The Easiest Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Easy whole wheat pizza dough recipe

Mention a recipe that requires a rolling pin and I’ll probably respond with a few blinks. Tell me I have to let dough rise for an hour and I’ll probably say, “Nope, not happening.” I recently won a gorgeous new Kitchen-Aid Mixer, but it’s been hanging out next to my dirty socks in my closet ever since I made a disappointing batch of soft pretzels. I have no patience for fussy baked goods (I always mess them up). Also, I’m lazy.

In my defense, I’d say that my laziness contributes to this blog’s appeal. I gravitate toward simple methods and will search to the ends of the internet to find an easier way that doesn’t sacrifice flavor. Trust me when I say I searched to the ends of the internet to find a simple, foolproof, quick whole wheat pizza dough recipe. I went through a couple of bags of flour in the process. Things got messy.

homemade whole wheat pizza dough

First, Jim Lahey’s no-knead dough failed me at least three times. I think it was because I was making it with whole wheat pastry flour. (Lesson learned: whole wheat pastry flour and yeast don’t get along.) I also tried Cook’s Country’s skillet dough, which turns out to be fried flatbread. No thanks. Finally, I turned to one of my favorite bloggers and sweetest friends, Melissa of The Fauxmartha. She posted an adaptation of Cook’s Country’s quick grilled pizza dough.

My version is a combination of the two. It’s made with 100% whole wheat flour and is mixed together in the food processor. It requires just a few kneads and a few rolls with a rolling pin, but the effort is minimal. Dinner is ready.

how to make whole wheat pizza dough

This dough produces a crust of medium thickness that is crisp across the bottom and a little chewy in the middle. It has a lovely, yeasty flavor with just a hint of whole wheat. I’ll admit that this pizza dough doesn’t have the elusive, stretchy, chewy, sourdough texture that I crave in authentic brick oven pizza, but I don’t think we’ll ever achieve that with a quick, homemade whole wheat dough. On the upside, I’ve found a little trick that adds a ton of gourmet, brick oven flavor: smoked salt! You can mimic the aroma of lightly charred brick-oven pizza at home with a light sprinkle of the stuff.

Smoked salt is just what it sounds like—salt that has been smoked. It’s the pièce de résistance for this basic homemade pizza and a delicious addition to a vegetarian pantry. If you’ve ever added chipotle to chili or smoked paprika to roasted potatoes, you’ve gotten a taste of what smoky flavor can add to a dish. Keep in mind that smoked salt is a finishing salt. Just sprinkle it lightly on a finished dish for flavor instead of using it as your principle seasoning.

Whole Wheat Pizza

I’m partial to Artisan Salt Company’s fine grain alderwood smoked salt. It smells like a campfire and imparts a lightly smoky, almost bacon or barbecue-like flavor to anything it touches. So far, I’ve enjoyed it on avocado toast, pasta, fried eggs and smashed potatoes. Amazing on all accounts. I can’t wait to finish a bowl of hearty lentil soup with smoked salt this winter.

If you’re intrigued by flavored sea salts, check out SaltWorks’ other offerings, too. They sent me a bunch to play with: black Hawaiian sea salt, truffle salt, shimmering fine-grain pink Himalayan salt and more. Find them at Saltworks.us (free shipping!), or look for them in your local grocery and gourmet stores.

pizza and smoked sea saltbell peppersBell pepper pizzawhole wheat pizza dough recipewhole wheat pizza slice

4.7 from 10 reviews
The Easiest Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 8
 
