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 fresh garlic, garlic powder, and/or dried herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme or an Italian seasoning mix (see note)
- 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): KitchenAid 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 1 Tablespoon (13g) 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 mix 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 mix under or on top of your desired pizza toppings.
- Pictured Pizza Toppings: Pictured above is margherita pizza style with 1 clove chopped garlic, 1/3 cup (42g) 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 mix. 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