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
This dough is so flavorful! Mine does tend to be super sticky when I go to knead it. Could the water temperature affect this?
Hi Bekah! There are a lot of variables that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency.
475 for 15 minutes? My crust was burnt. I’ll try again at 400 for 12.
I have never before made a 100% whole wheat crust that worked as well as this one, and I’ve tried many. My husband couldn’t believe it wasn’t a 50:50 blend of AP and whole wheat because of how light it was. Sally and team, you’ve done it again! Thank you for yet another perfect recipe!
Not a review but a question.
Where can I find the nutritional facts on just the crust? Or can anyone explain how I can figure it out.
Hi Kathy, 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
Recipe always bakes up well with lots of bubbles, but I find the dough is always sticky and very wet, pretty much unkneadable. After proofing it’s a little better but still sticky. I use 2 cups ap flour and the rest of the 1 and 1/4 cups being whole wheat flour. Is it because my majority of flour is ap? Should I lower the water amount? I’ve added more flour but it usually takes a lot.
Hi Emma, There are a lot of variables that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency. Generously flouring your hands will also help when handling the dough. Glad you’ve enjoyed this recipe!
The original version of this recipe was my ultimate go-to pizza crust, but I have been having trouble with the updated version and I have no idea why! It is always way too sticky and is hit or miss whether it rises well. I use a stand mixer for the whole process (3 mins on 1, then 5 mins on 2) and make sure to follow the recipe perfectly. Any ideas?
Hi Katie! The only change we made is we 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. It shouldn’t change the texture of your dough! There are a lot of variables that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency.
Can we add vital wheat gluten to help lighten up the crust? If so, how much?
Hi Janelle, we haven’t tested that addition so we’re unsure of how much you could add and how it would impact results. Let us know if you do give anything a try.
I haven’t made this yet but planning to give it a try. I was wondering if I could use the pizza pan that I have which has holes in it. The ones you suggested are solid. Does it matter?
Hi Annette, Yes you can use the pizza pan with holes. It actually helps the bottom of the crust crisp up a bit, so if you like a crispier crust it should be great.
This is the best whole wheat pizza dough recipe I have ever tried. My crust came out perfectly. The first time I did it, it was very soggy and I thought the crust was lacking in a bit of flavor. The second time, I added a bit more salt and some garlic to the dough. I figured out that it came out soggy the first time, because I used fresh mozzarella. So…for those of you who use fresh mozzarella, be sure to cut that mozzarella way ahead of time and dry it out on paper towels. I did this the second time, and my crust was so, so perfect! Thank you for this!
I absolutely love this recipe!!! I love making pizza and have just recently switched to whole wheat flour. I’ve been looking for a good whole wheat recipe and have tried tons of other recipes. All of them were a bust, except for this one! This crust has absolutely perfect texture and an incredibly delicous taste! The only change I made is I let the dough rise for like 30 minutes and then I use all of the dough to make 1 pizza. Instead of letting it rise for 2 hours and splitting it in half. This is my absolute go-to recipe pizza! Thank you so much!
Hi! I loved this recipe so much. If I wanted to turn this into ham and cheese pockets, would I still follow the same baking instructions as the pizza one or the hot pocket one?
Hi Jenny! You can use this dough and follow the baking instructions from our ham & cheese pockets – enjoy!
This is the best pizza dough recipe I have used. It is perfect in all ways. So easy to roll out with my hands. Perfectly holds the toppings. Has great firmness and crunch. And, it is whole wheat! I Love It!
I’ve made this twice . 2nd time though I was short on whole wheat flour so I substituted the remaining with AP flour same quantities .
However for softer texture I had to use honey not sugar and an extra tbsp of olive oil.
1st attempt it was 100% WW flour followed the recipes amount of Olive oil and didn’t have honey so added sugar .. the texture wasn’t as soft and chewy as I would like ….
However, the taste both ways was amazing as usual. I’m making it as mini pizzas to give my kids for school.
My husband and I are eating healthier these days and tried your whole wheat pizza doughrecipe. Love, love, love it!