Whip up this 100% whole wheat pizza dough in your food processor. It hardly needs kneading or rising time. You can make this pizza in less than the amount of time it would take for pizza delivery. Dinner is ready!
Ingredients
Whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1 cup water, heated to 110 degrees (very warm, almost too hot for comfort)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons) rapid-rise or instant yeast
  • 2¾ cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Toppings
  • 1 32-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand OR about ⅔ cup pizza sauce of choice
  • 2 cups shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • additional toppings of choice**
Recommended garnishes
  • Smoked sea salt
  • Torn fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. Whisk water, sugar, oil and yeast in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Allow yeast to proof for 5 minutes. It should puff up some by then.
  3. Pulse flour, Parmesan, and salt in food processor until combined. While running the food processor, slowly pour in the water mixture and process until a shaggy ball forms, about 1 minute.
  4. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and quickly knead dough a few times until it comes together. Halve the dough.
  5. On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough into two rounds about 11 inches in diameter. For best results, roll the dough out about as thin as reasonably possible. Transfer dough to a baking pan (my baking pan is non-stick, but if yours isn’t, you might want to lightly grease it with cooking spray).
  6. Brush the outer 1-inch of the dough with a light coating of olive oil. Add drained, crushed tomatoes (crush the tomatoes over the sink to get out as much liquid as possible) or pizza sauce of your choice. Sprinkle with cheese and vegetables.
  7. Bake on the top rack until the crust and cheese are lightly golden, rotating halfway, about 10 minutes for cheese pizza and 12 minutes for pizza with additional toppings. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt and/or fresh basil and serve.
Notes
  • Adapted from The Fauxmartha's no-rise pizza crust and Cook's Country's quick grilled pizza dough.
  • Yields two medium pizzas.
  • *Please use tomatoes that come in a BPA-free can (Muir Glen) or tetra pack (San Marzano). BPA is bad stuff.
  • **To make a ball pepper pizza as shown here, you’ll need one medium bell pepper per pizza (I used ½ red and ½ orange). Slice the pepper into long, then strips. Sauté the pepper in a teaspoon or two of olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the peppers are wilting and lightly charred. Transfer to a plate lined with a folded paper towel until you’re ready to top the pizza. Proceed as directed.
  • This crust turns out especially great if you bake it on a hot pizza stone or pizza steel (I have this one) instead of a baking sheet. The pizza will bake much faster on a hot surface, so keep an eye on it and reduce the cooking time accordingly.
  • I hear this dough works great on the grill, too!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by SaltWorks®, America’s Sea Salt Company®. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who allow me to serve up more recipes. Opinions are my own, always.

Comments

  1. says

    is the parm necessary in the dough? we do not eat dairy, but make DF pizza a lot, and i’ve been looking for a good whole wheat crust. if i leave the parm out, should i sub something else?

    • says

      Hey Emily, good question. I think the parmesan mostly just adds some flavor. You should be fine without it. You could add some herbs or garlic to the dough if you’d like to mix things up.

  2. Hillary says

    I’ve been waiting for (too lazy to research) an easy recipe for whole wheat pizza dough to use for monkey bread (made with maple syrup). Can’t wait to try! Thanks for doing all the work! You are my new favorite blog, BTW. :)

    • says

      I also despise using a rolling pin! Truly though, this dough is remarkably easy to work with. You can do it! If all else fails, you could probably use your hands to spread it onto the pan.

      • Caroline says

        I hate rolling things out as well… so I can’t be bothered to buy a rolling pin. So I just use an empty wine bottle with parchment paper to cover the dough! Works like a charm ;)

        Can’t wait to try this recipe for Friday pizza night!

  3. says

    As a proud smoked paprika and chipotle chili powder addict, I can say with confidence that this smoked salt is going to become a staple in my life! And on my pizzas.

  4. says

    this is such perfect timing- I’ve been playing around with pizza doughs and have yet to find a great one! I don’t have a mixer so this looks like something I can actually do at home; can’t wait to try it. (and smoked salt! #swoon)

  5. says

    I’ve been on a homemade pizza kick lately and this one looks so tasty! Bummer about Jim Lahey’s dough failing you – I just made pizza with it over the weekend (though I didn’t use whole wheat flour). Love the smoked salt!

    • says

      I’m definitely going to try Lahey’s dough again with white wholewheat flour. Somehow I didn’t know that whole wheat pastry flour would be such a bad choice! My dough was a gooey glob of a disaster.

  6. says

    a pizza pie
    a pizza pie
    I come to your house
    you make pizza pie.
    OK?

    p.s. I’m in Italy right now and I bet you they don’t have whole wheat crust here, just sayin’.

