Adapted from my regular pizza dough recipe, this whole wheat pizza dough comes together with 6 simple ingredients. It’s not as light and chewy as traditional pizza crust, but it’s wonderfully soft with a distinct wholesome hearty flavor. This recipe is perfect for yeast beginners who enjoy baking with whole wheat flour. Use your favorite toppings or try my roasted vegetable whole wheat pizza.
This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.
Whole wheat pizza crust gets a bad reputation because more often than not, it’s dense, bland, and crumbly. The reality is that whole wheat yeasted dough just cannot rise to the same level as white flour dough– literally! But back in 2014, I worked to develop a 100% whole wheat pizza dough that not only rises wonderfully, it’s soft with great flavor too. If you prefer the hearty goodness of whole wheat flour, you will certainly enjoy this pizza dough.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Details
- How it compares to regular pizza crust: Enjoy a soft, yet hearty base for your favorite pizza toppings. The crust is not nearly as chewy as pizza crust made with all white flour. However, what it lacks in chew, it makes up for in flavor.
- Flavor: When baking yeasted whole wheat dough such as these whole wheat dinner rolls, I love using honey as the sugar component. This crust has a touch of honey, enough salt, 100% whole wheat flour, plus you can add garlic and/or your favorite dried herbs such as basil, oregano, and thyme. (Or an Italian seasoning blend.)
- Ease: This recipe is for bread beginners. Making homemade pizza dough can certainly be an art– tossing the dough in the air, shaping, extended rise times, etc– and it’s always worth the effort! But for the everyday, I love turning to simplified recipes like today’s or my regular pizza crust. There’s just 1 rise, a little bit of kneading and shaping, and then you’re ready to gather your toppings and bake.
- Time: Set aside just under 3 hours for this homemade dough and keep in mind that most of the time is hands off as the dough rises.
You’ll notice that many yeasted dough recipes use similar ingredients– yeast, liquid, flour, salt, and sometimes a little sugar. There can be additions such as eggs, butter, oil, and flavorings, but for whole wheat pizza dough, it’s best to keep it simple. Pizza dough is what’s known as a “lean dough” because unlike cinnamon rolls and glazed doughnuts, it’s not rich with fat. I do, however, like to add a little olive oil for flavor and softness.
Main Ingredients for Your Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Here’s a quick breakdown of the 6 ingredients you need, plus a couple extras. The full printable recipe is below and a new video tutorial is coming soon!
- Water: Whole wheat flour contains unrefined grains like germ and bran– and both absorb a lot of liquid. (And this is why many whole wheat breads can taste dry.) To avoid a crumbly dry crust, make sure you use enough water. I tested this pizza dough recipe with varying amounts of water and 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) is perfect to hydrate the whole wheat flour. Use warm water to cut down on rise time, about 100-110°F (38-43°C).
- Yeast: You can use either instant (quick rise) or active dry yeast in this dough. I usually use Platinum Yeast from Red Star, which is an instant yeast. Because yeast has to work harder to make whole wheat flour rise, we’ll use slightly more yeast in this dough compared to my regular pizza dough recipe. You need 1 Tablespoon (8.5g).
- Honey: Yeast feeds on sugar so in order for this dough to rise properly, you need a little sugar in the dough. 1 Tablespoon of honey also adds flavor and tenderizes the dough. If needed, you can use regular white granulated sugar instead.
- Whole Wheat Flour: For 100% whole wheat pizza crust, use all whole wheat flour as instructed in the recipe below. For lighter whole grain flavor, feel free to replace some of the whole wheat flour with an equal amount of bread flour or all-purpose flour.
- Oil: Extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor to the dough. Don’t forget to brush the dough with olive oil before adding the toppings, which prevents the crust from tasting soggy.
- Salt: Salt adds necessary flavor.
- Extras: Cornmeal isn’t in the dough, but it’s used to dust the pizza pan. Cornmeal gives the pizza crust a little extra flavor and crisp. Most delivery pizzas you enjoy have cornmeal on the bottom crust! And feel free to add some dried herbs to the dough itself or sprinkle on the dough before adding the toppings. You could also add garlic or garlic powder in or on top of the dough. See recipe notes below for details.
