White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe

I thought I was done messing around with pizza dough recipes. It took me a long time to settle on a recipe I love, and I've remained faithful to Peter Reinhart's Napoletana Pizza Dough from The Bread Baker's Apprentice for years now. It yields a beautiful crust that bridges the perfect thin-crust balance of structure, flavor, texture, and crunch.

We used to make pizzas at home once a week. I'd make a batch of dough on the weekend and the dough balls were fine lounging in the refrigerator for days until we wanted to throw one in the oven for a quick lunch or dinner. But pizza-making took a bit of a back seat around here after Wayne bought me a big tabletop crepe maker (the world of crepes is very exciting!).

If I flip back through my idea notebook, I can see it has been months since I jotted down a message to myself to try Peter's cold-fermented, overnight-pizza dough using white whole wheat flour (a whole grain flour) in place of refined, all-purpose flour. For those of you who are regular readers of the site, you realize that I never got around to it - but I think all the excitement yesterday about the guy who reverse-engineered Patsy's famous pizza knocked me back into pizza-making mode. This guy (his name is Jeff) clipped the lock off his oven using garden sheers so he could run the oven in oven-cleaning mode and therefore bake off pizzas in 800+ degree heat. Hardcore. I'm not that hardcore, I wish I could say I was.

White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (with herbs).

I though it would be nice to have a whole wheat pizza dough that wasn't bready, chewy, soft, and unstructured. The good news is that I got very close. The only real changes I made to Peter's original master formula was to swap in King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour. I also thought a few tablespoons of chopped thyme and rosemary would add flavor and fragrance.

So what happened? These changes yielded a heavier dough - delicious and rustic-looking, but definitely more wheaty in character than a refined white flour. The dough was a soft buff color - if you can imagine what a dough made from half APF and half whole wheat might create, you can imagine the realm these pizzas fell into.

I topped the herb infused pizza rounds with colorful, sauteed potato slices, gruyere cheese, and more herbs. They were finished with a dusting of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Other toppings that would play off this crust include: sauteed mushrooms, pesto, rich melty cheeses, caramelized onions, goat cheese and chives....

Topped with Potatoes, Cheese + Herbs

Be sure to pull this dough out nice and thin. Extra thin. You won't be sorry.

White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe

This is a very adapted version of Peter Reinhart's dough using white whole wheat flour. There are a few corners that I'm in the habit of cutting with this dough, all reflected in the following recipe instructions.

4 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups water, ice cold
a few tablespoons chopped herbs (optional)
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. By hand stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed. Add the herbs. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl (to me it looks like a tornado). Add a touch of water or flour to reach the desired effect. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.

Transfer the dough to a floured countertop. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and mold each into a ball. Rub each ball with olive oil and slip into plastic sandwich bags. Refrigerator overnight.

When you are ready to make pizza (anytime in the next few days), remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before making the pizza. Keep them covered so they don't dry out.

At the same time place a baking stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (you can go hotter, but I like the results I get at 450). If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.

Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal and get ready to shape your pizza dough. Uncover or unwrap the dough balls and dust them with flour. Working one at a time, gently press a dough round into a disk wide enough that you can bring it up onto your knuckles to thin out - you should be able to pull each round out to 12-inches or so. If the dough is being fussy and keeps springing back, let it rest for another 15-20 minutes. Place the pulled-out dough on the prepared sheet pan, and jerk the pan to make sure the dough will move around on the cornmeal ball-bearings (you don't want it to stick to the pan).

Add your toppings (less is more!) and slide the topped pizza onto the baking stone. Bake until the crust is crisp and nicely colored. Remove from the oven. I always finish with more freshly grate parmesan and a small drizzle of good quality extra-virgin olive oil.

Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Yum. I'm definitely going to try this recipe. I'm a novice bread baker, but I'm sure I can manage this recipe.


Okay, that does it. I'm making pizza this weekend. Simply beautiful photos


Absolutely mouthwatering photos. Everywhere I turn these days it seems I'm reading about white whole wheat flour. Does anybody know if someone is selling an organic version yet? I would really like to try it in my breads (and pizzas) but am a diehard organic flour fan.


that looks truly wonderful. been wanting to make this for long. sure the pizza will turn out great. olive oil and semolinar flour for dusting, wow! something different.
I always enjoy your new posts.


Here is the link for King Arthur - yes, they sell it online - there is an organic version - see this page -




I second the appeal of your photographs, your photos make everything you write about look delectable.

Regarding the flour if you are lucky enough to live in LA, near Culver City, I am sure you will be able to find whole wheat organic flour at Surfas. I was just at Surfas last week and picked up Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, it says it is made from 100% organic Soft White Wheat and wanted to experiment with it. Is there anyone who knows if this flour in pizza dough? I would love to try it in the recipe.


Farmgirl: I have the organic white whole wheat from King Arthur and it's a wonderful flour!

StaceyB: The whole wheat pastry flour you purchased will be great for muffins, cakes, and you could even experiment with whole wheat pie crusts but it's not well-suited for pizza or bread. Pastry flour has far less protein than all-purpose or whole wheat flour which makes it perfect for recipes where you want a tender result.

Heidi: Thanks so much for this recipe! I'm living in Sicily so don't see much point in making pizzas at home (I can go out and get wonderful pizza anytime for only a few euros). But I would like to try this one sometime (I won't be living here forever so I guess I'd better start practicing!). My favorite pizza includes potatoes, rosemary and smoked cheese and I think this crust would be wonderful with it!


I'm a little baffled by the "white" whole wheat designation, as it seems to be a contradiction in terms, but must assume that it's a lighter whole wheat grind. I would also assume that without having access to KA flour one could make a similar formula with some whole wheat and a good quality of white flour,(ie not bleached and bromated). That's always been my technique. I'm with you on the potato/ rosmarino/ olive oil combination as it's one of my all time favorites also. Yum!