  7. says

    I will try every new pizza dough recipe I read about (at least, the ones as exhaustively researched by bloggers such as you and Deb Perelman, et al) because I am never satisfied with what crusts come out of my oven. But experimenting is half the fun! All-whole-wheat? That is what I’m talking about! Can’t wait to try! All ovens and atmospheric humidities are different so I will be happy to report back my results with your version :)

      • says

        This crust is awesome, Kate! I’m so pleased you shared with us. While it has a more crumbly texture than my usual Jim-Lahey chewy type, I have to say it is miles easier to work with as far as shaping. It was a breeze, and cooked into a sturdy, well-browned crust that didn’t flop under the weight of the toppings. It was delicious! It yielded two mediums-sized pizzas with a medium-thick crust, just perfect…. I added minced garlic to the dough along with the Parm, it made the house smell so good! I used your topping ideas too. Thanks for lunch :)

        • says

          Sophie, thanks so much for getting back to me! I’m delighted to hear that you enjoy the crust so much. You’re right, the sturdiness of the crust is a big selling point. I’m adding garlic to my dough next time for sure!

  8. says

    I love baking and the whole process of it. For me, it’s one of the most comforting things. But I’ll keep this recipe in mind for those moments when I want to have a homemade pizza ready in half an hour! These quick and easy recipes are often the ones that safe your evening after a stressful day at work. I also love that it’s 100 % whole wheat. Thanks, Kate!

  9. Mike D says

    It’s in the oven right now:

    1) My grocery store only sold 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes . . . makes sure you buy an extra 14 oz can if this is your case too as 28 oz isn’t enough.
    2) 2 cups of cheese! Woah! That’s a lot of cheese per pizza.
    3) I had to use two seperate baking pans for my pizzas. I wonder if you could just make one big one?

    Otherwise super easy and I’m looking forward to digging in.

    Thanks!

    MD

    • says

      Thanks for your feedback, Mike! Good point on the canned tomatoes. The cheese was a rough estimate. You might be able to make one big pizza. I’ve read that with big pizzas, you have to watch out for soggy crust in the middle. Often corn meal is used to help reduce sogginess. This dough gets so firm, though, that I’m not sure it would need any at all! Please let me know if you give it a try.

  10. says

    Mmmm this looks absolutely mouth watering! I know what I’m trying next weekend!

    Which gluten free flour would you suggest as a replacement for wheat flour?

    Thank you so much!

    Petite xx

  11. says

    Oh, this look delicious! I’ve been looking for a whole wheat pizza dough to make, and this one definitely looks like the one i’ll be making! Thanks for posting!

  12. says

    I also turn away at rolling pins and yeast. And my mixer looks real pretty on the counter :)

    I have been trying to successfully make a whole wheat pizza dough for as long as I can remember it seems, yours looks delicious and sounds easy enough! And I’m going to be on the look out for smoked salt!

  13. WV Cook says

    If you like smoked salt, it is easy to “make”. When I am smoking something for long periods (like a pork butt), I often add some other items to smoke on the shelf above in my simple, Weber water smoker–not a fancy set-up.

    That something has been tofu, cheeses, and even kosher salt. Just put it in a small pie plate, not real deep, maybe 1 inch of salt at most. I use foil ones so they can bend and I can fit more stuff on the rack. Low sides mean more smoke swirling. Just be sure to shake/stir it over time. Easy. Let cool and store. Then you can tell friends it is your own version of locally smoked salt.

  14. says

    Oh no – you absolutely must salvage your Kitchen Aid from the dirty socks. I can’t be bothered with fussy recipes either, but I use mine all the time. I absolutely adore it – it makes baking so much easier, and looks so pretty on your kitchen top…
    Thank you for the wholemeal pizza recipe, by the way – it looks delicious and I’m always looking for ways to make pizza a little more wholesome… I think I know what I will be having for dinner tomorrow night now…

  15. amanda june says

    hi! made this tonight — love that it’s 100% whole wheat and doesn’t require rise time. i eyeballed the size of the pizzas and must have underestimated 11 inches, because the crust turned out super-thick and breadlike. (i also didn’t put it on the very topmost rack in the oven, which probably added to the consistency issue — no crispness). fortunately, i LOVE almost all dense carby things and husband is easy to please (plus, this was my first pizza dough from scratch so extra grace!) so we still really enjoyed it! might give it a try some other time and roll it out thinner, because it really was an absolute breeze to put together (though i worried that it would be dry because it was a bit crumbly). anyway — thanks!

