Pizza should be considered a delicacy. Crunchy doughy crust, fresh and vibrant tomatoes, gooey cheese, fresh herbs, meat, vegetables...pretty much everything good in the world. You literally can have pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - even dessert!
Seriously, is there ever a bad time for pizza? With so many options out there, it's nice to try and make a few of them a little healthier. So, let's start with the crust.
In this recipe we switch out the all purpose or bread flour for whole wheat flour. I used King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat Flour for this recipe - I really liked it in comparison to their regular Whole Wheat. I tried making several of their whole wheat pizza crust recipes but didn't love them, so I took a little of what I liked from each recipe and tweaked it.
The result is a thin, crispy whole wheat pizza crust. Now, I'm not going to lie to you and tell you it tastes just like regular pizza dough. It does still carry the flavor of whole wheat, but orange juice mellows out that hard wheat flavor and the texture is wonderful.
The other great thing about this recipe is that it doesn't have to sit overnight to proof. I had mine done and ready to roll in about 2 ½ hours with about 15 minutes in the oven. After dividing the dough in half, it will yield 2 pizzas about 16" with a real thin crust.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm water 105-110F
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 ½ - 4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice room temperature
- In the mixing bowl to your standing mixer combine the yeast, warm water, honey and 1 cup for the flour. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- The mixture should be frothy. Add the vital wheat gluten, salt, orange juice, olive oil, and 2 cups of flour. Mix with the bread hook attachment, adding the remaining 1 cup of flour one ¼ cup at a time. Once a smooth, elasticky bread comes together the dough is ready. It may seem a little sticky, but the dough shouldn't stick to your hands. If it does add flour, just a bit at a time.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl to rest. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size, about 1 hour and 40 minutes to 2 hours. As your dough approaches it's resting time, pre-heat your oven as hot as it will go with the pizza stone inside - we have a conventional oven and I found the broiler setting to work best, otherwise I preheat at 500F. If using a baking sheet, keep the oven just slightly cooler at 475F.
- Once dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and divide in two. Form each half into a ball. Roll out about 16" in diameter for a thin crispy crust. Transfer dough to parchment paper and add desired toppings. Transfer dough and parchment paper to the hot pizza stone cook for 7 minutes and remove the parchment paper. Turn 180 degrees and continue cooking for another 8 minutes or until crispy. Brush the crust with extra virgin olive oil.