Saturday, June 6, 2009

100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

(pictured: a par cooked whole wheat pizza crust waiting for toppings)

This post is for Louis who may be making pizza on the grill this weekend. Please let me know how it turns out.

This is my go to whole wheat pizza crust that I have been making for years. It is quick to throw together and stores well par baked in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to keep one or two of these on hand for when I need a fast dinner. They are great warmed up quickly on top the stove on a grill pan (without toppings) and then topped and returned to the grill pan. The grill pan reheating works well when it is too hot to turn on the oven. In the summer I bake early in the day before it gets hot and then finish cooking these on top the stove later in the day.

Whole wheat pizza dough or focaccia
Makes enough for four big pizzas or one half sheet pan of focaccia


1 3/4 cups warm water (105 - 110 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast
1/2 teaspoon agave
4 cups of whole wheat flour (or 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of sprouted whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Optional Ingredients:

2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano
up to 1/4 cup of minced olives
up to 1/4 cup of finely chopped sun dried tomatoes


Combine water, yeast and sweetener and allow to stand until yeast has bloomed (a foam has formed on the top of the water). The foam means the yeast is alive.

Add remaining ingredients and stir and knead to thoroughly combine. Add the optional dried herbs before you begin to knead, if using. If you keep your flour in the freezer you may need to add a little additional water to moisten all the dry ingredients. If using the optional olives or tomatoes mix those in at the end of the kneading process and mix evenly into the dough.

Move the dough to a greased bowl. Lightly grease the top of the dough. Cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic film and move to a draft free place to double in size. I find the microwave to be a great place to store the dough while it rises which normally takes between 1 and 1 and 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has doubled in size it needs to be punched down. At this point it can be divided into four for pizzas or moved to a half sheet pan for focaccia.

For pizza: preheat your oven, and pizza stone, to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Next, divide the dough into four even portions and form it into a ball. Cover the ball with plastic film and allow to rest at room temperature for at least five minutes. Once the dough has rested roll the dough into a circle until the crust is approximately a 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. The dough will rise and become thicker as it cooks. When the oven is thoroughly preheated move the crust, without the toppings, to the pizza stone and par cook for at least 4 minutes. You want the dough to be cooked on the outside but not turning brown. Now you can top your pizza as you like and return to the oven for 4 or 5 minutes to warm all the toppings and finish cooking the dough. The remaining two dough balls can be par cooked and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.

For focaccia: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the entire recipe and press it into a half sheet pan that you sprayed with oil. The dough will fill the entire pan, but you may need to let the dough relax and then return to press it into the corners after 5 minutes. Dimple the dough with your fingers to make classic focaccia. You can add large flakes of sea salt, minced olives, sun dried tomatoes or herbs to the top of the dough. Place the dough in a draft free place to rise (it will about double - in approximately 30 minutes). Bake until the top is golden brown or the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees.

Nutritional Information (assumes 8 servings):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 260.95
Calories From Fat (14%)- 35.41

Total Fat - 4.04g
Saturated Fat - 0.57g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 121mg
Potassium - 90.48mg
Total Carbohydrates - 48.19g
Fiber - 1.95g
Sugar - 0.18g
Protein - 6.89g


This dough is very easy and has a nice robust flavor from the whole wheat. I have been making this for so many years that white flour pizza crust now tastes bland and boring to me. The ideas for toppings for this dough are limited only by your imagination. One of my favorites is hummus and roasted vegetables. I also like to use the almond feta cheese and artichokes with a little basil oil. Artichoke pesto is another nice topping. Potato pizza with rosemary also makes a nice authentic Italian pie. Falafel pizza is also popular in my house. I keep frozen falafel that I defrost and cut in half and top the pizza with along with peppers and onions and a thick vegan besciamella to hold the toppings on the pizza.


  1. Hi, Alicia!

    I'm glad you linked to this in one of your recent posts... even though you gave me the hint about using sprouted whole wheat flour in our recipe (which I've so far been unable to find, but I'm not deterred!), I'm bookmarking your entire recipe to share with BW, our household's Crust Master. ;-) Seems appropriate, since you posted this on his (shhhh... 50th) birthday!

  2. Lalo,

    I think the sprouted wheat flour makes a softer crust (one that is easier to roll). This is the only crust I use now. Even my elderly omnivore parents like this crust. I hope you and BW like it too. I hope you guys have a nice evening since this is milestone b'day.


  3. Hi, Alicia!

    Until I can find or make the sprouted wheat flour, I intend to at least ask BW to add some of those toppings you mention to his focaccia bread next time. He makes no-oil oil to brush on the top, and adds coarse Celtic sea salt, oregano, thyme and rosemary (the "oil" has basil in it). It's delicious, but I love your additions of sun dried tomatoes and olives! Mmmm....

    By the way, we use unsweetened applesauce in lieu of oil in our bread recipes, including the pizza dough and focaccia bread. Works like a charm!

    Speaking of pizza, ours is almost ready so I must run. Bella, mangiamo! Ciao! :-)

    P.S. LOL... no, yesterday wasn't his 50th birthday, the day you originally posted this was... last June 6th. Though he'll love you for making him about 8 months younger! ;-)

  4. Lalo,

    I have never heard of no-oil oil before. Works just like oil to hold things on the dough huh? Great idea. I will definitely be giving this one a try.

    I also love the apple sauce idea. Another great idea to try. Do you substitute the applesauce for oil 1 for 1?


  5. Hi, Alicia!

    Yes, the no-oil oil works great for that purpose, and can also be used for salad dressings (though I prefer fresh squeezed lemon juice and tamari, the dressing we adopted when we bid adieu to oil and vinegar!) I've never done anything else with the no-oil oil, so I don't know what its other capabilities might be! :-)

    And yes, I sub the unsweetened applesauce 1:1 for oil in baked goods. Here are a couple of other lists/tips for fat substitutes for cooking and baking (you probably already know most of these, but they're pretty handy so I thought I'd pass them along in case someone can use them!)

    FFV's Substitutes for Fat Free Cooking
    Mary McDougall's Cooking Without Oils

    By the way, the 7th Day Adventist store didn't have sprouted whole wheat flour either. Fingers crossed I can find it in Billings!

  6. Lalo,

    Thanks for sharing the links. I am certain others will find them useful too!

    I hope you can find the sprouted wheat flour in Billings.


  7. Hey, Alicia!
    I keep meaning to tell you that the last time BW made focaccia bread, he put the sundried tomatoes and black olives in it and we LOVED it! We'll be doing it that way from now on! Thanks for the tip!

    (My quest for the sprouted whole wheat flour continues!)

  8. Lalo,

    Thank you so much for letting me know! I am so glad you both liked that addition. If you want to try something different add some lightly water sauteed onions and garlic. They adds a ton of flavor too. Fresh herbs are great to add during the summer when they are plentiful.


  9. Mmm, we do use the fresh herbs in summer but have never tried the onion and garlic, so we'll have to try that, too! Thanks! :-)

  10. Lalo,

    Just cook the onions and garlic until they are limp and have given up most of their liquid. Then drain well so they don't make the dough wet. I sometimes add them to the olives and tomatoes. Frequently the bread component is practically a meal before it gets toppings. But who wants bland pizza crust? Not me.



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