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Have you ever wanted to indulge your loved ones with a healthier version of their favourite greasy takeaway meal?
I sure have, and that’s why I was very excited when I made this whole wheat pizza dough that’s light and tasty, just like a “regular” pizza base.
I also got pretty tired of buying “healthy” pizza bases from my local health food shops that:
- were gluten-free but full of highly refined ingredients,
- used whole wheat flour but were tough and unappetising or
- contained milk or egg products
I’m sorry, but how hard is it really to make a whole wheat pizza base that’s both tasty and vegan?
Well, it’s a heck of a lot easier now, thanks to this awesome recipe for whole wheat pizza dough.
And although I make mine in my bread-making machine, you can follow any process for making homemade pizza dough, using the ingredients and amounts in this recipe.
I’m just taking the lazy way out, because frankly, I have better things to do than knead pizza dough, and I’m sure you do too.
I love that there’s no sugar needed in this whole wheat pizza dough recipe and that’s you don’t need to add any white flour at all, just some gluten flour to help with the elasticity.
I’ve also found that the brand of whole wheat flour you use can make a big difference, so be willing to do a bit of experimentation.
Surprisingly, the two best flours I’ve found for the job are a supermarket brand wholemeal flour, and an organic stoneground whole wheat flour.
But with the right ingredients, this whole wheat pizza dough turns out beautifully.
It’s soft and strong and delicious.
But, most importantly, it passes the taste test with my kids.
We’ve been making homemade vegan pizzas every week with this amazing whole wheat pizza dough, from the simplest margarita, to the fanciest gourmet pesto pizzas, to a deliciously decadent raw-ish dessert pizza.
Now all you have to do is decide what you’re going to top your next gourmet creation with.
And sit back and relax as you enjoy the sight of your family tucking into a totally healthy homemade pizza!
Vegan Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
If using a bread-maker
- Add ingredients in the order listed, making a well for the yeast in the top of the flour.
- Set machine to "pizza dough" and walk away!
- Split finished pizza dough ball in two.
If making by hand
- Mix yeast with (warm) water in a large bowl.
- Add olive oil, 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour, gluten flour and salt to bowl.
- Mix it by hand until it starts to clump together.
- Put the remaining 1/2 cup of flour on a clean, flat surface, place the dough on top and knead by hand for at least 8-10 minutes until all the extra flour has been incorporated and the dough becomes smooth.
- Put it into an oiled bowl (covered) in a warm place for about an hour to rise.
- Punch it down, split it in half, and let rise again (uncovered) for about 45 minutes.
Once dough is ready
- Roll out your pizza dough to fit your pizza tray, and top with desired toppings (or leave it plain).
- Cook in a hot (200°C/392°F) oven for 15 to 25 minutes until ready.
- Before: -
- During: 60 mins (if making in a bread-maker), 2 hours (if making by hand)
- After: 30 mins (to prepare and cook pizza)
- Need: Bread-maker (optional), oven
- I like to use 100% organic cold-pressed olive oil in my recipes because it’s top quality, and that’s how I roll. But honestly, you could probably use any vegetable oil without noticing a big difference. Just make it as “healthy” as you can manage.
- As always I used pink salt in my recipes because it’s good quality and has a pretty pink colour (OK, maybe not the pink colour so much). Regular salt will work fine too, but I do love my pink Himalayan crystal salt. I have also read that because table salt is highly-processed it’s harder for the body to deal with than unrefined sea salt, but of course it’s all hotly debated. The upshot? Use unrefined pink salt or sea salt if you can.
- As I mentioned above, the brand of whole wheat flour you use can make a big difference to the results. We’ve tried a few different brands (sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident, sometimes because we had no other choice), and have had whole wheat pizza doughs that were flat and hard, and others that were light and springy. Such a difference, all from apparently the “same” type of flour. So if your first attempt isn’t that great, see if you can find another brand of flour to try. And remember the most expensive brand is not always the best (as we found with our “cheapy” supermarket brand whole wheat flour).
- The gluten flour is a key ingredient in making this whole wheat pizza dough really work, so don’t leave it out. Without it, your dough just won’t have the strength and spring it needs to be light and pleasant to eat. Gluten flour (also called vital wheat gluten) is basically wheat flour that has had much of the the bran and starch removed, making it much higher in protein, and giving the dough the elasticity it needs.
- I use yeast in sachets that’s designed for bread-making machines, so it’s dry and instant (and fast-rising). I just have to add it to my dough and it does its magic. Active yeast needs to be activated first and fresh yeast is much harder to find in the shops, but they’re pretty much your other choices. I don’t have much experience with the other kinds of yeast, so I’m not sure how they will affect the results of the whole wheat pizza dough, but some people say that any yeast will do. You might just have to try it and see. Be aware that adding salt to the dough at the start may affect the rising of other types of yeast too.
- If you’re making this in a bread maker, the water temperature isn’t that important. I tend to use room temperature water, because that’s what I have on hand. If you’re making this by hand, warming the water can help the yeast to “activate” better (if using active yeast instead of instant yeast).
- If you’re using dry instant yeast, you shouldn’t have to “proof” it (make sure that it’s working) or activate it (get it working) first. You should be able to add it to your whole wheat pizza dough ingredients and have it just “work”.
- If you’re using yeast that needs to be activated, you’d normally you use sugar to do this, but of course that’s one of the things I love about this recipe – it’s sugar-free. So see if you can find dry instant yeast instead and save yourself this extra step (and the sugar).
- If you’re not ready to make pizzas right away, just roll out your dough into the desired shape, and cook the bases at 200°C (392°F) for around 10 minutes, until they’re just barely cooked. You can let them cool down and then store them in the freezer, ready to pull out and add toppings at a moment’s notice. How’s that for convenient? Just like a store-bought one, only a hundred times better!
Although this is a recipe for homemade vegan whole wheat pizza dough, it didn’t seem right to leave you without some suggestions for toppings, so here’s some of our favourites:
- Raw Tomato Sauce with mixed herbs, vegan cheese, pineapple and chopped red capsicum
- Raw Tomato Sauce with mixed herbs, garlic granules, vegan cheese, pineapple and red onion
- Raw Tomato Sauce with mixed herbs, vegan cheese, mushrooms, sliced tomato and black olives
- Freshly-cooked pizza base topped with almond butter, mashed banana, chopped mango and sprinkled with cinnamon
I adapted this recipe for whole wheat pizza dough from a recipe in the booklet that came with my bread making machine.
Their recipe used regular wheat flour, but I wanted to use whole wheat flour, so I just swapped the regular flour for whole wheat and added the gluten flour for extra body.
And I must say it worked out very well. Surprisingly well.
I love that I can satisfy my kids with “junk” food that I know is packed with the healthiest, best quality ingredients.
And these pizza are about as “junky” as it get in our house, which is pretty darn great, I’d say.
After all, food is supposed to be fun!
And it’s even better when it’s also healthy.
If you want to make your own homemeade whole wheat pizza dough by hand, here’s some great step-by-step instructions:
If you want to learn more about gluten flour, here’s a forum post that explains some more:
If you want more info on choosing yeast for pizza dough, there’s some handy tips in this article:
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And have a gourmet day :)