

4. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the crust. Top with the grated smoked cheese. Arrange the vegetables on top. Scatter olives. Top with the mozzarella.

5. For a pizza stone, bake at 500 degree for about 10 minutes, or until both the top and bottom of the crust is brown and the cheese is melted. For a baking sheet, bake at 450 for about 20 minutes, or until both the top and bottom of the crust is brown and the cheese is melted. Serve hot or at room temperature, and garnish with fresh herbs.

Recipe created by Susan Russo of Food Blogga.