If you want a healthy pizza recipe, try making your own whole wheat pizza crust. It does take a bit of time, but is fairly easy to make.
The essential thing is to make sure your yeast is fresh, or you will be putting yourself through a lot of effort for absolutely no reward at all, because your dough won’t rise or be light and crispy.
This version of whole wheat pizza dough uses both all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Look below the recipe for instructions on using entirely whole wheat flour if you would prefer that.
Also see how to make pizza once you have made this wonderful healthy pizza crust.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water, 110ºF - 115ºF degrees
- 1 package yeast, or 1/4 ounce dry
- 1 1/4 cups white flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and add the powdered yeast. Stir gently until the yeast is dissolved, about 1 minute. Let stand until the yeast foams slightly, which should take about 5 minutes, to insure that the yeast is effective.
- Mix together the white and whole wheat flours in a bowl. Stir in the salt.
- Combine 3 cups of the flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture and oil into this bowl and stir together well. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a counter or large bowl.
- Begin kneading the mixture, gradually adding enough of the remaining 1/4 cup flour so that the dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, probably another 10-15 minutes by hand. Shape dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it with the oil.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place it in a draft free spot to rise. Let the dough rise until it is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to 1-1/2 hours, depending on the yeast and the temperature in the room.
- Punch down the dough and shape into 1 or 2 pieces. Shape the dough either by hand or with a rolling pin, stretching out as necessary to achieve a thin dough.
Making the Pizza:
- Preheat the oven to the highest it will go - usually 500ºF to 550ºF.
- Place the dough on a pizza stone, pizza pan or large metal baking sheet. You can also lay it on parchment paper, then place it on the pan or stone.
- Sprinkle a bit of cornmeal on the stone or the surface of the baking sheet. It adds a bit of crunch.
- Roll out your prepared dough, using either your hands or a rolling pin. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for five minutes and then continue rolling. Get the dough as thin as you can without tearing it, because it will puff a bit when you bake it.
- Lay the dough on your baking pan choice. Add the sauce and your pizza topping choices. Bake the pizza in the very hot oven for 5 minutes, then rotate it in the oven (ovens often have hot spots and cooler spots and we want an evenly cooked crust). Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the cheeses are bubbling.
- Drizzle the hot cooked pizza with olive oil (optional but delicious), cut and serve while it's hot.
Tips for Making Whole Wheat Pizza Crust:
- For a lighter crust, let the dough sit for a half hour after shaping before making the pizza and baking it.
- You can use all whole wheat flour instead of part white, part whole wheat. I suggest sifting the whole wheat flour first. It makes it lighter so you end up with a healthy pizza recipe that is still light and delicious.
Make It Ahead:Once the dough is made you can store it for up to two days in the refrigerator. Just coat a plastic storage bag with cooking spray and place the dough in the bag, making sure to get out as much air as you can before sealing it. Bring the dough to room temperature before baking it.
Makes one large 16″ pizza or two smaller 12″ pizzas.
Pizza Sauce Ideas:
- Italian tomato sauce – of course the most common
- Bechamel or white sauce
- Cheese sauce
- No sauce at all – just olive oil drizzled on the pizza dough (called a white pizza)
The nice thing about making your own pizza is that you can top it any way you like. Make it as healthy or as decadent as you wish. Some suggested toppings include:
Pizza Topping Ideas:
- Cheese – mozzarella of course, but try Brie, cheddar, pepper Jack, Manchego, blue cheese, Parmesan and goat cheese
- Green, red or yellow sweet peppers (or a mix)
- Hot peppers
- Ground Beef
- Taco seasoned ground beef
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Black or green olives
- An egg (place raw on the pizza and it will cook while the pizza bakes)
- Cooked chicken
- Chopped garlic
- Fresh arugula – top the pizza after it is baked
- Fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, chives and parsley – top the pizza after it is baked
I am sure you can use your creativity to come up with more ingredients you may love or are adventurous enough to try.
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If you love our whole wheat pizza crust, have a browse through our other Italian recipes. You might find new favorites.