Step-by-Step Photos: How to Make Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Here are photos showing some of the process so you can feel confident when it’s your turn to try the recipe.
Use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment or mix the dough together by hand with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Right out of the mixing bowl, the dough is slightly sticky and tacky. Place it on a lightly floured work surface (below, left) and then knead the dough by hand* until it’s smooth, elastic, and bounces back when you poke it with a finger (below, right).
*As detailed in the recipe, you can knead the dough with your mixer on low speed instead.
Let the dough rise in a lightly greased bowl until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
After the dough rises, punch it down to release the air and cut the dough in half. Freeze the 2nd half of dough or make 2 pizzas.
Using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on a greased pizza pan sprinkled lightly with cornmeal and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle and lift/pinch a lip around the edges. If you’re shopping for a pizza pan, I use and love (affiliate links) this one and this one. If you don’t have a pizza pan, use a large baking sheet.
Brush the shaped dough with olive oil and feel free to add a sprinkle of your favorite dried herbs and/or chopped garlic before adding your desired pizza toppings.
Toppings & Other Uses for this Dough
You can use any pizza toppings you desire like plain cheese pizza, pepperoni, peppers, onions, cooked sausage, etc. It’s fantastic in place of regular dough in pesto pizza. For the pictured pizza above, I used 1 clove chopped garlic, 1/3 cup (about 80g) of pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought), 6-8 ounces shredded and/or thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (I used a combination totaling 7 ounces), 1 sliced plum tomato, and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and Italian seasoning blend. When the pizza came out of the oven, I added a handful of chopped fresh basil.
- Other Uses: You could also use this dough for stuffed crust pizza, stromboli, and cheesy breadsticks instead of regular pizza dough.
Roasted vegetable whole wheat pizza is another favorite on this whole wheat pizza crust.
Freezing Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
This recipe yields just under 2 lbs of dough, which is enough for two 12-inch pizzas. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or 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. To thaw, place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5 in the recipe below.Print
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Yield: two 12-inch pizzas
- Category: Pizza
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Follow these detailed instructions for making easy whole wheat pizza dough at home. The recipe yields almost 2 lbs of whole wheat pizza dough, which is enough for two 12-inch pizzas.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
- 1 Tablespoon active dry or instant yeast*
- 1 Tablespoon (21g) honey*
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for pan and brushing dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 and 1/4 cups (420g) whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)*
- sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting pan
- optional: chopped garlic, garlic powder, and/or dried basil, oregano, or an Italian seasoning blend
- Whisk the warm water, yeast, and honey together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes or until foamy on top. *If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula in the next step.
- Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. It will be slightly tacky to the touch. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough can be a little too heavy for a mixer to knead it, but you can certainly use the mixer on low speed if needed instead. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil or nonstick spray– just use the same bowl you used for the dough. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours or until double in size. (Tip: For the warm environment on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
- Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15-20 minutes as you shape the pizza. (If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.) Lightly grease baking sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray or olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavor.
- Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. (If not making 2 pizzas, freeze half of the dough for another time– see freezing instructions below.) On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle. Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.
- Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you prepare your pizza toppings.
- Top & bake the pizza: 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. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 15-16 minutes.
- 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.
- Freezing Instructions: This recipe yields enough dough for two 12-inch pizzas, a little less than 2 pounds total. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or 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. To thaw, place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Preheat the oven and continue with step 5, punching down the dough to release air if needed.
- Overnight/All Day Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 3, but allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. (If it needs to be in the refrigerator for longer, use cooler water in the dough which will slow the dough’s rise and allow for more time.) The slow rise gives the pizza dough wonderful flavor! When ready, continue with step 5. If the dough didn’t quite double in size overnight, let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before punching down (step 5).
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer | Dough Scraper | Pizza Pan | Pastry Brush | Pizza Cutter
- Yeast: You can use active dry or instant yeast in this dough recipe. I usually use Platinum Yeast from Red Star, which is an instant yeast. If using active dry yeast, the rise time will be slightly longer. Keep in mind that 1 Tablespoon is slightly more than 1 standard 7g packet of yeast. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
- Honey Substitution: If needed, you can use 1 Tablespoon (13g) of regular white granulated sugar instead.
