An easy, 100% whole wheat pizza dough that’s flavorful, soft, perfectly chewy, and ready to bake in under an hour! No special equipment needed.

An overhead photo of a pizza with a whole wheat pizza crust on a wooden serving platter with a kitchen towel.
Photo Credits: Mark Beahm

Over the years, I've been using whole grains in more and more of my bakes. I first started with homemade bread, but I’ve even been using it more in cookies, pie crusts, and even classic childhood recipes like Blueberry Muffins and Strawberry Shortcakes. Naturally, these rustic whole grains have found their way to my homemade pizza dough, too! 

I usually use a blend of whole wheat and white flour, but after a lot of testing I recently landed on a 100% whole wheat pizza dough that's tender and even more flavorful. As a bonus, it's very beginner-friendly and incredibly fast to make. 

My biggest problem with homemade pizza dough is that it usually takes hours or even a couple days to make depending on the recipe. I will say in cases like my Neapolitan Pizza Dough it is worth it! But that time commitment doesn't work well for last-minute pizza cravings, a busy schedule, or occasional meal prep laziness, making it all too tempting to order delivery. 

This whole wheat pizza dough is not only robust and flavorful but it's also ready to bake in about 45 minutes, with a hot pizza ready to slice in just over an hour. I mix it in one bowl and knead it by hand, but you can use a stand mixer if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why Whole Wheat?
  2. Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Ingredients
  3. How to Make This Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe
    1. Make the Dough and Let Rise
    2. Stretch, Top, and Bake
  4. Easy Pizza Dough Variations
  5. How to Bake Pizza without a Pizza Stone
  6. Whole Wheat Pizza Topping Ideas
  7. What to Serve with Whole Wheat Pizza
  8. More Whole Wheat Treats
  9. Mediterranean Diet Starter Kit
  10. Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe

Why Whole Wheat?

Whole wheat is less processed and full of fiber. But more importantly, I love its complex flavor compared to white flour. It’s nutty, earthy, and slightly sweet.

When it comes to pizza, some people are afraid that whole wheat dough will overpower the flavors of the toppings. But I can’t think of many pizza sauces and toppings that don’t pair well with a hearty whole-wheat crust.

Ingredients for whole wheat pizza dough including whole wheat flour, instant yeast, salt, warm water, olive oil, honey and cornmeal.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Ingredients

You likely already have everything you need to make a wholesome whole-wheat pizza crust. With some creativity, you likely have some delicious toppings for the pizza too. Here's what you need:

  • Whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour has a nutty, earthy flavor. And being a whole grain, it’s healthier too. If you prefer a lighter taste, substitute with the same amount of white whole wheat flour or use a 50/50 blend of whole wheat flour and bread flour.
  • Instant yeast: I like to use instant yeast because it’s added right to the dry flour without activating it first, and it works faster than active dry yeast. You can substitute with an equal amount of active dry yeast by extending the rising time by 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Salt: Salt is key to bringing the most flavor out of the whole wheat flour and preventing a bland crust.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: A little bit of olive oil makes the dough softer and more supple. It also makes it easier to stretch the dough into shape.
  • Honey: A drop of honey adds a touch of sweetness that complements the nutty flavor of whole wheat flour and provides easily accessible sugars for the yeast. Use a high-quality honey that’s not too overpowering, like our Greek Alfa Honey from Crete.
  • If you’re using a pizza peel: Cornmeal and all-purpose flour. Cornmeal prevents the dough from sticking to the pizza peel so you can slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone.
A close up photo of a ball of pizza dough.

How to Make This Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe

The dough is a bit sticky while you’re kneading it, but you’ll be rewarded with a soft, chewy crust that is never dry or tough. The best part is, that you can embrace a last-minute pizza craving with a homemade pizza ready to eat in just over an hour. Here’s how to make it:

Make the Dough and Let Rise

  • Mix the dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons instant yeast, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Pour in ¾ cup (180ml) warm water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon honey (optional). Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough starts to come together.Whole wheat pizza dough being stirred in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Knead the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Shape the dough into a ball. (Alternatively, knead the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed for about 4 minutes.)A close up of a ball of whole wheat pizza dough.
  • Let the dough rise: Lightly grease the mixing bowl with olive oil and set the ball of dough in the bowl. Cover and leave it in a warm spot to rise for 30 to 45 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.A close up of whole wheat pizza dough rising in a glass bowl.

