This easy recipe for whole wheat pizza dough is soft and tender, and bakes up perfectly every time!
The best homemade pizzas, whether a simple cheese pizza or something more creative like Spinach Pizza or Buffalo Chicken Pizza, starts with a homemade pizza crust. And this easy recipe delivers perfect pizza dough that is perfect for all your pizza recipes.
If you think using Whole Wheat Pizza Dough to make homemade pizza, results in a dense, thick, flavorless pizza crust--this recipe will prove that theory wrong!
After years (seriously years) of working to perfect my pizza dough recipe, I finally created a fool-proof pizza dough that is made with 100% whole grains.
why you will love this pizza dough
- 100% Whole Grain. This recipe uses whole white wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Whole white wheat flour is 100% whole grain and adds fiber and nutrients to your pizza crust, yet still keeps the crust tender and soft.
- Super easy to make! This Whole Wheat Pizza Dough can be made by hand, using a stand mixer, or even a breadmaker.
- Rolls out like a dream. There is nothing much more frustrating than pizza dough that won't stay stretched out on a pizza pan or rips easily when trying to roll it out. However, I have added a step that ensures the gluten relaxes enough to make this dough hold its shape and roll out perfectly.
- Flavorful. None of the above matters if the flavor of the pizza crust is bland. But thanks to the honey and olive oil, this crust has the perfect flavor. It is nutty, slightly sweet, and simply perfect.
Notes on Ingredients
- Flour: To keep this light and tender while still using 100% whole grains, I strongly recommend using whole white wheat flour. It is a lighter flour than whole wheat flour but is still 100% whole grains. Whole wheat flour will work but will produce a denser pizza dough. Feel free to use all-purpose flour as well if that is what you have on hand.
- Yeast: This recipe is designed using dry active yeast, not quick-rise yeast.
- Water: Be sure your water is between 105-115 degrees F, which allows yeast to activate. If the water is too hot, the yeast will be killed and if the water is not warm enough, the yeast will not activate. The water should be warm, but not hot to the touch. To be precise, use a digital thermometer the first couple of times you make this pizza dough recipe. After making this recipe a few times, you will be able to tell by touching the correct temperature of the water.
- Honey: You need a bit of sugar to add flavor to this dough and to help activate the yeast. Honey is my sweetener of choice, as it flavors the dough while helping to activate the yeast.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is going to impart the best flavor to your pizza dough and is strongly recommended. Canola oil can be used in a bind, but I never recommend vegetable oil or coconut oil in pizza dough.
How To Make Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- In a large bowl mixing bowl (or bowl for your stand mixer), pour in warm water, honey, and yeast. Mix gently and allow yeast and honey to dissolve in warm water and yeast to become active. This takes 5-10 minutes and you will know it is done once your yeast begins to bubble and get foamy.
Important: If your yeast does not foam, your water was either too hot or cold OR your yeast was expired. You MUST start over.
- Once the yeast mixture is bubbly, stir in the oil.
- Slowly add in the salt and flour and mix with a wooden spoon or with a dough attachment on a stand mixer at low speed until the dough just comes together.
- Once the flour has been mixed into the water mixture and the dough comes together, turn your stand mixer to medium-low and let the dough knead for 5- 7 minutes. You can also knead the dough by hand on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes. You will know your dough is done kneading when it forms a smooth, firm ball.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
- Let the dough rise for 30-45 minutes, at room temperature, or until it doubles in size. Keep in mind that the amount of time it takes for dough to rise is dependent on the temperature and humidity in your house.
- After the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough and let it rest for another 10-15 minutes. This is key to the pizza being able to be shaped as desired. I typically use this time to preheat my oven for baking the pizza.
- After the 10-15 minutes have passed, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick for traditional pizza crust or ⅛ inch thick for thin pizza crust.
- Transfer the dough to a pizza pan or baking sheet.
- Top pizza dough as desired and bake until toppings are warmed through and the crust is browned.
Bread Machine Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
If you have a bread machine with a dough cycle, it will make making whole wheat pizza dough nearly hands-off.
- Fit the bread pan into the base of the bread machine. Be sure the dough hooks are fitted securely.