- Whole Wheat Flour: For 100% whole wheat pizza crust, use all whole wheat flour as instructed in the recipe. For lighter whole grain flavor, feel free to replace some of the whole wheat flour with an equal amount of bread flour or all-purpose flour. If you wish to use all white flour, I recommend this pizza dough recipe. My team and I have not tested a gluten free version of this crust.
- Garlic/Herbs: For extra flavor, you can add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 chopped garlic clove to the dough when you add the salt. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme or an Italian seasoning blend when you add the salt. I usually add 1 chopped garlic clove on top of the shaped dough after brushing it with olive oil (step 7), then I add desired pizza toppings on top of the garlic. You can also lightly sprinkle the shaped dough with dried herbs/Italian seasoning blend under or on top of your desired pizza toppings.
- Pictured Pizza Toppings: Sprinkle dough with 1 minced garlic clove, spread with 1/3 cup (about 80g) pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought), 6-8 ounces shredded and/or thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (I used a combination totaling 7 ounces), 1 sliced plum tomato, and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and Italian seasoning blend. When the pizza came out of the oven, I added a handful of chopped fresh basil. Also pictured right above this recipe is roasted vegetable pizza.
- Recipe originally published on Sally’s Baking Addiction in 2014. The only change is that I used to use 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar to proof the yeast in step 1 and then I added the 1 Tbsp of honey in step 2. Now, as the recipe states, you just need 1 Tbsp of honey and you can use that in the proofing step. Easy!
Keywords: whole wheat pizza crust
Reader Comments & Reviews
I followed this to the letter and the dough became wet, almost liquid—freshly milled wheat flour. I give three stars for the effort, but the recipe is way to wet. Thank you.
Sally – I’ve tried different ww pizza dough recipes and this one was easy to follow and my best result yet… I used my stand mixer for the entire process, followed the directions closely and two ~12″ pizzas came out beautifully! My guys loved them. It has hit my collection of “make this again” recipes! Wish I could post a picture 🙂 Thanks.
So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Amy! Feel free to send us a photo at email@example.com — we always love to see reader photos. Thank you again!
Can I bake this pizza dough first and then add toppings and bake again?
Hi Fay, are you hoping to par bake the crust for a few minutes, add your toppings, and then continue baking through? If so, that will work just fine. We don’t, however, recommend baking, adding toppings, freezing, and then finishing baking at another time. Hope this helps!
Far too fluffy for pizza dough! More like focaccia. Instructions say this makes two pizzas, but it would have been enough for at least three. It was like eating loaves of bread with toppings on them.
I just made your recipe for whole wheat pizza dough today. Great recipe. The consistency of the dough was lovely. I topped the pizza with mushrooms, spinach and artichoke hearts. Yummy! This will be a regular in my recipe rotation from now on.
By far, the best recipe I’ve found for 100% whole wheat flour pizza dough.
I’m using this recipe in a homeschool cooking class (with credit given of course). We’re a little short on oven space – do you think it would work in muffin tins for individual pizzas instead, or would you make any changes?
Hi Steph, We haven’t tested baking it that way, but you can use this roll to make pizza rolls instead. Let us know if you give it a try!
Sally, can I make the dough ahead of time and keep in fridge? Thinking of making this on the weekend to use during the week
Hi Sarah, we’d recommend following the recipe notes for freezing this dough and then thawing in the refrigerator the day that you want to use the dough. Enjoy!
Sally, what if I wanted to use white wheat flour? would I use the whole wheat recipe or the white flour recipe or a combination of the two?
Hi Ric, you can use this recipe with white wheat flour. Enjoy!
Perfect and easy
I followed this recipe closely, but I had the same problem I have every time I try to work with yeast-raised dough: when it came off the stand mixer, onto my lightly floured cutting board, it wasn’t just sticky, it was gooey. The only way I could get it off of my lightly flowered hands was under the faucet. I also had to keep scraping the bottom with a spatula to get it loose from the cutting board. Any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong?
