100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough by Hand with Overnight Cold Rise

by Mary on March 4, 2016


whole wheat pizza dough (1)

100% whole wheat pizza dough, just kneaded

A friend of mine (a skater) asked for a whole wheat pizza dough recipe, and I thought I’d post the completely whole wheat version I’ve been making lately. The fun thing about writing up my pizza dough recipe again is it’s allowed me to see how my technique has changed over time.

It’s quite possible to make the dough and cook the pizza all in one afternoon, but these days I usually give the dough an overnight cold rise in the refrigerator. For yeast-risen baked goods of all kinds this give the dough a chance to develop its flavor and texture and may make it more digestible. It’s also very convenient. I can get the dough started on one day and have an easy time finishing it whenever I’m ready in the next day or two.

Another difference is that I used to roll the dough out over a layer of coarse cornmeal. I still like the flavor and texture that gives, but now I more often roll out the dough on parchment paper, then transfer the dough, still on parchment paper, onto a pizza stone in the oven. I’m sure that has a theoretical risk of causing a fire, but though the paper has browned a bit at the edges I haven’t had any problems. No guarantees for you, though: I’d stay in the kitchen for the ten minutes or so that the pizza is in the oven.

pizza crust with half whole wheat flour and half white whole wheat flour

whole wheat pizza dough rolled out

For a long time I made a version that was half white flour and half white whole wheat flour, but in the last year or two I’ve switched to using completely whole grain flour.  White whole wheat flour sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s whole grain. It’s made from soft white winter wheat and has a lighter color and milder flavor than regular whole wheat flour. I use half regular whole wheat flour and half white whole wheat flour. The result is a crust with a lighter texture and less aggressive whole wheat flavor than with 100% regular whole wheat flour.

I’ve given directions for Food Processor Pizza Dough in the past, but my friend doesn’t have a food processor so this time I’m sharing how to make the dough by hand.

Here was the final result on the night I took photos: a pizza topped with pizza sauce, red peppers, fresh pineapple, Mexican chipotle Field Roast vegan sausage slices, Asiago and Parmesan.

whole wheat pizza with pineapple, red pepper, Asiago and Parmesan

whole wheat pizza with pineapple, red pepper, Asiago and Parmesan


100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2 small pizzas
  • 1⅓ cups plus 1⅓ Tbsp. lukewarm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1¾ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1¾ cups regular whole wheat flour
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  1. Combine the water, yeast, and oil in a large bowl using a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the flours and salt and stir until the dough comes together.
  3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface (or parchment paper) and knead five minutes or so until smooth and elastic.
  4. Oil a large, preferably ceramic, bowl. Place the ball of dough into the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
  5. Place bowl in refrigerator and leave it overnight.
  6. The next day (or two days later) let the dough come to room temperature and rise.
  7. The amount of time will vary depending on room temperature, but in my cool climate it takes several hours. To speed it up you could put the bowl in the oven, heat the oven to 100 degrees, then turn the oven off. That will give the dough a warm, draft-free place to rise.
  8. Once the dough has risen a little and springs back when pressed (it does not need to double), punch it down.
  9. Divide it into two smaller balls and let each rise in a small oiled bowl. Keep the bowl covered with plastic wrap while the dough is rising. This second rise will be quick, half an hour or so (it's OK to leave it for longer, like a hour, if you want).
  10. Meanwhile place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 F.
  11. Roll the dough out on a large parchment-covered cutting board or peel.
  12. Top as desired.
  13. Slide the pizza, still on the parchment paper, onto the pizza stone in the oven and bake for 11 minutes.


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