Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
This Whole Wheat Pizza Dough is easy to make, using just a few ingredients. It’s the perfect pizza crust to make your favorite homemade pizza recipes!
If you’ve never made homemade pizza dough, now is the perfect time to try. This whole wheat pizza dough makes a delicious pizza. Whole wheat flour adds both the nutrition benefits of whole grains and great flavor.
What if you don’t have any whole wheat flour on hand? If you prefer to use all-purpose flour (or that’s all that you have in your kitchen), you can follow this same recipe using all-purpose flour.
I use this whole wheat pizza dough to make my favorite pizza recipes, including pear and walnut pizza and BBQ chicken pizza. Most often though, we top our pizza with pizza sauce, cheese and whatever vegetables we have in our refrigerator. You can also use this easy pizza dough to make pizza bites.
Don’t be intimidated by using yeast to make homemade pizza dough. This pizza dough recipe is perfect for beginners! I’ll walk you through the simple steps and before you know it, you’ll be making the best homemade pizza.
How to Make Pizza Dough
Proof the yeast: Combine the warm water, yeast and honey in a bowl and stir them together. If you will be making the dough using a stand mixer, you can combine these ingredients right in the mixer bowl. Let the mixture sit for five minutes to allow the yeast to become active – it should start to look foamy or bubbly. If not, you will need to start again with new yeast.
Add remaining ingredients: Now add the olive oil, salt and flour to the bowl. Mix until a dough starts to form.
Knead the dough: Using either a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or your hands, knead the dough until it becomes smooth, stretchy, and bounces back when you press it with your finger. This should take about 8 minutes. If the dough is really sticky, you can add more flour, one tablespoon at a time. The dough should be only slightly sticky.
Let the dough rise: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and turn the ball of dough once to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for about one hour, or until approximately doubled in size.
Shape the dough: Punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. This rest time relaxes the dough and will make it easier to shape. Use your hands and/or a rolling pin to stretch each ball of dough out into a 14-inch circle. If you plan to bake your pizza on parchment paper, you can finish shaping the dough on the parchment. Otherwise, put it on your baking pan (sprinkle some cornmeal on the pan to prevent sticking).
Add toppings and bake pizza: Add sauce and your desired toppings to the pizza. Bake according to the directions in the recipe card below.
What kind of flour is best for pizza dough?
In this recipe, I use a combination of white whole wheat flour and either bread flour or all-purpose flour. My family prefers the flavor of pizza crust that is made with about half whole wheat flour and half white flour. If you want a 100% whole wheat pizza crust, you can use all white whole wheat flour.
If you have some on hand, I recommend using bread flour (along with the white whole wheat) in your pizza dough. Bread flour has a higher gluten content, which gives your pizza crust a chewier texture.
White whole wheat flour has a milder flavor than regular whole wheat, which is why I prefer to use white whole wheat flour in baking. The nutrition benefits are the same whether you use white whole wheat or traditional whole wheat flour.
What kind of pan should I bake pizza on?
You can bake your pizza on a pizza pan, a baking stone, or a baking sheet. The biggest question is whether to bake your pizza directly on the pan, or to put a sheet of parchment paper under the pizza.
The reasons to bake your pizza on parchment paper include easier clean up and less risk of your pizza sticking to the pan. You can preheat your pizza pan or stone, assemble your pizza on a sheet of parchment paper, and slide it right onto the hot pan. Baking on a preheated pan can give you a crispier crust.
Why might you want to skip the parchment and bake directly on your pan or baking stone? Pizza is best when it is baked at a high temperature, and with parchment paper you are limited to a 425° F maximum baking temperature. Without the parchment, you can bake your pizza at 450° F or higher if you prefer.
I usually bake my pizza on parchment paper because the convenience wins out for me. If you choose to skip the parchment, be sure to sprinkle some cornmeal on your baking pan to prevent the crust from sticking to the pan.
How to make pizza with crispy crust
- Preheat your pizza pan, baking sheet or pizza stone for at least 20 minutes at 450° F.
- A thin pizza crust will turn out crispier than a thick crust.
- Bake one pizza at a time.
- Bake your pizza at high temperature (450° F or higher).
- Use a high gluten flour, such as bread flour, in your dough. A high gluten flour will give you a crust that’s crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Make Ahead Instructions
After kneading the dough, you can either let the dough rise to bake right away, or freeze or refrigerate the dough for later.