    • says

      Hey Amanda, I’m glad you enjoyed the pizza, but I’m sorry it didn’t turn out just right. You need to roll out the dough about as thin as you can make it because it puffs up quite a bit. It also shouldn’t have been crumbly. Maybe you were packing more flour into the cups than I did—I always use the spoon and swoop method of measuring flour.

      • amanda june says

        thanks for your reply, kate! yes, i did get two (what i thought looked like!) 11-inch pizzas, but next time i will roll them out super-thin and be more careful with the flour. :) thanks again!

  16. Erica says

    Thank you, thank you….THANK YOU!!! Tonight was make your own pizza night. I forgot to make the south ahead of time and the kids were getting antsy.
    I ued to own a rolling pin but it disappeared when we moved so I missed out the dough in a pizza pan I got from the dollar store and pressed it out until it reached the ends. My previous attempts at homemade whole wheat pizza dough left the kids press than excited to try yet another one, but the yummy smells quickly won them over. They devoured it! We now have a staple in this house. Thanks again!

  17. Erica says

    Oh. Typos! I hate that.
    South= dough
    Ued= used
    Missed out= put
    Press= less

    Typing on a cell phone from my kitchen. Lol.

  18. LAbird says

    Eating my pizza now, yum! Thank you for sharing this awesomely easy pizza dough. I am super lazy and usually buy store dough but I decided it might be easier to make it just this once.

    I replaced the yeast with baking powder, and the parmesan with thyme. It was forgiving and still turned out great.

    Dough was crumbly so don’t even try to stretch it out, I mashed it out with my palms.

    Thank you!

  19. Lacie says

    Wow! Totally delicious and super easy! All the recipes I found for whole wheat flour pizza dough kept calling for all purpose flour. My family and I are trying for 80% clean eating and 20% real life…(I loved and borrowed that line from Melissa at blessthismessplease.com). I typed in 100% wheat flour pizza dough in Google and yours came up so I gave it a shot! Super impressed, I found my dough! I used fresh mozzarella that I placed in the freezer for a bit to make easier to slice and lots of veggies!! Ok ok, I did add some turkey pepperoni. I know that’s not healthy but remember I’m trying to convert my family! We all loved the dough! My 8 yr old even commented on how much he loved the crust! Do you think it would be possible to replace the sugar with honey and have you ever tried to mix up the dough and freeze just to keep on hand?

    • says

      Hey Lacie, I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner! I’m so glad your family loved the dough. The sugar in the recipe activates the yeast. You might be able to substitute honey, but I’m not totally sure. I bet it would freeze well, but I haven’t tried! Please let me know if you give it a try.

  20. Tim says

    Have you tried this dough on the BBQ. I’m looking for a good whole wheat dough to use on the grill. I like to toast one side over indirect heat and then flip that side up and put my sauce and toppings on it then place back on a stone on the grill to finish it off.

  21. Cindy says

    Have you ever frozen the dough? I used to make pizza dough but got lazy and buy the deli made dough at my grocery store. I like how easy your recipe is and if I could make a couple and freeze them, it would be awesome!!We have homemade pizza every Sat

  22. Cindy says

    I just wanted to let you know how much we loved your pizza dough! I did freeze the second one and it turned out great! Neither one of them really rose much, more like a thin crust, but it was still awesome and I’ll be making it again on pizza night.Thanks!

    • says

      Awesome! Thanks, Cindy! I think the crust is best when rolled out as thin as possible. I have started baking mine on a pizza steel and then it gets really bubbly!

  23. Ann says

    I never comment online but I felt I needed to just this once to thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe. My grocery store carries a whole wheat pizza crust in the refrigerated deli section but they are often out of it and it takes forever for a new shipment to come in. So, I decided to try my hand at making my own. I picked your recipe because so many others used white flour with the wheat flour instead of all wheat flour like yours. Simply put, it couldn’t have been easier to make and it tasted delicious. My husband and I both loved it and it will now be our go to pizza dough. Thanks again for sharing.

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