Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust Recipe.

Follow these easy instructions for creating a soft & chewy whole wheat pizza crust at home. 

A few step-by-step photos at the BOTTOM.

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Whole wheat pizza crust has a bad reputation. If done wrong, it’s often tough, dense, and well… flavorless. Nothing at all like fluffy, chewy, soft, and crispy white pizza crust that we all know and love. Let’s change that.

I spent about 2 weeks testing and retesting to find that perfectly soft, chewy, crispy whole wheat pizza crust recipe. Yes, we have been eating a ton of “test pizza” here lately!

This lip-smackin’ whole wheat pizza crust is one of the best I’ve ever had. And no, I’m not just sayin’ that. If you’re looking to add some tasty whole grain goodness to your pizza night, this recipe will take you there.

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Please read the following because knowing the ins and outs before beginning will help you tremendously.

 

Ingredients.

All whole wheat pizza dough recipes are different, but they typically all have the same ingredients: whole wheat flour, yeast, water, salt, oil, and some may have sugar. Here is the breakdown of what I use in my own recipe.

Sugar. A slight amount of sugar is used to proof the yeast in the first step. Sugar increases the yeast’s activity, while salt can control it. Furthermore, a slight touch of sugar will tenderize your dough, especially when paired with the olive oil.

Yeast. I use Red Star Platinum yeast. I have the best results in my crust when I use their platinum line. Though I am being compensated for sponsoring Red Star Yeast, please know that I’ve been an avid user ever since I began to bake with yeast. Their Platinum line is fantastic; its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes making working with yeast simple. I use only enough yeast to get the job done; I don’t like pizza dough to taste “yeasty.”  1 Tablespoon of yeast is what you need for my pizza crust recipe.

Water. I tested this whole wheat pizza crust recipe with many different amounts of water over the past few weeks. I find that 1 and 1/2 cups is the perfect number. Please use lukewarm water (105F – 115F). Anything over 120F will kill your yeast.

Whole Wheat Flour. 100% whole grain, whole wheat flour is what this recipe was tested with. If you’d like to make a pizza crust with all-purpose flour instead, here is my regular pizza crust recipe. I do not know how to make this pizza crust gluten free. For the best results, just stick to the recipe as written.

Oil. Extra virgin gives this pizza crust the best taste. You’ll also line your bowl with olive oil as the dough rises and brush your dough with olive oil before layering on the toppings. This prevents the crust from getting soggy from the toppings.

Salt. Salt gives my whole wheat pizza crust a little flavor. Pizza dough without salt tastes bland regardless of the toppings. I tested with two different amounts and 1 teaspoon is perfect.

Honey. I add a touch of honey to my whole wheat pizza dough recipe for flavor. You’ll love it.

Cornmeal. Not all pizza dough recipes use cornmeal to dust the pan, but I prefer it. The main reason you sprinkle cornmeal onto the bottom of your pizza pan is so that the pizza won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. It gives the pizza crust a little flavor and crispy texture as well. You could just use flour to dust the pan, but you’ll lose the flavor cornmeal provides.

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Freezing Instructions

It’s important to know that this recipe is enough to make two 12-inch pizzas. If you do not need two pizzas, here are the freezing instructions:

After the pizza dough has risen and you divide the dough in half to form into two pizzas (step 6), you may freeze one of the balls of dough to make a pizza at a later time. Or you may simply freeze both balls of dough, separately. Lightly spray all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or lightly coat all sides with olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Thawing Instructions

Put your frozen pizza dough ball(s) in the fridge overnight or for about 12 hours to thaw. When ready to make the pizza(s), remove the dough from the refrigerator and set out on the counter to rest for 30 minutes and come to room temperature. Continue with step 7.

 

Do NOT feel overwhelmed. I made sure to break everything down very easily, so a lot of the text in this recipe is me being as thorough as possible. Be sure to use the photos below this recipe as a visual guide.

Be gentle with your dough at ALL times. Let your dough rest as I instruct in the recipe below. It’s fragile and should be handled with care.

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Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Follow these easy instructions for creating a soft & chewy honey whole wheat pizza crust at home. I do not know how to make this pizza crust gluten free. For the best results, just stick to the recipe as written.

