100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Let’s talk pizza. I love pizza. It’s probably one of my very favorite foods. It’s just so full of carbs, cheese, and veggies and I can’t get enough. I’m here to tell you that I think pizza can be health food and that you can make it healthy without your family even knowing it! I promise. Really! I make four pizzas just about every week and it’s something we look forward to. Pizza night is always a hit!

Let’s break down the components that make or break a pizza when it comes to the healthy factor.

The Crust: If 100% whole wheat pizza crust doesn’t sound good to you then you just need the recipe that follows. It’s an overnight recipe (though it works just about as well if you make it in the morning and let it sit until dinner). There’s something magical about letting the dough sit and giving the starches time to break down a bit. This recipe turns out amazingly chewy yet tender pizza crust and you’ll never go back to your old recipe (or baking method for that matter) again! Those whole grains are just better for you in general and the fiber really keeps you (and those kiddos) full a lot longer.

The Sauce: Ditch the premade which generally has too much sugar and about a million extra ingredients you don’t need hiding in it.  [affiliate link]  The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book suggests this recipe and I’ve been making it ever since I saw it: 2 T. olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (extra points if you home can them, which I do every summer!) – In a small sauce pan cook the oil and garlic together over medium heat until the garlic starts to smell good. Add the tomatoes and simmer until it thickens a bit, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. DONE! Really. Three ingredients and it tastes amazing! When I’m feeling really lazy I just open up the tomatoes and add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste and stir it all together right in the can. It’s not as good but man is it better than any other pizza sauce and it’s quick. Sauce equals extra veggies, so cut out all that extra stuff and just stick to the tomatoes!

The Cheese: Dairy is pretty controversial when it comes to healthy eating but I love the stuff. Just buy a brand of cheese that doesn’t have extra ingredients and don’t feel like you have to drown the pizza in it. I only use about a cup to a cup and a half of mozzarella per large pizza and it’s plenty. I also recommend buying some good Parmesan that you can grate over the top of the sauce (and then add the Mozzarella) just a little bit of a more expensive cheese that has lots of flavor goes a long ways in the taste department.

Toppin’s: Go heavy on the veggies! You can’t lose there. And if you are eating clean skip the meats or try to find nitrate-free pepperoni (good luck with that… I can’t find it anywhere). When I let my kids pick what they want on it and then have them help me “decorate the pizza” aka add the toppings, they are much more likely to eat all the veggies. We love all the traditional vegetables – mushrooms, black olives, bell peppers, red onion, and diced tomato top our list.

I’m sure that none of that info was mind-blowing to you but the real secret to amazing pizza is in a good crust. The magic in this crust comes letting it sit over night and the baking method of the pizza. When you combine the two you have the world’s best whole wheat pizza in town. I promise! Put this on your to-try list and pin it for later because it’s one you are going to come back to again and again.

whole wheat pizza crust the best

whole wheat pizza crust

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100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust


  • Yield: 2 medium to large pizzas

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups cold water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pizza sauce (see notes or farther up in the post for a great recipe)
  • Cheese
  • Toppings

