I’ve made a lot of pizza in my day. I mean, a lot. I’ve made all-white crusts, semolina crusts, no-knead crusts, and crusts that require 3 days to make (not joking).
I’ve made it with red sauce and with white sauce, with cheese and without cheese. The only thing I haven’t done is make pizza with all sorts of different types of meat because… yeah. I don’t go that route.
But this one? Oh, this one. It is my favorite so far. This recipe is mostly for just the crust, because building a pizza after you’ve got the base all sorted out is pretty simple. It goes like this:
How to Make a Pizza:
- Sauce: marinara, pesto, cream, etc.
- Tomatoes: sliced big romas or cherries cut in half.
- Veggies: max of 2 (I find this to be the magic number).
- Cheese: always on top, preferably a good fresh mozzarella.
For this pizza, I chose to use cherry tomatoes, sliced onion, and some pioppino mushrooms that I found at the farmers market. I paid $5 for this little carton of them, but how could I not? They’re so cute!
I love how sweet cherry tomatoes get after a few minutes in the oven, and they really complemented the earthiness of the mushrooms. Noms noms.
I didn’t follow a recipe for the pesto because it was just a simple sauce, but if you want to follow along, this is basically how it went:
- Leaves from a 4-oz box of basil
- About 1/3 cup pine nuts
- About 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- Juice from half a lemon
- A couple glugs of olive oil
- A few grinds of salt
I placed all of this on top of this wondrous honey whole wheat dough. I know making your own dough for the crust might seem scary (and my long list of instructions surely doesn’t help), but it’s really not that bad, and the results are amazing.
The hardest part is actually turning your balls of dough into nice round discs, but no one said it has to be perfect. Mine certainly aren’t, and we don’t need to go over how many times I’ve made pizza again. (Refresher? A lot.)
If this is your first go-round with a few of these items, check out the following guides to help you visualize the process:
- Kneading loose bread dough by hand (I really recommend using your electric stand mixer if you have one)
- How to shape dough
Then, after a few minutes in a hot hot oven, it comes out looking like this:
What a beauty! I love how soft and fluffy the crust is on the inside, and how crispy it is on the outside.
The whole wheat gives the crust a nice earthy flavor, which is sweetened ever so slightly with a touch of honey. It is truly delicious. I really hope some of you give this recipe a go this weekend, or maybe use the dough to make vegetarian calzones instead.
Whatever you do, it will be so worth it!Print
For the Dough:
- 10 oz whole wheat flour (2 1/4 cups)
- 10 oz bread flour (2 1/4 cups)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 fl oz honey (2 Tbsp)
- Cooking oil spray
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the Toppings:
- Red onion, sliced
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Mozzarella cheese
- Combine the flours and salt in the bowl of your electric mixer (or in a large bowl). Stir in the yeast. Pour the warm water over the top, then add the honey. Use a large wooden spoon to mix it to form a shaggy dough.
- If you are using an electric mixer, attach the dough hook and mix until all the flour is moistened. Let rest 5 minutes, then continue mixing for an additional 5-7 minutes. The dough will be fairly sticky, but not overly so. Oil your hands with spray oil, then scrape the dough out of the bowl. Pull the sides around to the bottom to create a ball. Spray the bowl liberally with oil, then place the ball of dough back into the bowl. Cover.
- If you are kneading by hand, spray a large wood cutting board with oil, and spread it over the surface with your hands. Add a dusting of flour, then dump the dough onto the board. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth, about 8-10 minutes. The dough is going to be sticky, so having a bench knife on hand will be very useful. Shape into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover.
- Let the dough rise in a warm spot (preferably 70-80°F) for about 1 hour, until it doubles in size.
- Place the dough in the fridge and let it proof for at least 1 more hour, or up to 3 days.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and turn out onto a large wood cutting board. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, then shape each piece into a ball. Let sit for about 15 minutes or so while you prep the pesto and other ingredients.
- Preheat your oven to 500°F, or as high as it will go. You want to do this at least 20 minutes before you bake. For smaller pies and other baked goods, a large convection toaster oven is also a good investment to have on hand in the kitchen as these heat up quickly and generally have even heat.
- Take a ball of dough and use the back of your hands to shape it into a round. This is not the easiest thing to do in the world, but you will get the hang of it with practice. Alternatively, you can roll it out with a rolling pin, but the texture is never as good (in my opinion).
- Place the round of dough onto a piece of parchment and top with pesto, halved cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, and mozzarella cheese, in that order.
- Use a pizza peel or cutting board to transfer the pizza onto your pizza stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone, simply bake on the back of a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown in spots and the crust is golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying. If you aren’t planning to make four pizzas at once, extra dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Nutritional information below includes the crust only, for the whole batch of dough (4 small pizzas).
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Pizza
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American / Italian
Keywords: Whole Wheat, Pizza Dough, Honey
What about you? What kind of toppings do you like on your pies? I just used this dough to make a cheesy, eggy khachapuri and homemade pizza pockets. Delicious! Let us know in the comments below, and if you’ve made the dough at home, please give this recipe a rating!
If you loved this recipe, you might want to check out these tasty pizza dough variations too:
- Hand Tossed
- World’s Best Homemade
- Neapolitan-Style Crust
- Healthy Cauliflower
- Kefir-Soaked Spelt Flour
- Kefir-Soaked Einkorn Flour
And if you love pesto on top of your pies like I do, you might want to check out these variations:
And you can’t have a good Italian-American meal without garlic bread…
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on May 14, 2015. Last updated: April 21, 2023 at 13:26 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.This recipe was calculated using the dough only; no toppings or other additives were included.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).