With a crisp exterior and soft interior, you’d never guess my 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe is actually quite healthy. Ideal for making homemade thin-crust pizzas of any flavor, this delightful dough is made with just 6 ingredients in 1 hour including rise time. Best of all, it’s meal-prep and freezer-friendly!
Table of Contents
About This Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
This Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe is a simple and easy method to make pizza crust from 100% whole wheat flour. Using whole grain flour instead of refined all-purpose flour means this recipe will have lots of extra nutrients. HOORAY!
This recipe gives a soft textured pizza crust that is crisp from the outside after getting baked. There is no denseness or chewiness felt in the pizza — it is light, crispy, and soft, just like from your favorite pie shop.
Pizza is one of those dishes that is popular all over the world. I personally make pizza once or twice a month because it is delicious and an excellent way to get rid of any bits and bobs floating around in the fridge after a long week of cooking.
I made three types of pizza with this healthy recipe on various occasions, and you know what? No one could tell that the pizzas were made from whole wheat flour! It’s seriously so good despite being quite healthy.
This whole-wheat pizza dough recipe yields 7 thin-crust pizzas of 9 inches each. You can easily refrigerate or freeze the dough, meaning it is a great recipe for your meal-prep day.
I have used a stand mixer to help knead the dough, but it’s also easy to knead the dough with your hands if necessary. Just make sure that the dough is kneaded till smooth, soft and supple.
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you don’t need much to make this gorgeous whole-grain pizza dough. Here’s what you need:
- Whole Wheat Flour – I like using whole foods as much as possible in order to give my family the most nutrition. Whole wheat flour is an excellent source of important nutrients, and it’s an easy swap to make. Feel free to sub in bread flour or all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on hand.
- Instant Yeast – This is a different product than active dry yeast and will behave differently. Instant yeast is also known as rapid rise yeast. Please see my note on yeast in the section below to learn the differences.
- Sugar – Sugar isn’t used so much as a flavoring ingredient in this pizza dough recipe, rather is used to feed the yeast. Feel free to swap in any natural sweetener you prefer.
- Salt – Note that salt can kill yeast, so make sure to not add it until you have a buffer of flour.
- Lemon Juice – A bit of acidity helps in the gluten development. So we add a touch of lemon juice to assist with this.
- Olive Oil – For added pliability. No need to use “the good stuff” here; any bottle that you use for normal cooking is perfect. You can also swap in any type of neutral oil or fat that you have on hand.
- Water – If possible, use filtered water for the best results
A Word On Yeast
To make this pizza dough crust I have used instant yeast. In the markets here in India, dry active yeast is often sold as instant yeast, which can cause a lot of confusion.
Instant yeast granules are small and resemble poppy seeds. Dry active yeast granules are larger and have the size of large yellow mustard seeds. So, if you buy a pack that claims it is instant yeast and the size is bigger then it is actually dry active yeast.
Don’t want to take any chances? You can also check out this recipe for No Yeast Pizza Dough.
With this pizza crust recipe I have made quite a number of pizza varieties. Here are a few of my favorites:
Note that this recipe works with the roller milled flour available in US and Europe, other countries and also with the stone milled flour available in India which is called ‘atta’.
How To Make Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough
1. Take 1 teaspoon instant yeast (3 grams) in a mixing bowl or in the stand mixer bowl.
2. Add ½ teaspoon sugar.
3. Then add 1 cup water. Mix well.
4. Next add 3 cups whole wheat flour.
5. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
6. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil. If you do not have olive oil, use any neutral flavored oil.
7. Now add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
8. Attach the bowl to a stand mixer with the hook attachment. On a medium-high speed knead the dough.
If kneading with hands, then mix everything very well and then knead for at least 8 to 10 minutes.
9. The dough should be smooth, pliable and soft. If the dough looks dry, then you can add some water while kneading.
If the dough looks sticky, then you can sprinkle some flour. Depending on the quality of flour, you will need to add less or more water.
10. Gather the dough into a ball and spread some water all over it.
11. Cover with a lid or a kitchen towel and allow to leaven (rise) till the dough roughly doubles in volume.
I kept for 1 hour 45 minutes as it’s cold here. In a warm temperature, it might only take 45 minutes to 1 hour.
If using dry active yeast, then keep for 2 hours to 3 hours (depending on the temperature conditions in your city).
12. The pizza dough will nicely increase in volume and double up.
13. Here is a look at the texture. It should be stringy with tiny air pockets.
14. Knead the dough lightly again and then you can directly make pizzas from it. Or you can keep it covered in a tight box or pan.
Spread some olive oil all over the dough before placing them in the box.
15. Cover the box or pan with a tight-fitting lid.
16. Keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or freeze the whole wheat pizza dough for up to a month.
Make Whole Wheat Pizza Crust With Dry Active Yeast or Fresh Yeast
- For this recipe use the below conversion when using dry active yeast:
1 teaspoon instant yeast = 1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast = 3 teaspoons fresh yeast
- Proof the dry active yeast or fresh yeast in warm water and sugar solution till the mixture froths and bubbles. Then mix with the rest of the ingredients and knead.
