Whether you're on a high-fiber, low-refined-carb diet for health reasons or just looking to incorporate more whole grains into your regular meals, this 100% whole wheat pizza dough recipe might just change your life . . . or at least your pizza night game.
There are a lot of "whole wheat pizza dough" recipes out there on the web, but many of them aren't true to their name, containing a mix of white and whole wheat flours. And though recipes like that are fine if you're just trying to eat more whole grains, they aren't very helpful if you need to avoid refined carbs due to an illness or chronic condition like heart disease or diabetes.
This whole wheat pizza crust recipe is the real deal. It contains no white flour, very little salt, honey instead of sugar, and just a touch of oil. If you're also restricting your fat and salt intakes due to a serious health condition, swap out the olive oil for whatever type of oil your doctor/nutritionist recommends and reduce the amount of salt to fit your diet*.
How to Make Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes
You won't believe how easy it is to make truly whole wheat pizza dough. All you need are a few simple ingredients (water, yeast, honey, whole wheat flour, salt, and olive oil) and about 10 minutes of active prep. Then, the real magic happens all on its own while the dough ferments and rises. The resulting pizza crust is so fluffy, tender, and incredibly flavorful. Once you try this whole wheat version, you might never go back to traditional pizza dough recipes!
- Mix the dough ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk warm water, honey, and yeast until the yeast is fully dissolved. Then, add the whole wheat flour, salt, and olive oil and mix until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough comes together like this:
- Knead for 5 minutes.
Scrape the dough onto a floured countertop or large cutting board and knead it for 5 minutes. To knead, press the heel of your hand into the dough and push it away from you, then fold the dough up and over itself, rotate it a quarter turn, and repeat. Five minutes should be plenty to establish a nice gluten structure that will help the dough rise and transform into a fluffy pizza crust.
- Let it rise.
Grease the inside of a large lidded bowl with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Put the kneaded dough in the bowl, cover with the lid, and let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until it has about doubled in volume. If it's cold in your kitchen, that might take more than an hour; if it's hot, your dough could be ready after 40-ish minutes.
- Ball it up.
After the dough is finished rising, divide it in 2 equal-size pieces. (Or, if you want smaller pizzas, divide the dough into 3 pieces.) Ball up the dough, cover it with an upside-down bowl, and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stretch, top, and bake.
You're almost there! While the dough balls rest, preheat your oven to 500°F or 550°F. Then, when the dough is ready, stretch it out to a 12- to 14-inch round. (Or smaller if you divided the dough into thirds.) Spread your sauce on the dough and add cheese and other toppings. If you like, brush the naked dough edges with olive oil. Finally, bake until the bottom is evenly browned.
100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon or dough whisk
- Large bowl with lid
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) instant dried yeast (a.k.a. quick-rise yeast)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3.5 cups whole wheat flour (white whole wheat or regular whole wheat), plus more for kneading the dough
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil for greasing the bowl
To make the pizza dough
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and honey until the yeast is fully dissolved. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil and mix with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until the dough comes together.
- Sprinkle some whole wheat flour on a clean counter or large cutting board. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes, until the dough ball is smooth and slowly bounces back when you poke it with your finger.
- Coat the inside of a large lidded bowl with cooking spray, or drizzle it with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat it in the oil. Cover the bowl with the lid (or plastic wrap, if you don't have a bowl with a lid) and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in volume and you can see little bubbles on the top.
- Dust your work space with whole wheat flour. Take the dough out of the bowl, divide it into 2 equal-size balls, and place them on a lightly floured counter or large cutting board. (Or, you can place each ball in its own freezer-safe zip-top bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.) Cover the dough with an upside-down bowl (I use the same one the dough rose in). Let the dough balls rest until they puff up a bit, 20 to 30 minutes.
To bake the pizza
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle a clean counter or large cutting board with whole wheat flour and put a dough ball on top. Use your fingertips to press out the dough ball to a roughly 6-inch round. Then, pick it up and stretch it gently and evenly, rotating it as you go, until it reaches your desired size. (Or, just roll it out to your desired size. If you roll it out, the crust will be more dense, less fluffy, but still delicious.)
- If you're baking the pizza on a stone or steel plate, transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel or upside-down baking sheet. Otherwise, transfer the dough to a large rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan.
- Top the whole wheat pizza dough with any combination of sauce, cheese, thinly sliced veggies, and/or meat you like. Brush the naked dough edges with a little olive oil (optional).
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden around the edges and evenly browned on the bottom—10 to 12 minutes on the baking sheet, about 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Take the pizza out of the oven and slide it onto a large wooden cutting board. Let it rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve!
*Disclaimer: None of the advice given in this post is to be considered as medical advice. Please do not make any changes to your lifestyle or diet without discussing it with your doctor.