Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
How about pizza tonight? Homemade pizza nights should be fun and easy, and that’s where this pizza dough recipe comes into play. It’s ready in 15 minutes, start to finish. That’s a lot faster than delivery!
This quick pizza dough yields a crust of medium thickness that’s 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 love this dough so much that I shared it in my cookbook, Love Real Food.
This dough doesn’t have the elusive, stretchy, chewy, sourdough texture that I crave in authentic brick oven pizza. This homemade dough is fantastic, though. A few reasons to love this recipe:
- It’s made from scratch with basic, wholesome ingredients.
- You can make it in your food processor (or by hand).
- This dough requires zero proofing time. You can make your pizzas right away.
- The dough requires minimal effort—just a couple of kneads and a few rolls with a rolling pin.
Let’s make some pizzas!
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 and made quite a mess.
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 and is made with 100 percent whole wheat flour.
Easy Pizza Dough Ingredients
This super quick dough recipe is made with simple, basic ingredients—though a couple may surprise you!
This pizza dough works well with a variety of flours. Here are your options (use the same amount regardless):
- Whole wheat flour yields dough with just a hint of nutty wheat flavor. I don’t find it distracting.
- White whole wheat flour, which is made with white wheat berries instead of red, yields 100 percent whole wheat dough with an almost undetectable amount of wheat flavor.
- All-purpose flour works well if that’s what you have on hand.
- Do not use whole wheat pastry flour; it doesn’t contain enough gluten to cooperate with yeast.
Here’s how to measure flour into cups using the “spoon and swoop” method:
- Gently stir your flour with a large spoon to loosen it up.
- Spoon the flour into your measuring cup (don’t scoop it in!).
- Level off the excess with a butter knife.
Dissolving the yeast in warm water eliminates any grittiness and allows it to mingle with the honey and olive oil.
Rapid-Rise or Instant Yeast
It’s important to use rapid-rise or instant yeast here because, as the names suggest, this kind of yeast gets to work very quickly. Once combined with the warm water, honey and olive oil, this yeast is ready to go in just five minutes.
Honey or Sugar
We’ll feed the yeast with one tablespoon of honey or sugar.
Olive oil helps keep the dough tender and pliable.
Parmesan is simply a flavor enhancer. Whole Foods 365 and BelGioioso brands offer vegetarian Parmesan cheese. Alternatives include cheddar or part-skim mozzarella.
Salt is also a flavor enhancer. No pizza dough would be complete without a little salt.
Pizza Dough FAQ
I’ve received quite a few questions about this dough recipe over the years. In short, this dough is best made as directed and used right away!
Can I use regular active yeast? Can I leave out the yeast altogether? I don’t recommend it. This recipe is really designed for instant/rapid rise yeast. With regular active yeast, or without yeast altogether, the crust is more crisp and cracker-like with fewer air bubbles. Basically, it’s just not as good.
Can I omit the honey/sugar? I don’t recommend it. The sugar feeds the yeast and without it, the crust will not taste as pleasantly yeasty. The finished result won’t be as tender, and it will have fewer small air pockets.
Can I omit the Parmesan? Yes, you can. The Parmesan is just for flavor. Or you could substitute another firm cheese in its place, such as cheddar or part-skim mozzarella.
Can I make this dough ahead of time? Technically yes, you can refrigerate and bake it within a few days (wrap the dough balls in lightly oiled plastic wrap). However, this dough is designed to be easy and quick. It’s ready in under 15 minutes and truly tastes best when it’s baked right away.
Can I freeze this dough? Yes, but it’s best when it’s used right away (see above). We wrapped the dough balls in lightly oiled plastic wrap and placed them in freezer bags. Defrost the dough in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Can I grill this dough? Yes! See recipe notes.
Can I use this dough to make a calzone or stuffed bread (like garbage bread)? Yes, I’ve successfully made a calzone. Before baking brush the top lightly with olive oil and cut a couple of small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake for about 10 minutes at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
What if I don’t have a food processor? No problem! Check the recipe notes for instructions on how to make this dough by hand. I imagine you could use a KitchenAid stand mixer as an alternative to the food processor.
How much does this dough weigh? This dough weighs a bit over 1 pound and yields two 11-inch pizzas. I’ve used this recipe successfully in recipes that calls for 1 pound of pizza dough—just remember that you’ll be making two smaller pizzas instead of one large.
Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 8 1x
- Category: Pizza
- Method: Food processor
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
Whip up this 100% whole wheat pizza dough recipe 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! Yields two medium (11″ diameter) pizzas.
Whole wheat pizza dough
- 1 cup water, heated to 110 degrees (very warm, almost too hot for comfort)
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 envelope (2 ¼ teaspoons) rapid-rise or instant yeast
- 2 ¾ cups (345 grams) white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup pizza sauce or one 32-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand
- 2 to 3 cups shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Additional toppings, as desired
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Whisk water, honey, 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.
- 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.
- Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and quickly knead dough a few times until it comes together. Halve the dough.
- 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. Aim for even thickness rather than a perfectly round shape.
- Carefully lift and transfer one of the rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the outer 1-inch of the dough with a light coating of olive oil. Add half of the pizza sauce or crushed tomatoes (crush the tomatoes over the sink to get out as much liquid as possible). Sprinkle with half of the cheese and any other toppings you’d like to add.
- Bake on the top rack until the crust and cheese are lightly golden, about 10 minutes for cheese pizza and 12 minutes for pizza with additional toppings. Repeat with the remaining dough, then slice and serve. Leftover pizza will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days.
Recipe adapted from The Fauxmartha’s no-rise pizza crust and Cook’s Country’s quick grilled pizza dough.
Troubleshooting: In the unlikely event that the dough clings to your fingers and doesn’t hold its shape, add more flour, just 1 tablespoon at a time. Process briefly to blend again (or stir again, if making by hand).
Make it vegan: Omit the cheese. Use maple syrup or vegan sugar instead of honey.
Flour options: All-purpose flour will work well here, too (same amount). Do not use whole wheat pastry flour. I have not tried this recipe with any gluten-free flour blends; I’m not sure it will work with those.
Cheese options: The Parmesan is in this recipe for flavor. Whole Foods 365 and BelGioioso brands offer vegetarian Parmesan cheese. You can substitute mozzarella or cheddar if you’re out. The recipe will even work without cheese.
Pizza stone option: This crust turns out especially great if you bake it on a hot pizza stone or pizza steel (I have this one/affiliate link) instead of a baking sheet. I have always had good luck sliding the pizza with the parchment paper underneath onto the baking stone. The pizza will bake much faster on a hot surface, so keep an eye on it and reduce the cooking time accordingly.
Grill option: This dough works great on the grill. Lay it carefully on the grates and avoid touching for the first minute of cooking.
Individual pizzas: Divide this dough into quarters (instead of halves) to make 4 “personal pan” pizzas, each about 6 inches in diameter. Bake about 7 to 10 minutes (or less, if using a pizza stone), until the crust and cheese are lightly golden.
No food processor? Combine the flour, Parmesan, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine, then drizzle the yeast and water mixture into the bowl while stirring with a large spoon. Stir until all of the flour has been incorporated and the dough comes together, then proceed with the next step.