A Tasty Whole-Grain Pizza Crust

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dairy free, whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 slices

Recipe photo

Several years ago, researchers at the University of Maryland published a study showing that pizza crust made with whole wheat flour, when allowed to rise overnight and bake in a very hot oven for a relatively long time, is better for your health than a standard pizza crust.

Why? Antioxidants, the nutritional substance in certain foods (including whole wheat flour), counteract the harmful effects of oxidation on your system. Research shows antioxidants may help prevent diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer's, stroke, and cancer, among others. We already know whole wheat flour is more nutritious than "white" flour; so why not up the ante even more, and take full advantage of its health attributes?

Aside from being a healthier pizza crust, this whole wheat version is just plain tasty. We like to top it with roasted new potatoes, fresh scallions, and nuggets of Asiago or Parmesan cheese, for an incredibly tasty treat.

A Tasty Whole-Grain Pizza Crust

star rating (13) rate this recipe »
dairy free, whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: 16 slices
Published: 05/13/2011


  • 3 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water

Tips from our bakers

  • What's with the orange juice in this recipe? No, it doesn't make your pizza taste like oranges; but it does mitigate the somewhat tannic flavor whole wheat can sometimes have. Substitute water if desired.
  • Can you use traditional red wheat flour in this recipe? Absolutely; your crust will be darker, and more assertively flavored due to red wheat's stronger taste.
  • Researchers managed to increase antioxidants to their highest level by baking pizza crust at 500°F. However, since some readers have ovens that won't heat that hot; and since baking at 500°F can be a little tricky (the time difference between perfect and burned becomes very short), we've chosen a slightly more moderate baking temperature: 450°F.


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1) Combine all of the ingredients, and allow to rest for 30 minutes; this gives the whole wheat flour a chance to absorb the liquid.

2) Mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, soft dough.

3) Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover it, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate overnight, or for about 18 hours; a bit longer is fine. Handy schedule: Make pizza dough at 8 p.m., and refrigerate until 4 p.m. the next day. Shape, let rise for 2 hours, and bake at 6 p.m.

4) Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Pat it into a lightly greased half-sheet pan (18" x 13") that's been drizzled with olive oil. This will make a thick-crust, Sicilian-style pizza, one that's thick enough to undergo the long bake at a high temperature necessary to optimize its antioxidants.

5) Brush the dough with sauce, if desired; and top with your favorite cooked toppings: cooked vegetables, and/or cooked or smoked meats. Don't add the cheese yet. Cover the pizza, and let it rise for about 2 hours, or until it's very puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.

6) Bake the pizza on the bottom shelf of the oven for 8 minutes, then remove it from the oven and top with cheese, if desired.

7) Replace the pizza on a shelf in the upper third of the oven. Bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust browned.

8) Remove the pizza from the oven, let rest for about 5 minutes (for the cheese to settle), and serve right away. If not serving right away, transfer the pizza to racks to cool, so the bottoms stay crisp.

Yield: about 16 slices.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice Servings Per Batch: 16 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106 Calories from Fat: 20 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 183mg Total Carbohydrate: 18g Dietary Fiber: 3g Sugars: 3g Protein: 3g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 02/08/2015
  • bakemanjm from KAF Community
  • This recipe is great. The taste is mildly 'wheaty' and crisps up nicely on the pizza stone. Our new go-to pizza dough!
  • star rating 08/03/2014
  • Stephanie from Pensacola, FL.
  • I added 2 TBsp of my favorite pesto to the dough. It's a big hit with my family. Ty KA*
  • 07/30/2014
  • Sara from
  • How can I make the dough in advance? For instance, can it be made days ad head?
    As written, the dough is mixed the day before the pizza is baked. If you wish to make the dough days in advance of the bake, it might be better to freeze the dough - either as an unbaked ball of dough, or as a parbaked crust. Please call our Hotline (855 371 2253), if you want help redesigning the recipe to fit your schedule.~Jaydl@KAF
  • star rating 02/17/2014
  • Heather from New York
  • I've tried other 100% whole wheat pizza recipes before and have them come out tasting and chewing like cardboard (even with using KA Whole White Wheat Flour). Taste wise this is the best recipe I've found. I really think the orange helps in removing the sometimes bitter taste of whole wheat. But I still think there is some flavor aspect missing, although I can't put my finger on it. This was really easy to make and very easy to form, I didn't have to even touch a rolling pin. This will be my go to recipe from now on with some hopeful additions for flavor in the future. KAF can you make some suggestions?
    Garlic powder, cheese powder, onion powder, dried herbs, the sky is the limit on what you want to add to the dough. ~ MJ
  • star rating 01/04/2013
  • Dianemw from KAF Community
  • In an effort to eat "healthy" pizza, I've tried a number of whole wheat pizza doughs and this one is the bomb! I make it every Friday with white whole wheat flour and it is perfect! I roll it as thin as I can as we like crispy crust and bake on a pizza stone. Thanks King Arthur for another fabulous recipe!
  • star rating 11/22/2012
  • from
  • You might need a little extra water just try not to over do it. For my first time making pizza dough its not bad although I wish it was a little sweeter. I added a small drizzle of olive oil and massaged it on top before adding my sauce. I got full after a few slices, while not consuming the crust which is surprising since I usually eat half a pizza with crust all on my own.
  • star rating 06/04/2012
  • smreuder from KAF Community
  • I've tried other recipes for pizza dough and this is by far the best. I modified it for my family, using 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour. I also make the dough first thing in the morning and make individual pizzas for dinner.
  • star rating 03/04/2012
  • Stephy76 from KAF Community
  • I dont know what im doing wrong..but the dough looks nothing like the photos and when i combine all the ingredients and mix it together it seems a little dry. I make white dough all the time and it comes out great. Does any one know what Im doing wrong?
    Doughs made with whole grains can be a little on the drier side as the grains are like a sponge, soaking up all the moisture. Add some more liquid to achieve a smooth and soft dough. If you need further assistance, please contact our Hotline, 800-827-6836. Elisabeth
  • star rating 02/06/2012
  • prb from KAF Community
  • This is delicious. It took me 3 times to get it perfect. (I am new to bread making, though.) First time: I used traditional red wheat flour. It was ok- kind of heavy and a little bitter tasting. The 2nd time I used the White Whole Wheat flour and I let it rise the 2nd time a little longer without the potatoes etc on top (put on top just before baking instead) This time, it was really good. The 3rd time I added a little extra water to the dough and it looked more like the photo on the blog when rising in the fridge- more airy. It came out great this time. I can't believe how light and tasty it was!
  • star rating 08/08/2011
  • Nicolea40 from KAF Community
  • I was very shocked how delicious this pizza was. I used this crust as my base for a spinach and basil chicken sausage pizza and it was so delicious. I am usually a traditional crust pizza lover but this is a great healthy alternative.
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