Herbed Whole Grain Pizza Dough

Herbed Whole Grain Pizza Dough | cookiemonstercooking.com

Pizza night. It’s the best night of the week. Well, correction. It’s the second best night of the week – right after taco night. Taco night always wins. But really, just in case it isn’t blatantly obviously, I have a thing for homemade pizza. It’s an easy meal and well, this is pizza we are talking about after all. With a crispy, slightly chewy crust and plenty of cheese and yummy toppings? What’s not to love.

I will admit that there are absolutely times when I don’t make my own pizza dough. Both Trader Joes and Whole Foods have fantastic refrigerated pizza dough balls that are my fallback for when I’m just not feeling it.

But most of the time, I do make my own. It really only takes about 15 minutes of active work and the rest is just waiting for the dough to rise. Plus, it freezes incredibly well so you can stash it away and pull it out for pizza emergencies <— yes, that is totally a real thing.

Now, I still love the recipe I posted way back when for wheat pizza dough, but I’ve learned a lot since 2012 (eeek! where has time gone?) and this recipe today for herbed whole grain pizza dough is way better. It’s adapted from that older pizza dough recipe, with some changes to improve it. In a very good way.

Herbed Whole Grain Pizza Dough | cookiemonstercooking.com

So today’s pizza dough is made up of a mix of white whole wheat flour, oat bran and bread flour. I’ve played around quite a bit over the last year with different ratios of the flours and even attempted to leave out the bread flour entirely. But it really does add something. Without that bread flour it just ain’t as chewy. And I personally need a little chew to my pizza dough. So in it goes!

Now the fun part comes from the fresh herbs. It gives the dough this touch of something a little special, without being overpowering and taking away from the pizza toppings. Which we can’t have. You can use a mix of fresh herbs or even all of one herb. I’ve found that using all fresh parsley gives it a sort of “mild” herb flavor, if that’s what you are going for. Or, just leave out the herbs entirely if you don’t have any on hand.

I know a lot of people are intimidated by working with yeast, but with a little practice it’s really not so bad! And quite enjoyable to use. Also, please don’t be scared by the length of the instructions in the recipe below – I included extra information so you can get the best pizza dough possible in your own kitchen!

And one more little tidbit – I finally found the sweet spot in my house for letting the dough rise. We have a tiny laundry room and I place the bowl right on top of the dryer when it’s running – it gets just the right amount of warm in there and hey – that means I’m doing my laundry at the same time which means I’m winning at life. So depending on your own house, that may work for you too!

Herbed Whole Grain Pizza Dough | cookiemonstercooking.com

Pizza Friday – it should totally be a thing.

Herbed Whole Grain Pizza Dough
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: 2 balls pizza dough (enough for 2 large pizzas)
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water (about 110ºF)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ¼ cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour, plus extra as needed
  • ½ cup oat bran
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup mixed minced fresh herbs*
  1. Add the warm water to a small bowl, then sprinkle in the yeast. Mix gently with a fork to combine. Add in the olive oil and mix again briefly.
  2. Add the bread flour, the 1 ½ cups of the white whole wheat flour, oat bran and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low for a few seconds to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the liquid ingredients in a steady stream and mix until the dough becomes a cohesive mass. Stop the mixer and switch to the dough hook. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes on low speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic (see next paragraph). During the last minute of kneading, add in the herbs.
  3. {If the dough is too tacky and sticky, add in additional white whole wheat flour as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth and elastic (I usually add about 2 to 3 tablespoons extra) - you want it to clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom. If you press the dough with your finger, it should be tacky, but not stuck in clumps to your finger. I usually check the dough after about 2 to 3 minutes of kneading and then add additional flour (and continue kneading to the full 5 minutes).}
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and then place in a large oiled bowl. Turn the dough once to coat then cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, until the dough is doubled in size.
  5. With lightly floured hands, press down the dough gently to deflate. Split the dough into two equal pieces and shape into balls.
  6. If you are not planning on using the pizza dough right away, wrap each ball tightly in plastic wrap. Place each ball in a freezer safe plastic bag and then freeze. When ready to use, thaw out in the refrigerator (I typically move it to the fridge the morning of when making pizza for dinner).
  7. If you are using the dough right away, preheat the oven to 500ºF. Place a pizza stone in the oven and allow the stone to heat for at least 15 minutes. Turn a dough ball out onto a lightly floured surface. Allow the dough to relax for about 10 minutes (but no longer than 30 minutes). Shape the dough and then transfer to a piece of parchment the size of your pizza stone that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal. Top as desired. Place the parchment with your dough directly onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 10 to 14 minutes.
*I like to use whatever herbs I have on hand here - which is usually parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil, etc. Use whatever you prefer! I’ve also done this with all parsley and it’s delicious that way too!

When I measure out my flour, I use a spoon to loosen / fluff the flour in the bag or container and then spoon it into a measuring cup and level off.

I’ve tried this many times using all white whole wheat flour and various other combinations, but the bread flour really adds something. It gives that chewiness that I love about pizza and we just don’t like it anywhere near as much without it here.

Prep time does not include the time to preheat the oven and heat the pizza stone. It only includes the time to make the dough and let it rise.

Adapted from my wheat pizza dough, which was originally from Baking Illustrated.