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Thin and Crispy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

This homemade whole wheat pizza dough is THE BEST, a winner. Every time I make pizza for friends, they say something like, “WOW! this crust is so nice and thin!” “What’s your secret?” 

Whole Wheat pizza dough, proofed

In a worn bulging spiral notebook in my kitchen cupboards, you’ll find my handwritten keepsake recipes interspersed with recipes clipped from magazines and newspapers. On a page dotted with oil stains and fingermarks, I’ve scribbled this whole wheat pizza dough. It turns out the most delicious thin and crisp crust with wonderful nutty whole grain flavor.

whole wheat pizza dough rolled thinly

How to make this easy pizza dough:

  • Tip: Instant yeast is part of what makes this recipe easy—practically no fail. You just stir instant dry yeast with the other dry ingredients and then mix with very warm liquid, hotter than you would use if you “proofed” the yeast separately in the warm water. Saf-instant dry yeast and the trademarked RapidRise yeast, as well as bread machine yeast, are all instant dry yeast.
  • Start by mixing the flour and instant dry yeast and salt in a bowl. In a second bowl or measuring cup, mix hot water, oil, honey, and salt. The oil cools the water down just enough so you can mix the wet into the dry without worrying if the yeast will die on you.
  • Mix the hot water and oil mixture into the flour and yeast mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon to blend. Then knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook, or by hand on a lightly floured surface. When it’s smooth and elastic, place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature. If it’s more convenient, let the dough rise in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours.
  • When youre ready to make pizza, preheat the oven. If you’re using a pizza stone put it in the oven then.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll a thin round, about 13 inches across. Place it on a wooden peel or the back of a baking sheet that you’ve sprinkled with cornmeal. 
  • Add your chosen toppings. Slide the pizza onto the baking stone. (That sprinkle of cornmeal acts like ball bearings, so the crust is easy to slide on and off the baking sheet.)
  • Bake until the bottom is golden brown. Transfer the pizza from the oven to a serving plate using the pizza peel.

Pizza topping ideas:

 Tip: Use restraint with the toppings–when a pizza is overloaded with goodies, the dough doesn’t bake as crisp.

  • In the old days I’d spread a simple tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought, then sprinkle on sautéed mushrooms and grated mozzarella cheese.
  • Instead of tomato sauce, try spreading basil pesto on your dough. Sprinkle on chopped Kalamata olives, and a different kind of cheese–maybe smoked cheddar, fontina, goat, or feta.
  • Sometimes I’ll brush the dough with nothing more than garlic and olive oil before sprinkling on other toppings. You could add sliced (or diced) fresh tomatoes, especially if they are warm off the vine.
  • For Southwestern flavored pizza, spread mild enchilada sauce, diced green chilies, Monterey Jack cheese and chopped cilantro.
  • Without tomato, a pizza is called a white pizza, like this one topped with arugula, mushrooms, goat cheese, and walnuts.

ingredients for Thin and Crispy whole wheat pizza dough

Pizza making equipment:

  • Pizza stones and pizza peels are nice tools to have, but don’t let want of equipment stop you from making homemade pizza. All you need is baking pan just assemble and then bake the pizza right on the pan.
  • For a guaranteed crispy crust, bake your pizza on a pizza stone, (affiliate link) which imitates a brick pizza oven. Put the stone–an unglazed clay tile–in the oven 30 minutes before the pizza, so it’s very hot.
  • Use a long-handled pizza peel (affiliate link) so the dough slides easily from assembly to the hot pizza stone.  Sprinkle the pizza peel lightly with cornmeal–it acts like ball-bearings, allowing the ready-to-bake crust to slide into the hot pizza stone.
  • If you don’t have a pizza peel, assemble your pizza on a rimless baking pan that you’ve sprinkled with cornmeal. 

whole wheat pizza dough

More pizza ideas for your homemade whole wheat crust:

  • When peaches are at peak season, you absolutely must try this winning peach and arugula pizza.
  •  How about this potato and swiss cheese pizza, with a bottom spread of garlicky pesto?
  • Make pizza directly on the grill–this caramelized onion and thyme pizza with Fontina cheese shows you how.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and make pizza–with homemade whole wheat pizza dough!

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