Easy Whole Wheat Pizza and Pretzel Dough
A Classic Recipe With a Whole Wheat Addition
- Servings: Makes enough for two 10-inch pizzas.
This is a classic pizza yeast dough recipe in which we've substituted whole wheat flour for some of the white. The whole wheat flour gives the dough more taste and nutritional value without taking away from a traditional pizza flavor.
The whole wheat flour also makes the dough slightly less elastic so you may be more successful rolling it out with a rolling pin rather than using your fingers as the dough is more likely to tear. This dough also cooks a bit faster than most pizza parlor doughs so watch your oven the first time you make this.
These quantities make enough dough for two ten-inch pizzas. Alternatively, you can make one pizza and use the rest of the dough to make your own pretzels. We've included recipes for both.
- 1 cup warm water (100 to 110ºF)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 package active dry powdered yeast (Fleishmann's Active Dry Yeast, found in most grocers' refrigerator cases, is perfect)
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting and rolling out the dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil plus more for oiling the bowl
- Cornmeal for dusting
- Making the Dough:
- Pour the warm water into a small bowl. Hot water from the tap is usually perfect for this but test the temperature with an instant thermometer because if the water isn't warm enough, the yeast won't activate and if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.
- Add the sugar to the water and sprinkle the yeast over it.
- Use a fork to gently mix the water, sugar and yeast until the sugar and yeast have dissolved and the water has turned tan.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes, until the surface becomes foamy.
- Using a food processor and the plastic bread blade, combine the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the all purpose flour, plus the salt, by pulsing once or twice.
- Add the water and yeast mixture and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until the dough comes together, adding more all purpose flour -- up to an additional half-cup -- until the dough has formed a single ball and is smooth, not tacky when you touch it.
- Transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead it four or five times to form a smooth ball.
- Using a pastry brush or piece of paper towel, apply a thin surface of olive oil to a medium to large mixing bowl. The purpose of the oil is to keep the dough from sticking to the sides of the bowl as it rises.
- Place the ball of dough in the oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place the bowl in a warm place and let it sit until the dough doubles in size (about 30 minutes).
- Remove the plastic wrap and press your fist into the dough so that it deflates. Remove the dough from the bowl and on a clean surface, fold it over a few times to re-form a ball.
- Replace the ball of dough into the oiled bowl and recover, returning it to the warm spot to rise again to twice its size (another 30 or so minutes).
- Remove the plastic wrap and again use your fist to punch down the dough to deflate it. Place the dough on a clean surface and cut it in half, reserving one piece by replacing it in the oiled bowl to later make either pretzels or a second pizza. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
- Take the other half and place it on a lightly floured surface and form into a smooth ball. Cover lightly with plastic wrap to prevent the surface of the dough from drying out and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Remove and discard the plastic wrap and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about an 8-inch diameter and make your pizza according to your recipe.
- Making the Pizza:
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- If you are using a pizza stone, place the stone on the center rack in a cold oven before turning on the heat. Make sure the stone is very hot (30-minutes of preheating is a good idea) as this will help ensure a nice bottom crust. Prepare a pizza peel (or a rimless cookie sheet or an upside-down sheet pan) by sprinkling it with corn meal; this will enable you to transfer the raw pizza to the hot stone. See our "Tip" below.
- If you don't have a pizza stone, just pre-heat the oven and prepare a rimmed sheet pan by sprinkling it with corn meal.
- Take a ball of pizza dough and using your hands or a rolling pin, shape the ball into a flat disc about 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
- Before putting anything on the dough, transfer it to the prepared peel/cookie sheet so that you don't have to move it after you've added your toppings.
- Apply your toppings according to your favorite recipe or what you have on hand. Some recipes work best by brushing a thin gloss of olive oil on the dough first before adding toppings.
- If using a pizza stone, transfer the pizza from the peel/cookie sheet to the pre-heated stone. If you're baking the pizza on a baking sheet or sheet pan, place the pan with the pizza into the hot oven.
- Most pizzas take 15 to 20 minutes to cook. If the topping has already been cooked or is a more fragile ingredient, it's better to cook the crust half way for about 10 to 12 minutes, then add the topping and continue to bake the pizza until both the crust and toppings are done.
Tip: A "peel" is a long-handled paddle made of wood or metal that's used to transfer a pizza to a hot oven. But because of their size and shape, a peel can be a space hog in a small city kitchen. In fact, you really don't need one. Instead just use a rimless cookie sheet or else -- as Alice Waters suggests in her book, The Art of Simple Food, just turn a sheet pan upside-down and use that surface as a substitute peel. It works perfectly.
Tip: If you have left over dough or prefer pretzels to pizza, this dough makes an easy and flavorful pretzel snack. See our recipe for EZ Peazy Pretzels.