- Pour the warm water into the bread pan.
- Add in honey and oil.
- Add HALF of the flour, followed by the salt, then the remaining half of the flour.
- Make a well in the flour and add in the yeast.
- Set the bread machine to the dough cycle.
- Once the cycle is complete, remove the dough from the bread maker and place it on a floured surface. Punch the dough down and let rest for another 10-15 minutes.
- Proceed to use the dough as you like.
Remember these Tips
While making homemade pizza dough is easy, there are a few things you must remember to ensure success. These tips apply when making whole wheat pizza dough AND pizza dough with all-purpose flour.
- Be precise. It is important to measure your ingredients carefully for pizza dough. Not enough water and your dough will be tough and dense. Too much flour and you are left with the same predicament.
- For the Water: Use a measuring cup designed for liquid measurements. You also want to be sure your water is just warm enough to activate the yeast. The water should be warm, not hot, to the touch, or measure 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For the Flour: It is important to spoon, not scoop, the flour into a measuring cup, as this yields a more accurate measurement.
- Be patient. It is important to exercise patience when letting the yeast bloom, kneading the dough, and letting the dough rise.
- Blooming the yeast: The yeast must bloom in warm water for several minutes to activate. If the water does not become bubbly after several minutes, you must start over.
- Kneading the dough: This will take several minutes and you do not want to skimp on that or the gluten will not properly develop and the dough will not be elastic or smooth.
- Resting the dough: You also need to be sure to let the dough double in size and then rest again for a short time after punching it down. These are all tips for developing the dough's elasticity and keeping the dough soft and tender.
Make-Ahead and Freezing Instructions
Because pizza night is such a favorite at my house, I love to double or triple my recipe for homemade pizza dough to use at a later time.
To prepare pizza dough in advance, prepare the dough up through the first rise. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide it into 1-pound balls of dough (this is one recipe worth of dough.) Lightly oil a freezer-safe gallon storage bag with 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Transfer pizza dough into the storage bag and seal well. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To use refrigerated pizza dough, remove the dough from the storage bag and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and bring to room temperature 1 hour before rolling the dough and baking.
To use frozen pizza dough, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with a towel, and bring it to room temperature for 1 hour before rolling the dough out and baking.
Using Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
This whole wheat pizza dough is the perfect base for ALL of your homemade pizzas. From topping with pizza sauce and cheese for a classic cheese pizza to more creative toppings to Pizza Bread, this wheat pizza dough is sure to become a staple at your house.
Next time you are craving pizza, give this whole wheat pizza dough recipe a try and then be sure to leave a review and comment below.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- ¾ cups warm water 105-115 degrees
- 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 1 ¾ cups whole white wheat flour see notes
- ½ teaspoon salt
Pizza Dough By Hand/Mixer
- Combine the water, honey, and yeast and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes in a large mixing bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer with a dough hook attached.)
- Once the yeast mixture is bubbly, mix in the oil. Add the flour and salt slowly and mix in as you go, with the dough hook or a large spatula, until well combined.
- Once the pizza dough comes together, knead for 8-9 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or with the dough hook of a stand mixer on low speed for 5-7 minutes.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover and leave in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes, to rise until doubled in size.
- Punch dough down and let rest another 10-15 minutes. Then proceed to roll out pizza dough to prepare pizza.
Pizza Dough in Bread Machine
- Pour the water into a bread pan fitted into the bread machine. Add in honey and oil. Add in HALF the flour, followed by the salt, and then the remaining flour. Make a small well in the center of the flour and add the yeast to that well.
- Set the bread machine to the dough cycle.
- After the cycle is complete, remove the dough from the bread maker and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Punch dough down and let rest another 10-15 minutes. Then proceed to roll out pizza dough to prepare pizza.
To Bake Pizza Dough
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- For a thin crust: Roll out dough to ⅛ inch thick and top as desired. Bake on a pizza stone or baking sheet for 12-15 minutes.
- For a thicker crust: Roll dough out to ¼ inch thick and top as desired. Bake on a pizza stone or baking sheet for 18-20 minutes.
This post was originally published in 2018 but was updated in 2020 with new pictures and video.