What other foods can I make with this dough? Rolls, bread sticks, crackers….?
Hi Christine! We’re so glad you love this whole wheat pizza dough. We hasn’t tested it, but you would try this dough with homemade Stromboli, garlic knots, and breadsticks!
This pizza recipe is amazing. I have made it twice so and my family enjoyed it!
Nest pizza recipe ever!!! Crunchy,bready,tasty. Next time I’ll change the honey for some sugar to see if it’s more sweet,but overall i love it
The dough has not doubled in size and its been well over 2 hours. What can I do at this point to save it?
Hi Christine! See the section of our Baking With Yeast Guide titled “What if My Dough Isn’t Rising?” for tips if your dough isn’t rising.
Love this do you have nutrition facts I made this for a dish but did not use it all and I am counting carbs etc thanks
Hi Barbara, 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
Flavor was great. I had better texture when I baked it 3 minutes and then topped it and finished it. I followed the directions exactly and used white whole wheat, and DeLallo sauce. I baked it at the very top of the oven on a lodge pizza pan.
I do not see why this could not stand a few day rise, is there some reason you say 12 hours only? I’m going to give it a try, it would taste better with a little sour edge,
Can not wait to try the whole wheat pizza dough. I do not want the crust to be hard, I want it soft and a bit of a crunch. Any suggestions?
Hi Christine! This recipe will be soft with a slightly crisp bottom – no changes needed!
Can you use white whole wheat flour or at least half white whole wheat flour and half whole wheat flour?
I just made this recipe for the first time using white whole wheat flour. I thought it was very good. I don’t usually do well with yeast recipes, but this was easy. I couldn’t find my dough hook so I used the paddle attachment on my kitchen aid mixer and it did fine. I’m freezing the second ball of dough for another night.
This recipe is amazing and got me through the start of the pandemic and I never looked back at store bought crust again! It’s so easy too.
I’m not losing my mind though, right? Did this recipe replace the earlier version with 1tsp sugar and 1tbsp olive oil instead of 2? (I’ve pretty much memorized the recipe but came to double check something and went )
So glad you love this dough too. And yes! 1 more Tbsp of olive oil and there’s really no need for the 1 teaspoon sugar because we’ll just use the honey in its place. (Feel free to keep proofing with 1 teaspoon of sugar, but it’s not necessary.)
Hi! This recipe is great! Would this pizza crust recipe work well for calzones as well?
This looks yummy! I’d like to doubly or triple the recipe for my large family but would you multiply the yeast and salt?
Hi Ruth, for best success, I strongly recommend making separate batches of dough. Yeasted doughs do not always perform well with added volume, so I always encourage readers to make separate batches.
This recipe was awesome. I’ve been trying out whole wheat pizza crust for a while and they are always so dense. This one was ligher and so delicious!
My husband and I love this crust recipe. It has a crunchy outside with a soft and chewy inside. The taste is fabulous sweet from the honey and nutty from the whole wheat.
I’ve made this recipe several times, and it always turns out well. I love that it’s 100% whole wheat.
Curious if this can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for a few days?
Hi Jess, We don’t recommend keeping this dough in the refrigerator for longer than 12 hours. You can certainly freeze it for longer storage though. See freezing instructions in the recipe notes.
Can I use whole wheat pastry flour?
Hi Andrea, You can certainly try it but keep in mind that pastry flour has a lower gluten content so the crust will not have the same texture (it will be less chewy). Let us know if you give it a try!
Thank you! I was just thinking I wanted to find a WW pizza dough recipe for this weekend as I’m trying to stay away from refined grains (for now). Looking forward to trying this!
I love this whole wheat dough. It has such a good taste with sauce, cheese and ground beef.
I also love to use whole wheat flour that I grind in cookies, muffins, rolls, pancakes, etc.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I made this for dinner today and it was fabulous! I was a little short on time so just let the dough rise for 30 minutes and it still worked out really well. I was also a little short on whole wheat flour so ended up using a 1/4 c of a blend of white rice flour and chickpea flour and it was still great. I haven’t had much success with homemade pizza dough in the past but this one is a keeper!