Recipe: Homemade Pizza (with whole wheat crust)

Pizza is one of our favorite foods. The kids love it just as much as we do--a rare find! but it's bread and cheese, so is that really surprising? Who doesn't love pizza? 

But homemade pizza can be a bit tricky. I remember as a kid, I dreaded pizza night. Thick, bready crust, sweet tomato sauce and cheddar cheese topped with ground beef...as a kid, I really hated it. As I type that, it doesn't sound too bad anymore, probably because I'm hungry, but for me, I love my pizza crust thin and a bit crispy, with a slightly spicy (and not sweet!) sauce, mozzarella, parm, and lots of chopped veggies. 

It took Shaun and I years--really, years!--to find our perfect pizza recipe. My friend Merrick has a really awesome blog, and our pizza recipe has been slightly adapted from the epic recipe she posted a while back. It's the best homemade pizza ever, I promise.


  • 1 cup hot tap water
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose if you prefer)
  • 2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings (or dried basil or oregano)

  1. Stir yeast into hot water and let sit for 10 minutes to proof. 
  2. Stir in vital wheat gluten, salt, seasonings and flour, and knead for about 5-7 minutes (or let it mix in a standing mixer with the dough attachment). 
  3. Pour a bit of olive oil onto the top of the dough after kneading and turn it over to grease the entire ball of dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for at least 30 minutes. 
  4. After the dough has rested for at least 30 minutes, divide it into two. Roll out thin into a circle shape, and fold and pinch edges down to make a crust. 


  • About 2 cups canned tomatoes, drained (I use home-jarred tomatoes. Diced or whole is fine.)
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste 
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 (scant) teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper

  1. Place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and pulse until everything is well-combined. 
Assembling your pizza:
  1. Spread sauce over your prepared crust and top each pizza with grated mozzarella cheese. We use about 1/2 cup for each pizza. 
  2. Then top it with your favorite toppings. (Our favorite toppings: sliced black olives, bell peppers, red onion, fresh herbs like basil and cilantro and whenever possible mushrooms. We also like sausage, but we don't make it very often.
  3. We use a few tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese to finish it off. It somehow helps keep everything from burning weird on top. 
  4. If you want a nice crisp crust, bake at 500 degrees for 10-12 minutes. If you'd like a slightly crisp crust that's still softer inside bake it at 450 for 12 minutes. (That's how Shaun likes it. i prefer the crisper crust.) For best results you want to cook your pizza on the lowest rack possible in your oven.

Variations: We have tried barbecue sauce and pesto sauce instead of the traditional tomato sauce, and both are amazing. We aren't too adventurous with cheese--we always use mozzarella over the sauce and then top all of the toppings off with freshly grated parmesan. 
  • Barbecue sauce goes well with grilled chicken and pineapple atop the mozzarella. Mushrooms, onions and fresh cilantro are also great additions.
  • Pesto is good with grilled chicken too, as well as thinly sliced tomatoes, black olives, mushrooms, and fresh basil. 

Note: If you don't have a pizza stone, you can flip over a cookie sheet so it's upside down and cook your pizza on top of that. The way the air circulates under it cooks it well that way, although use a stone if you have one. Either way, I suggest cooking your pizza on parchment paper for minimal mess and for a nice, crispy crust.

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