Hi Barbara! You’re not necessarily doing anything wrong – a lot of factors go into this such as mixing time, speed, weather, yeast, and temperature of water. Feel free to add a little more flour to make a soft, yet workable dough.
Hi Sally! I made this once already and it came out perfect!! I was wondering, if I wanted to freeze the dough, do I have to freeze the dough balls or is it possible to preshape the pizza, and then freeze it – for as little work as possible post freezing?
Thanks in advance!
Hi Jenni, We are so happy you enjoyed this recipe! For the best results shaping it ahead of time you can par bake and freeze the dough (without toppings). Bake for only 5-8 minutes, then freeze. Let it thaw before topping and baking. Make sure you roll the dough/flatten thin as it will puff up without toppings on.
Great recipe! I actually modified it using the tangzhong method, since it was already a high hydration dough. It came out so fluffy! And the warmth from the tangzhong slurry made it double in just 45 minutes.
Has anyone made this as a thick crust? If so, how long did you cook it?
Hoping to make this soon! Would you happen to have the nutrition information?
Hi Julia! We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076
Hello Sally, thank you for the recipe. What changes are needed for a thinner, crispier pizza base with whole wheat flour? I use Bob’s red mill whole wheat flour and live in dry Arizona
For a thinner pizza, you may enjoy this flatbread recipe instead. You can try using all whole wheat flour instead, although you may need to add a bit more water to the dough. Let us know if you give it a try!
Hi Sally, after numerous failed attempts at making pizza dough I finally found the perfect recipe! So easy and will definitely be a favourite of mine. The dough feels crispy, healthy and light but doesn’t compromise that classic pizza taste and texture.
Thank you so much!
Can I use this dough with your ham and cheese pockets? Abigail
Sally, I made this today and I totally love it. The ratios of yeast, honey, salt and flour are perfect, and you need the required olive oil that you have in this recipe to make a good dough. I had some White Wheat Flour from a local mill that was perfect for this, and my pizza baked up perfectly. I have another round in the freezer that I will probably use for stromboli. I’ve tried many dough recipes, but this one did it for me.
The dough is easy to make. I used about 2/3 of the recipe for a 16″ pizza. Next time I will make one change and add far more vegetables and sauce to the pizza to offset the chewiness of the whole wheat flour. In hindsight, I should have used Sally’s pictures as a guide. Overall, the dough was far superior to the store-bought dough I had purchased in the past.
Sally did it again! I make homemade pizza very often for my family but I typically use the Joy of Cooking Pizza Dough recipe. I like to cook with WW flour and I really appreciate this recipe. The addition of the honey doesn’t make it sweet to my tastebuds but it does make the texture really nice. My pre-school aged kids loved it, as did all the adults. Three generations approved!
I cook mine in a cast iron skillet and ours needed more time.
Thank you Sally! I would love a WW bread recipe if you were willing to tackle that one day soon!
Hi Jenna, can you explain how you cook this pizza dough in a cast iron? Thank you.
Can I make this into 4 mini pizzas? If so, any changes to oven time/temp?
Hi Summer, you can definitely make mini pizzas. Temperature will remain the same, but we’re unsure of bake time.
this is not a good recipe. not sure what it is, but it’s impossible to shape into a disc. you’re just left with a big ball of dough and no pizza
More than likely, your dough was cold. Cold dough retracts easily making it difficult to press down and form into a disc. Best thing to do is put it back into a bowl and put it somewhere warm like an oven. Once the dough warms up, it should be much easier to press to a disc.
I’m hoping to make this soon but I was wondering if it’s possible to replace the honey with either maple syrup, agave syrup, white or brown sugar? Thank you so much for any feedback!!
Hi Alicia, you can 1 Tablespoon (13g) regular white granulated sugar instead.
Sorry I just noticed my question was already in the notes listed above! Thank you for your quick reply.
I was also wondering if instead of whole wheat could I use all white whole wheat flour in this recipe with the same results?
Hi Alicia, that sub should work just fine!
I used maple syrup with mine and it was good.
I loved this recipe so much! It was chewy and slightly crunchy. This one is a keeper!