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix to combine. Add the cold water and oil and mix until a soft dough forms. The dough will be sticky to the touch and a lot wetter than a traditional yeast bread dough. This is how it’s supposed to be.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days. The dough will not rise much in the fridge and that’s ok.
  3. Pull the dough out the the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for one hour before using. While the dough is resting preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  4. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to heat, too. I would recommend using a stone for baking this pizza. If you don’t have a stone you can turn your biggest cookie sheet upside down (so that the flat side is up) or use a rimless sheet. If you are using a stone let the stone heat for 30 minutes. If using a baking sheet, let it heat for 15 minutes.
  5. When the oven is hot, cut your dough in half. Place half of the dough on a piece of parchment paper that is 18 inches long. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough (on top of the parchment paper) into a 12 to 14 inch circle. The dough should be pretty thin (and the thickness of the dough determines the size of pizza in the end). I like mine very thin so I roll it out to about 1/4 inch in thickness. My husband likes a more “bready” pizza so I make one that is about 1/2 inch thick for him. The dough will rise a bit while baking and the very thin does not get crispy. I say try a few thicknesses out and see which you prefer.
  6. Top with 1 cup of pizza sauce, 1/4 cup grate Parmesan, 1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella, and toppings of your choice.
  7. When the pizza is all ready, slide the pizza, which is on the parchment paper, onto a rimless cookie sheet or one that is upside down. This will help you get the pizza to the oven.
  8. Open the oven and slide the pizza which is still on the parchment paper, from the cookie sheet onto the hot baking stone or hot cookie sheet. I just tug on the edge of the parchment paper with my hands and slide it on to the stone. BE CAREFUL! Your oven is set to 500. It’s super hot, obviously! Make sure the babies are out of the way and be careful when sliding the pizza into the oven.
  9. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the top is bubbly and the edges are starting to brown. When the pizza is done, tug the edge of the parchment paper and slide the pizza back onto the cookie sheet you used to transfer it to the oven. Again, be careful!
  10. Let your stone reheat for 10 minutes. While the stone is heating, repeat the whole thing with the second half of the dough and bake the same way.
  11. Enjoy, enjoy enjoy!
  12. I serve it right off of the parchment paper (which gets all dark and cooked looking) or I’ll tear off a new piece and serve it on a crisp white sheet of parchment. Very pretty!

Notes

Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce from America’s Test Kitchen: 2 T. olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (extra points if you home can them, which I do every summer!) – In a small sauce pan cook the oil and garlic together over medium heat until the garlic starts to smell good. Add the tomatoes and simmer until it thickens a bit, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. DONE!

For this recipe, I recommend:

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This recipe was inspired by Emily of at One Lovely Life. Her recipe is not whole wheat and uses a food processor to make the dough. It’s really good too!

whole wheat pizza dough recipe

Whole wheat pizza dough perfection, after it’s 24 hour chill.
whole wheat pizza dough

I feel like this post is such a treasure. It’s such a good recipe and something that I make weekly. I hope that you love it as much as I do and try out that new baking method. Your pizza night will never be the same again.

Thanks so much for stopping in!

If you aren’t in the mood to wait a day for the dough you can try out my other favorite recipe which can be made with whole wheat flour or not. The post for Momma’s homemade pizza crust is right here.

63 Responses
  1. Veronika

    Definitely trying this very very soon! I love that your health views are exactly the same as mine 🙂 I think you carry yours out better than I do, but you also don’t have Taco Bell 1/2 a mile away…

    1. Melissa

      I’ve never done it and I don’t think I’d recommend it. The dough is a LOT softer than a traditional yeast dough and I think it might be too sticky to get back out of the machine once it was done rising. It seriously takes 3 minutes to stir it together by hand… I don’t think I’d dirty the machine for it 🙂 Let me know how it turns out!

    1. Melissa

      I definitely like instant dry yeast best… I’m not sure of all the kinds either but the brand is SAF and the colors on the pack are white with red and blue! There is another kind that is just white and blue packaging and I know that I don’t like it. I swear it had a really weird taste that comes through in the bread. Super not information but maybe that helps?! Red Star is popular among other bloggers but I haven’t tried theirs. Let me know how it goes!

    1. Melissa

      Hmmm. I haven’t done it. BUT if you click on the link to One Lovely Life right under the recipe I know that she addresses how to do that with her dough and I’m sure it would work just about the same. Let me know how it works!! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. Wendy

    Just got done w/ my first slice, you are not lying when you say the dough is a little wet! But it was a huge hit with my boyfriend and two kids:) I made one w/out sauce only spinach, feta and motz cheese, olives, chicken breast, mushrooms and yellow pepper slices. Oh my was it good! Thx for your dough:)

  3. Sharla

    I make a pizza in the summertime with no sauce, a little olive oil, italian seasoning, then top with thinly sliced veggies. I use tomato, squash (summer and zucchini), onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, fresh salad peppers & fresh organic basil. Then I top with mozzarella, my families favorite.

