My favorite whole wheat pizza dough recipe is easy to make by hand or with a stand mixer, it’s naturally sweetened with a hint of honey, and it’s always perfectly chewy and delicious.
Say hello to my favorite whole wheat pizza dough! ♡
This recipe has been my go-to for homemade pizza nights for many, many years now and has become one of our readers’ favorite recipes here too! It’s surprisingly easy to make either by hand or with the help of a stand mixer, and only requires one 30-45 minute rise (conveniently the same amount of time it usually takes to prepare toppings plus maybe a side salad). Thanks to the use of white whole wheat flour, this crust bakes up to be wonderfully soft and chewy with a mild (not overpowering) whole wheat flavor. And best of all, our friends and family always absolutely love it!
I always use a hint of honey in the dough to give it a touch of sweetness. And if you’d like, you’re welcome to experiment with adding in some Italian seasonings, garlic or Parmesan to the crust too.
Everyone needs to have a great homemade pizza dough recipe in their back pockets. So if you’re looking for a healthier one to add to your repertoire, bring home a bag of white whole wheat flour and gather up your favorite pizza toppings. And let’s make some homemade pizzas together!
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Ingredients
Before we get to the full whole wheat pizza dough recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients that you will need:
Warm water: It’s essential that your water is the correct temperature (between 105-110°F) in order to activate the yeast. I always recommend using an instant-read thermometer to double-check.
Honey: I prefer to use honey to lightly sweeten the dough, but you are welcome to use sugar or any other sweetener if you prefer.
Instant yeast: You will need instant yeast (also known as rapid-rise yeast) to make this crust. Be sure that your yeast is fresh and not expired so that it will properly activate.
White whole wheat flour: I love making this crust with white whole wheat flour, which does not have an overwhelming “wheat” flavor and bakes up to be wonderfully soft and chewy. Alternately, you could use traditional whole wheat flour, which will have a slightly different flavor and texture.
Olive oil: We will incorporate a bit of oil into the dough as well as brush some on top of the crust before baking.
Fine sea salt: To season the dough and bring out its best flavor.
Cornmeal: To dust the bottom of the crust and prevent it from sticking.
Pizza Dough Tips
Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when making pizza dough:
Be sure that the yeast has activated: If your yeast does not foam up during step 1, please hit the pause button! The yeast is likely expired and will not perform well in the recipe. It’s best to completely start over again with a fresh batch of yeast. As mentioned above, I also recommend making sure that your water temperature is between 105-110°F. If it is too cold, the yeast will not activate. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
Stretching vs. rolling the dough: To achieve the best soft and chewy texture, I recommend gently and patiently stretching the dough with your hands. That said, if you are in a hurry, you are welcome to roll the dough out with a rolling pin. The texture will just be a bit more dense.
Aim to start with a round dough ball: The best way to get a round pizza is to start out with a round ball of dough. That way, it will be more likely to roll out or stretch into an even, round pizza crust.
Don’t stress about the shape: If your pizza dough isn’t perfectly round, no worries – it will still be delicious! :)
Try the orange juice trick: If you would like to minimize the “wheat” flavor in the dough, try swapping in 2 tablespoons of orange juice for 2 tablespoons of the water in the recipe. I learned this trick from King Arthur Flour years ago and have found that it really does help!
Here are a few ways that you can customize this whole wheat pizza dough recipe if you would like:
Use a different type of flour: As mentioned above, you’re welcome to substitute whole wheat flour (in place of white whole wheat flour), but the dough will have a notably different flavor and texture.
Add garlic: To make a garlicky pizza dough, add in 1 teaspoon garlic powder in step 2.
Add herbs: To make an herby pizza dough, add 1 or 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning in step 2.
Add Parmesan: To make a cheesy pizza dough, add in 1 or 2 tablespoons of freshly-grated Parmesan in step 2.
Make it vegan: To make vegan pizza dough, use sugar in place of honey.
Activate the yeast. (See notes below for alternate stand mixer instructions.) In a large mixing bowl, briefly whisk together the warm water, honey and yeast until combined. Let the mixture rest for 5 to 10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.
Add the dry ingredients. Add the white whole wheat flour, olive oil, salt and stir until a loose dough ball is formed. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it by hand for 5 minutes until smooth.
Let the dough rise. Rinse out and dry the earlier mixing bowl, then mist the bowl with olive oil or non-stick spray. Form the dough into a ball, place it in the greased bowl, then cover the bowl with a damp towel or aluminum foil. Let the dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it has nearly doubled in size.
Prep the oven (and pizza stone, if using).Heat oven to 450°F. If using a pizza stone, be sure to place the stone in the cold oven and to allow it to heat gradually. Alternatively, you can bake the pizza on a flat baking sheet, which will not need to be preheated.
Roll out the dough.Turn the dough back out onto a floured surface and use your hands to flatten it into a round disk. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently stretch the dough evenly into a 12- to 14-inch round for a thick-crust pizza, pinching the outer edges up slightly to form a rim. (Alternatively, you can cut the dough in half and roll it into two rounds for two thin-crust pizzas.)
Add toppings. Transfer the crust to a large baking sheet that has been lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. (Or if you are using a pizza stone, transfer the crust to a pizza peel that has been lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.) For an extra-golden crust, brush the outer rim of the crust lightly with olive oil. Add the sauce and toppings in the center of the pizza as desired.
Bake. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven (or slide the pizza from the peel to the stone) and bake the pizza for 16-18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are melted and cooked.
Serve.Transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Water: I recommend double-checking the temperature with a thermometer to ensure that the yeast will properly activate. Also, if you would like to minimize the whole wheat flavor of the crust, you can substitute 2 tablespoons of orange juice for 2 tablespoons of the water. (Thanks to King Arthur Baking for the tip!)
Instant yeast: This is also labeled as rapid-rise or quick-rise yeast by some brands.
Pizza toppings: For the pizza above, I also added about 20 pepperonis, 1 small green pepper (diced), 1/4 of a red onion (thinly sliced), 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 cup pizza sauce, and a few pinches of crushed red pepper flakes after baking.