Beautiful pictures! I haven't made wholemeal pizza dough yet, and am definitely tempted to try now. Also - I'd say adding dried herbs to the pizza crust is not optional, but compulsory:) I've been doing that for some 6 years now, and it's definitely a great improvement - you get so much more fragrant pizzas!


Dear Heidi,
visiting you're site, your recipes and your pictures have become one of my day's favorite moments. I make a mean pizza myself, but can't wait to try this recipe. You've aroused my curiosity once again with your enticing photos and wonderful writing. You're a gem.


I just picked up some KA white whole wheat flour at the market last week. This recipe is just what I had in mind! Thanks.


Thanks for the great looking recipe. I've been planning to experiment with making pizza dough with the white whole wheat flour, since I'm into lower glycemic eating (South Beach Diet) and using this flour makes the pizza much better in that respect. Can't wait to try it. Wonderful photos.


Can you freeze some of the balls as well? I wouldn't be able to eat that many pizzas in a short amount of time! I'd like to try out the recipe, though!


i *love* jeff's enthusiasm and obssession! "met" him at the yahoogroups mixer-owners where he was regaling us with tales of his pizza adventures -- i'm sure his posts are still in the archives. i have yet to convince my hubby to rig our oven, though not for lack of trying. i did manage to get him to buy me a DLX, the same mixer jeff uses:D. trivia: did you know that this is the same jeff varasano who wrote "conquer the cube in 45 seconds" (the rubik's)? i wish he'd start a blog.


Thanks everyone. It always makes me feel good when I tap into an area that you are excited about.

Mandy, I've had great success freezing the dough balls from Peter's original recipe (I freeze them after dividing into six equal pieces and rubbing them with olive oi). I suspect this version will freeze nicely as well.

The white whole wheat flour is great. It seems like many of you are familiar with using the whole wheat pastry flour - ground from a soft wheat berry...this white wheat flour is ground from 100% hard white winter wheat - higher protein flour than the whole wheat pastry.


sorry, don't mean to hog your comments section but i just read farmgirl's comment/question. i get organic white whole wheat from our co-op. see unitedbuyingclubs .com to find a buying club near you.


This would also be delicious grilled. Grilling dough seems daunting but it is really quite easy. Simply brush both sides with olive oil then slap on the grill. Let it cook for about 5 minutes on each side depending on grill temp and then top and cook a few mins more. You can grill toppings right alongside!
This also works well for dessert pizzas: grill apples and peaches alongside and top pizza with creamed honey, or spread nutella and top with grilled bananas and shredded coconut! My personal favorite is to start with a pizza dough with oregano, then top with grilled watermelon, grilled purple onions, feta cheese, kalamata olives, more fresh oregano and balsalmic syrup. Yum!

baguette about it

I should know better than to check 101 Cookbooks from work. I just get worked up! Can't wait to try this. How does a Triple Brie with Campari-soaked Vine Fruits to go with this sound? Thanks for the inspiration.


Your pizza made me craving for a bite of cheesy well-baked dough... Wonderful pics!


Beautiful pictures! I can almost smell and feel the texture of the bread.

sherry Cermak

I think calling this grain 'white' is unfortunate. It's just a paler shade of tan, but they couldn't call it 'taupe' could they, or 'puce, fawn, beige, khaki, buff' (thanks, thesaurus)? It's a more accepatable color in some circles. Has anyone found quantative information? Anyway, we use spelt!

Susan G

Looks so good. Not sure I could handle goat cheese on a pizza but to each his own.


What a wonderful recipe ! mouthwatering photos !

Anne (P&P)

oh delicious!!
I love that rustic look(!)
mouth-watering pictures - think it would as well taste very good the next day served cold...


I just spent a week in Tuscany part of which was spent in the compnay of a pizzaolo - he fired his in a wood fired oven of quite epic proportions and mind bending heat. He used a Grade 0 flour and insisted on gently carbonated water, which I found a bit odd. Damn good pizza though.

Monkey Gland

Stacey B and Nicole: Cook's Illustrated did one of their investigations into home pizza and found that low protein flour was actually much better at making thin crisp pizza crusts in a home oven. They even used cake-flour for less protein than pastry flour. According to CI, the lower temperatures of a home oven produce a bready pizza dough with high gluten flour. The high temperatures of a commercial oven were needed to get a good crisp high gluten crust. So go ahead and try it out, Stacey B! I think there's a blog entry somewhere detailing all the info if you don't have that CI issue; you should be able to google it.


Heidi, I think you rock!

And in rocking on another post.....I had asked you months ago about the wonderful pans you used for the Pear Cake and the "Curd" Cakes. Ever since I have been on the look out, and today I hit paydirt! Thank you so much for the continuing inspiration!


Glad you found them Alisa! Have you found the starburst patterned baking sheets yet? Keep an eye out for those as well, you'll have a matching set.

Thanks again for the nice comments everyone. -h


perfect crusts.. Yummy.. and amazing photographs

Tony of Bachelor cooking

What is the minimum time that the dough needs to be refrigerated? I love to not wait until tomorrow!


I'm wondering about the chill time on the dough as well - I wanted to serve this tonight, but I'm nervous that a few hours won't be long enough in the refridgerator? Any advice someone can offer? Thanks!


Hi there,
Please tell me, is "instant yeast" the same as "quick rise" yeast? I live in Montreal and the only supermarket brand we have is Fleischmann's.® They make Traditional Yeast or Quick-Rise Yeast. Which one should I buy for this recipe: White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough?
Thank you!


Has anyone tryied making the thin crust yet? What were your results and opinions?


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