  4. Heather

    For nitrate free pepperoni, Applegate Farms makes a sandwich style pepperoni that is nitrate free and super good. My kids can’t tell the difference.

  5. Claire

    I have had the dough in my fridge overnight and am trying this tonight. I hope it works for me! Thanks, I’ll let you know how it went 🙂

      1. Claire

        Not very well. I am not sure what I did wrong. The dough was very wet, so I couldn’t roll it at all. But I kind of shaped it into the desired shape and thought that it would become more dough-like once cooked.
        It did become a bit more dough-like, but not very. It was a bit of a soggy mess. I followed the recipe to the letter, not sure what I did wrong. Any tips?

        1. I think if you were to add some flour right before you are going to roll it out and make the pizza that you’d be better off if you are having issues with it being too sticky. Just knead a bit in until it feels manageable! It’ll still be delicious.

  6. Mag

    Excited to try this! I usually use 2 1/2 cups bread flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup warm water, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 small package rapid rise yeast that come in a 3 pack (active dry yeast would work too), 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt. I make 2 thin crust 14 inch pizzas. Someone asked if you can freeze the dough. Yes you can. I do it all the time and freeze mine in a ziplock freezer bag. Whenever I need dough I take it out the night before and pop it in the fridge. It will ‘cold rise’ in the fridge the longer you leave it in there. In the morning I put it in a lightly greased bowl ( 1 tbsp olive oil), cover with a damp dish towel over top and let it come to room temp to rise. I sometimes warm up my oven a little (in the winter months) and put the bowl in the oven to help the rising process.

  7. Dawn

    So I went to the store today. Do I use active or lightly active yeast? Do I not need to heat my liquids? And finally, so I only use half the dough! Can I half the recipe?

    1. I like instant dry yeast but I’ve made it with traditional active dry yeast just the same. In my mind the later has a subtle flavor that I don’t like, but I might just be crazy. And yep, no need to heat the liquid, just throw it in there and making a half batch works well too! Good luck friend!

  8. I just tried the pizza and I have mixed reviews. The sauce was a complete success, everyone loved it and will certainly do again. The taste of the dough was also very good. It was the cooking process that I had the most trouble with. I put my stone in the oven at 500 degrees and the stone burned! It was a disaster. I will try again at the traditional 350 degrees, and possibly precook the crust for 5-10 minutes before apply the rest of the toppings.

  9. I made the recipe last night to let it sit in the fridge over night. I haven’t taken it out of the fridge to come to room temperature to roll out yet. I want to know how come you don’t proof the yeast in a cup of warm water before adding the mixture to the dry ingredients? Why do you use cold water? Is this so it can sit over night and proof longer? I am curious because I have never made dough using your method except when i just dumped everything into a bread machine. After I followed your instructions where i added the yeast to the dry ingredients and the oil and water last. I was a little nervous because the dough wasn’t coming together, it was actually very dry. I added extra water, and extra olive oil. Then the dough came together. This might have to do with the weather and humidity where I live. I am looking forward to hearing from you and also looking forward to baking this dough! Thank you!

    1. How did it turn out Eve? The cold water and just a little yeast are methods used often in this kind of slowly made bread. It’s almost as if you are letting it go half to sour dough by letting it rest for so long.

  10. suzyfahrm

    Hi i have been making this pizza crust every Saturday to use on Sundays for a few months now!! My husband and sister (who also lives with us) love it!!! Although the
    Dough is pretty sticky, just add flour to the area on which youre olling, and to the rolling and flip the dough over a couple of times to coat and you should be fine!! We love thinner crust and I’ve gotten so great at getting the dough thin!! I’m having a pinterest party soon and wanted to make a few different kinds of pizzas. Do you think I could roll out the dough earlier in the day to maybe refrigerate it and then just add ingredients and sauce right before the party starts to avoid some of the mess? Just curious!!