Yield: two 12-inch pizzas

Prep Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Star Platinum yeast*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (105 - 115F degrees)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (21g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 and 1/4 cups (407g) whole wheat flour
  • olive oil for brushing crust

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the sugar, yeast, and warm water. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast is foamy and dissolved. This is called "proofing" the yeast. If the yeast doesn't dissolve, your yeast is dead. Start again with active yeast. Add the olive oil, honey, and salt. Mix by hand with a whisk or with the dough hook on low speed for 30 seconds. Add 3 cups of whole wheat flour and mix with the dough hook on low speed or with a large rubber spatula until dough starts to come together.
  2. Once mixed, knead for 5 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or with your dough hook on low-medium speed. If your dough is too wet, add up to 1/3 cup more whole wheat flour. I only needed 1/4 cup more whole wheat flour. After kneading, your dough should be smooth and elastic. Poke it with your finger - if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn it over to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment (about 75F-80F).
  4. For the warm environment, I heat up my oven to 200F. Then, I turn the oven off and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, I close the oven door to trap warmish air inside with the rising dough.
  5. Depending on your type of yeast, your dough will have doubled in size in about 1 - 2 hours. I use Red Star Platinum and my dough took 1 hour, 20 minutes. Punch the dough down to release the air. It will deflate.
  6. Cut the dough into two.
  7. Roll each half into a ball and let rest in two separate bowls lightly covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil for at least 20 minutes. You may freeze one of the dough balls at this point to use at a later time. Please read above in the post for freezing instructions.
  8. Preheat oven to 475F degrees. Allow to heat for at least 30 full minutes. Every inch of your oven needs to be very, very hot. Grease and dust 2 baking sheets or pizza pans with nonstick spray or with olive oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal (preferred for flavor and texture) or flour (not preferred). Please read above in the post for why cornmeal is preferred.
  9. After 20 minutes, flatten each ball of dough 1 at a time on a lightly floured surface or directly onto your cornmeal lined pizza pan/baking sheet. Flatten into a 12-inch round circle, flattening and stretching the dough. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker's peels dusted with cornmeal.
  10. Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinched the edges up to create the lip. (Pictured in step 11 here.) To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Transfer dough to the pizza pan, baking sheet, or pizza stone. Be gentle with it.
  11. Top with your favorite toppings, like roasted vegetables and cheese.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. I kept my pizza in the oven for 16 minutes because I like a toasty crust.
  13. Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Store leftover pizza covered tightly in the refrigerator and reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices may be frozen up to 1 month.

*You may substitute active dry yeast on an equal basis for the instant yeast. Expect an approximately 50% slower rise time.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

You may make this dough without a mixer OR you may make this dough with a mixer. I will provide instructions for both in the following steps.

(1) In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the sugar, yeast, and warm water. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast is foamy and dissolved. This is called “proofing” the yeast. If the yeast doesn’t dissolve, your yeast is dead. Start again with active yeast. Add the olive oil, salt, and honey. Mix by hand with a whisk or with the dough hook on low speed for 30 seconds. Add 3 cups of whole wheat flour and mix with the dough hook on low speed or with a large rubber spatula until dough starts to come together.

(2) Once mixed, knead for 5 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or with your dough hook on low-medium speed. If your dough is too wet, add up to 1/3 cup more whole wheat flour. I only needed 1/4 cup more whole wheat flour. After kneading, your dough should be smooth and elastic. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.

(3) Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn it over to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment (about 75F-80F).

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

4) For the warm environment, I heat up my oven to 200F. Then, I turn the oven off and keep the door slightly ajar (I opened it wide for this picture). This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, I close the oven door to trap warmish air inside with the rising dough.

(This photo is from another recipe, but you get the idea.)

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

5) Depending on your type of yeast, your dough will have doubled in size in about 1 – 2 hours. I use Red Star Platinum and my dough took 1 hour, 20 minutes. Punch the dough down to release the air. It will deflate.

6) Cut the dough into two.

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

7) Roll each half into a ball and let rest in two separate bowls lightly covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil for at least 20 minutes. You may freeze one of the dough balls at this point to use at a later time. Please read above in the post for freezing instructions.

8) Preheat oven to 475F degrees. Allow to heat for at least 30 full minutes. Every inch of your oven needs to be very, very hot. Grease and dust 2 baking sheets or pizza pans with nonstick spray or with olive oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal (preferred for flavor and texture) or flour (not preferred). Please read above in the post for why cornmeal is preferred.

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

9) After 20 minutes, flatten each ball of dough 1 at a time on a lightly floured surface or directly onto your cornmeal lined pizza pan/baking sheet.

Flatten into a 12-inch round circle, flattening and stretching the dough. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.

10) Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinched the edges up to create the lip. (Pictured in step 11 here.) To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling.

Transfer dough to the pizza pan, baking sheet, or pizza stone. Be gentle with it.

11) Top with your favorite toppings. May I suggest a roasted veggie pizza?

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

11) Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. I kept my pizza in the oven for 16 minutes because I like a toasty crust.

How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

12) Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Store leftover pizza covered tightly in the refrigerator and reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices may be frozen up to 1 month.