Stretch, Top, and Bake

  • Get ready to bake: Preheat your oven to 500°F. If you’re using a pizza peel, place a pizza stone on a rack in the oven to preheat.
  • Prevent sticking. If using a pizza peel, lightly dust with all-purpose flour and cornmeal. Or coat a baking sheet or large cast iron skillet with a thin layer of olive oil. An overhead photo of a wooden serving platter dusted with cornmeal next to a bowl of cornmeal.
  • Stretch the dough. Set the dough on your chosen surface and stretch into a circle about 12 to 14 inches in diameter. (Alternatively, divide the dough in half for two smaller pizzas.) With the palms of your hands, press the dough outward from the center into a rough circle. You can pull and stretch the dough from the edges to spread the dough further. To form the crust, leave the edges of the dough slightly thicker than the middle. An unbaked whole wheat pizza crust on a wooden serving platter.
  • Add the toppings: Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil. Add your favorite sauce and toppings.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 450°F and bake. If you’re using a pizza peel, carefully shimmy it and slide the pizza off onto the baking stone. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are cooked. For a cast iron or baking sheet, set in your oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Slice and serve: Transfer the pizza onto a cutting board or pizza plate. Slice and serve.An very close up photo of slices of pizza maade with a whole wheat crust.

Easy Pizza Dough Variations

This nutty whole-wheat pizza dough is perfect for a last-minute pizza craving. But to level up the flavor even more, sometimes I make one of these variations:

  • Beer dough: Beer gives the dough a richer flavor. It imparts some of the yeast flavors that would develop in a dough with a longer fermentation time but without the wait. Use a malty, amber beer in place of some or all of the water.
  • Italian herb dough: Add 1 teaspoon of Homemade Italian Seasoning or your favorite blend of dried herbs to the dry ingredients.
  • Overnight dough: For an extra flavorful dough with a stronger tang, let it rise in the refrigerator overnight. After kneading, cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough overnight or for up to 24 hours. Take the bowl out of the fridge 2 to 3 hours before assembling for the dough to warm back up to room temperature.
An unbaked whole wheat pizza crust on a wooden serving platter.

How to Bake Pizza without a Pizza Stone

If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can still make delicious pizza at home in a cast-iron skillet or on a sheet pan. The pizza will take slightly longer to bake and the outside of the crust won’t crisp up as well. While a pizza stone needs to be preheated in the oven, a sheet pan or a cast-iron skillet do not.

  • Cast-iron skillet: Use a large cast-iron skillet, 9-inch for 2 pizzas, 10-inch for one thick-crust pizza, or 12-inch for one standard pizza. Very lightly coat the inside of the skillet with olive oil. Set the dough in the pan and gently stretch it to the edges of the pan or the desired thickness. After adding the toppings, bake the pizza for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Sheet pan: Drizzle the pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and use a brush or your hand to coat the pan evenly. Spread the dough into a 9x13-inch rectangle, or to your desired thickness. After adding the toppings, bake the pizza for 20 to 25 minutes.

Depending on your oven and the size of the pizzas, you may need to adjust the baking time. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are cooked.

An overhead photo of baked whole wheat pizza crust on a wooden serving platter with a kitchen towel. Next to this is a bowl of pizza sauce, and plates with sliced mozzarella and basil.

Whole Wheat Pizza Topping Ideas

Pizza dough is essentially an empty canvas. There's no limit for pizza toppings, from a simple pizza Margherita to a loaded veggie pizza, or even a Nutella dessert pizza. Here are a few of my go-to pizza toppings:

  • Sauce: tomato sauce, homemade pesto, a simple drizzle of olive oil, or some balsamic glaze after baking.
  • Cheese: fresh mozzarella, burrata, ricotta, feta, gorgonzola, shredded mozzarella, or a mix.
  • Veggies: Artichoke hearts, black olives, tomatoes, pickled red onion, baby spinach, bell pepper, the sky’s the limit. Or try my favorite Veggie Pizza recipe with romesco sauce.
  • Protein: Shrimp, ground beef or shredded chicken
A very close up photo of 2 slices of pizza made with a whole wheat crust.

What to Serve with Whole Wheat Pizza

Throw a pizza party! Start with a big bowl of salad, like this Big Easy Italian Salad. While the dough rises, assemble a beautiful Antipasto Platter to share, or combine the two with an Antipasto Salad

Stir up an Aperol Spritz to sip on. Finish with Sicilian Strawberry Pudding in the warmer months, or this Orange Cardamom Olive Oil Cake during the cooler months when the citrus is singing.