To Freeze Dough: You can either freeze all or half of the dough, before the rising step. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Dust the dough balls lightly with flour and store in zip-top bags for up to one month.
When you are ready to use the pizza dough, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Then place the dough on a lightly floured surface, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest for about 2 hours at room temperature before rolling it out.
To Refrigerate Dough: To save time with dinner prep, you can make your pizza dough ahead and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before making your pizza. Take the dough out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before you are ready to roll it out. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and cover it with a clean kitchen towel while it rests.
Tips for this Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe
- If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix and knead the dough by hand.
- Try not to add too much flour. Start with the minimum amount recommended in the recipe, and only add more, one tablespoon at a time, if the dough is very sticky. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not so sticky that you can’t work with it.
- If you are short on time, you don’t have to let the dough rise for a full hour. You can speed up the rise by preheating your empty oven to 175° F for a few minutes and then turning off the oven. Put the bowl with the dough in the warm oven to rise (be sure the oven is off).
- My go-to simple pizza sauce is just plain tomato sauce with Italian seasoning sprinkled on top. It’s really good, and works great when I don’t have time to make pizza sauce or buy it at the store.
- For a crispy crust, bake only one pizza at a time. I’ve tried baking two pizzas at once and rotating the pans halfway through the bake time, and the pizzas don’t bake as evenly and the crust doesn’t get as crisp.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- 1 ½ cups warm water 110-115° F
- 1 tablespoon rapid rise or instant yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour or bread flour plus up to 2 tablespoons more, as needed
Make the Pizza Dough
- Put the warm water, yeast and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir gently to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes. The yeast should become foamy or bubbly during this time. (See note for instructions on making dough by hand, without a mixer.)
- Add the olive oil, salt and flour to the bowl. Mix on low speed using the paddle attachment until combined.
- Switch to the dough hook and continue mixing the dough on low speed, adding more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. Try not to add too much extra flour. The dough should be a little sticky when you press it with your finger, but a lot of dough should not stick to your finger. Knead the dough using the dough hook on low speed until a smooth ball forms and the dough springs back when you press it with your finger, about 8 minutes. (At this point, you can freeze all or half of the dough. See freezer instructions in the notes below.)
- Transfer the dough to a large lightly oiled bowl (I use olive oil). Turn the dough ball once to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
Shape the Dough
- Punch the dough down to release any air and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough in half and shape it into two balls of pizza dough. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes. This resting time relaxes the dough and makes it easier to shape.
- While the dough rests, preheat oven to 450° F. Put your pizza pan, baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven to preheat.
- Using your hands and/or a rolling pin, shape each ball of dough into a 14-inch circle. You can finish shaping and bake the dough on a sheet of parchment paper, which you will slide onto the preheated baking pan when you are ready to bake the pizza. As you assemble the pizza on the parchment paper, you can place a second (flat) baking sheet under the parchment for easy transfer to the pan in the oven.
Assemble and Bake Pizzas
- Add pizza sauce, cheese and toppings as desired. Reduce the oven temperature to 425° F. Bake pizzas, one at a time, for about 9 to 12 minutes, until the crust and cheese are lightly browned. Let pizzas rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
- If you prefer a 100% whole wheat pizza crust, you can use all white whole wheat flour instead of the all purpose or bread flour called for in the recipe.
- If you make this recipe with all white flour (either all purpose or bread flour) and no whole wheat flour, you may need to add more flour to get a dough that isn't too sticky.
- To make dough by hand (without a stand mixer): Follow the instructions above, stirring the ingredients together instead of mixing with the mixer. Knead the dough using your hands on a lightly floured work surface until it is smooth, stretchy and springs back when you press it with your finger.
- To bake pizza directly on the pan, without parchment paper: Do not preheat the baking pan, as you don't want to burn yourself when you are shaping and assembling the pizza. Sprinkle the pan generously with cornmeal to prevent sticking. You can bake the pizza at 450° F since you are not using parchment paper.
- To freeze pizza dough: After you finish kneading the dough, you can freeze all or half of the dough. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Dust lightly with flour and store in a zip-top bag for up to one month. When you are ready to use the pizza dough, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Then place the dough on a lightly floured surface, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest for about 2 hours at room temperature before rolling it out.
- To refrigerate unbaked pizza dough: After kneading the dough, you can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before using. Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 2 hours before rolling it out (place it on a lightly floured surface and cover it with a clean kitchen towel while it rests).
- Nutrition information is for pizza dough only, as sauce, cheese and toppings will vary.
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