- Double the leavening time.
- The time taken to leaven will depend on the temperature conditions in your city. So you can keep the dough for 2 to 3 hours or more if required. I have mentioned the details if using active dry yeast or fresh yeast in the notes section of the recipe card below.
- Use good quality dry active yeast or fresh yeast and do make sure that the water is lukewarm, not hot to the touch.
- Create a proofing drawer in your cold oven. If it is quite cold where you live, you can help your dough rise by creating a warm, humid environment for the yeast to thrive. To do this, place a bowl or cake pan in the bottom of your cold (OFF) oven. Add an inch or two of boiling water to the bowl or pan. Place the covered dough on a rack in the middle of the oven, and close the door. The ambient heat and steam will provide the perfect place for your dough to double!
- Using Instant Pot. For cold places, the Instant Pot also makes for a excellent device to leaven the dough. Spread oil lightly on the dough and place it in a bowl. Press the yogurt button and set it to the normal mode. Place a small trivet inside in the steel pot insert. Keep the bowl with the dough on the trivet. Cover the instant pot with any lid (it can be any of your pot and pan’s lid large enough to cover the instant pot). Set the time to 45 minutes or more until the dough doubles in volume.
- If freezing for storage, separate into individual balls of dough so you can use just what you need. Using a knife or bench-scraper, divide the dough into 6 to 7 even balls before storing. When you’re ready to make a pizza (or two), simply defrost the number of dough balls that you’ll need!
- For a softer dough consider using white whole wheat flour (also sold as whole wheat pastry flour). It’s still 100% whole grain!
Absolutely! It’ll keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
You sure can! For crisp breadsticks known as grissini, roll into long, slender sticks. For soft breadsticks, dinner rolls, or garlic knots, roll into roughly a 1″ diameter and bake.
I personally believe it is important to cook pizza at a very high temperature on a preheated surface. A pizza stone or cast-iron pan is your best bet for getting a nice, bubbly crust. You can also consider using an outdoor grill or tandoor oven to help you achieve this effect.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- 3 cups whole wheat flour or 360 grams whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast or 3 grams of instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup water – you can also add 1.25 cups water or add as required depending upon the quality of wheat flour
- Take instant yeast in a mixing bowl or in the stand mixer bowl.
- Add sugar and 1 cup water. Mix to dissolve the sugar.
- Next add whole wheat flour, salt, olive oil and lemon juice..
- If you do not have olive oil, use any neutral flavoured oil.
- Attach the bowl to a stand mixer with the hook attachment. On a medium-high speed knead the dough. If kneading with hands, then mix all the ingredients first and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- The dough should be smooth, pliable and soft. If the dough looks dry, then you can add some water while kneading. If the dough looks sticky, then you can add some flour and knead again.
- Spread some water all over the dough.
- Cover with a lid or a kitchen towel and allow to leaven for 45 minutes to 2 hours till the dough increases in volume and doubles up. If using dry active yeast, then keep for 2 hours to 3 hours or more. Timing varies with the temperature conditions in your city.
- The pizza dough will nicely increase in volume and double up.
- Knead the dough lightly again and then you can directly make pizzas from these. Or you can keep them covered in a tight box or pan. Spread some olive oil all over the dough before placing them in the box.
- Cover the box or pan with a tight fitting lid. Keep in refrigerator or freeze the whole wheat pizza dough.
- In the refrigerator this whole wheat pizza dough stays good for 2 to 3 days. In the freezer, you can store for a month.
Whole wheat pizza dough with dry active yeast or fresh yeast
- Dissolve 1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast or 3 teaspoons fresh yeast in 1 cup warm water + ½ teaspoon sugar solution. Cover the bowl and let the yeast proof for 10 to 15 minutes.
- The water should be warm and not on the cooler side or hot. Or else the yeast solution will not get proofed or activated.
- When the yeast solution has become bubbly and frothy, then mix it with the whole wheat flour, olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Knead to a smooth dough.
- Spread some water or olive oil all over the dough. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to leaven for 2 to 3 hours or more (depends on the temperature conditions in your city).
More Recipe Notes
- In place of whole wheat flour, you could use all-purpose flour and also whole wheat pastry flour or even bread flour. Do keep in mind that the amount of water will vary with the kind of flour you use.
- Knead the dough until soft and supple when kneading with hands.
- The leavening time of the dough will depend on the temperature in your city. In a cooler or cold climate the dough will take more time to leaven.
- Though I have used olive oil, you can sub it with sunflower oil or even avocado oil or any neutral flavored oil.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 thin crust pizza dough made from this recipe and without any toppings or pizza sauce.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe post from the archives first published in December 2016 has been republished and updated on 19 July 2022.