    1. Yay! This was just the comment I needed to make my night. Thank you! If I were you I would roll out the dough on parchment paper and leave it there. Then I would roll out how ever many more I had and stack them and then put a little plastic wrap on them and stick them in the fridge. So you’d have a stack of parchment, dough, parchment dough…. And then when you are ready to make the pizza you could give them one more quick go over with the rolling pin and top. I think making them ahead of time is super smart! Let me know if you do this, I’d love to know how it works! Make-ahead pizza would be awesome.

  11. This was amazing!!! I’m not a yeast-rolling pin-fancy baking type person, but this was super easy, so don’t hesitate to make it even if “fancy” baking scares you! I’m also not a huge fan of thin crust (or whole wheat crust, TBH) but this was absolutely delicious, with a nice chewy crust. Even my husband, who does NOT branch out in his pizza choices (I’m lucky if I can convince him to go to Domino’s instead of Pizza Hut) devoured 4 pieces before mine was even done baking. He said he was “blown away”. Now he wants me to make taco pizza with the same crust next week!

    I also brushed the edges of the crust with a garlic-butter sauce and sprinkled italian seasoning on it. Amazing, and the edges still didn’t burn.

  12. Karla

    Made this and it turned out perfect….except one thing! The parchment paper stuck to the bottom of my crust! Did you spray it before hand? Can I do this without putting the paper in the oven? I was skeptical to begin with but when you said the paper browns a bit I figured you were suppose to. What did I do wrong?

    1. That’s crazy! Parchment doesn’t stick to anything 🙂 That really is odd. I used waxed paper once on accident and it was a mess, but I’ve never had parchment stick. Even if my pizza is really sticky and trying to pull the parchment paper back in (you know when you roll it out and the dough shrinks back in a little), it still always comes off clean after cooking. I bet that was annoying! I’m so curious as to what might have done that.

      1. Karla

        Well I figured it out! Looks like I made the same mistake you did and used waxed paper instead of parchment paper!! No wonder! Thanks so much for your response, I’ll get it right next time!

  13. Courtnay

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I had never made homemade pizza before and never had whole wheat pizza. It was just as good as regular pizza. My dad loved it as well!! My whole family wanted the recipe.

    1. Is it overly dry?? If it’s still a pretty typical dough you’ll be fine, but if it’s dry then I’d add a little more water. Your wheat flour might be a little more course than mine or just using more water.

  14. april

    Thanks for the recipe. I was so excited for tonight, but the dough never rose even after 2 hours at room temp. Then I did some research and saw that I used active dry yeast instead of instant yeast. I didn’t realize there was a difference (I’m not a baker) . Maybe you could specify in the ingredients “instant yeast” so others won’t make the mistake I did? I will plan on buying the instant kind and tying again soon. Looks like a good recipe though!

    1. andrika

      I made the same mistake, but didn’t throw the dough away. To my delight, the recipe still turned out fabulous! Thank you so much for this new staple in our weekly menu! Your blog rocks!

  15. Danielle Ray

    Hi! Is there anyway this dough can sit in the fridge more than one night? Like if I made it on a Wednesday for a Friday night?

  16. 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust - plus tips on making - Clean, Lean and Healthy

    […] on making pizza more healthy in general! SUCH a good crust and the baking method is pretty cool. Read More (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || […]

  17. miranda

    Parchment paper is rated to 450 degrees since paper burns at 451. You don’t have any issues with it burning or fire hazards putting the parchment paper in a 500 degree oven? I just want to be sure before I do this.

  18. Rae

    When you make it in the morning and just let it sit through the day for an evening meal, do you still put it in the fridge until the last hour, or do you let it sit on the counter all day?

    1. I just let it sit on the counter all day if I’m planning on using it the same day. I have actually left it on the counter overnight too without any issues!

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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