More Whole Wheat Treats

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

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Mediterranean Diet Starter Kit

Stock your pantry with the essentials to eat the Mediterranean way, including Greek olive oil, 7 different spices, and tahini.

Mediterranean Diet starter kit, with olive oil, spices, and tahini.
5 from 2 votes

Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

photo of author mark beahm.Mark Beahm
An overhead photo of a pizza with a whole wheat pizza crust on a wooden serving platter with a kitchen towel.
The dough for this whole wheat pizza dough is a bit sticky, but be patient: it's worth it for the perfectly fluffy, chewy crust! You can make this pizza restaurant-style with a pizza peel + pizza stone, or use a large cast iron skillet or baking sheet. For a make-your-own pizza party, the dough can be cut in half and used to make two smaller pizzas.
Prep – 7 minutes
Cook – 45 minutes
Total – 52 minutes
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 8 (makes one 14-inch pizza)
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups (250g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180ml) warm water (110F)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting (if you're using a pizza peel)
  • Cornmeal, for dusting (if you're using a pizza peel)

Instructions
 

Make and Rest the Dough

  • Mix the dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Pour in the warm water, olive oil, and honey (if using). Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough starts to come together.
  • Knead the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Shape the dough into a ball. (Alternatively, knead the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed for about 4 minutes.)
  • Let the dough rise: Lightly grease the mixing bowl with olive oil and set the ball of dough in the bowl. Cover and leave it in a warm spot to rise for 30 to 45 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.

Top, Bake, and Enjoy!

  • Get ready to bake: Preheat your oven to 500°F. If you’re using a pizza peel, place a pizza stone on a rack in the oven to preheat.
  • Prevent sticking. If you’re using a pizza peel, lightly dust with all purpose flour and cornmeal. Or coat a baking sheet or large cast iron skillet with a thin layer of olive oil.
  • Stretch the dough. Set the dough on your chosen surface and stretch into a circle about 12 to 14-inch in diameter. (Alternatively, divide the dough in half for two smaller pizzas.) With the palms of your hands, press the dough outward from the center into a rough circle. You can pull and stretch the dough from the edges to spread the dough further. To form the crust, leave the edges of the dough slightly thicker than the middle.
  • Add the toppings: Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil. Add your favorite sauce and toppings.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 450°F and bake. If you’re using a pizza peel, carefully shimmy it and slide the pizza off onto the baking stone. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are cooked. For a cast iron or baking sheet, set in your oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Slice and serve: Transfer the pizza onto a cutting board or pizza plate. Slice and serve.

Notes

  • Shop this recipe: Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including the olive oil and honey used in this recipe.
  • Here are a few of my go-to pizza toppings:
    • Sauce: tomato sauce, homemade pesto, a simple drizzle of olive oil, or some balsamic glaze after baking.
    • Cheese: fresh mozzarella, burrata, ricotta, feta, gorgonzola, shredded mozzarella, or a mix.
    • Veggies: Artichoke hearts, black olives, tomatoes, pickled red onion, baby spinach, bell pepper, the sky’s the limit.

Nutrition

Calories: 129.9kcalCarbohydrates: 23.5gProtein: 5.2gFat: 2.7gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.5gSodium: 294mgPotassium: 138.1mgFiber: 4gSugar: 0.8gVitamin A: 2.7IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1.2mg
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Mark learned to bake professionally at Two Fat Cats Bakery in Portland, Maine and was most recently the head baker at Hjem Kensington, a Danish café in London. He lived in Barcelona and Madrid for six years, before moving to London and then back to the States. He is fascinated by the intersection of food, culture, and science. He has been developing recipes for home bakers for three years and began writing for The Mediterranean Dish in 2022.

When he’s not in the kitchen, he spends his time traveling, knitting, and learning to throw pottery.
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5 from 2 votes

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Comments

  1. Bethany says:

    5 stars
    We tried this recipe and couldn’t be happier. This is our first whole wheat pizza dough and it’s turned out better than the others! Would definitely recommend.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Wonderful to hear! Thanks, Bethany!

  2. Joanne says:

    Will this dough work in an outdoor pizza oven?

    1. laura says:

      This worked out well in the pizza oven. I cooked it a little longer because the dough is dense.

      1. TMD Team says:

        So glad it worked well for you, Laura!

  3. Stephanie Marsh says:

    5 stars
    We loved this crust! It was perfectly crisped and chewy, just as good a great pizza crust should be. I’ll use this recipe over and over.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much for the great review, Stephanie!