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The Whole Wheat


The Whole Wheat

This pizza recipe comes from Ruth Gresser of Pizzeria Paradiso in Washington, D.C. A vegan take on the classic tomato and cheese pizza, fresh tomato sauce covers a nutty whole-wheat base.

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This recipe makes dough for two 12-inch pizzas. You can store any leftover dough in the freezer until ready to use.


For the Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:

  • 1½ Cup warm water
  • 1 Teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Pound 100-percent whole-wheat flour, plus more for dusting

For the Fresh Tomato Sauce:

  • 3–4 medium ripe tomatoes (about 1 ¾ pounds)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ Teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ¾ Teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For The Whole Wheat Crust:

  • Flour, for sprinkling
  • Cornmeal, for sprinkling
  • 4 Ounces vegan mozzarella or regular mozzarella, shredded or diced (about ¾ cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil, for drizzling


For the Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:

Place the water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Dissolve the yeast in the water and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk the salt and oil into the water mixture. Add the flour and place the bowl on the mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on the lowest speed until a rough dough is formed.

Raise the speed of the mixer slightly. Knead the dough until it has a smooth and elastic texture, about 5 minutes. To test the dough, turn off the machine and press the dough with your fingertip. When it begins to spring back, the dough is fully kneaded and ready to rise. Because this dough is made with 100-percent whole-wheat flour, the dough may not spring back completely when pressed.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place the dough balls on a floured plate and cover with plastic wrap. Let them rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour at room temperature for room temperature dough or 2 to 3 hours at room temperature for cold dough. Or, let rise in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to overnight. (At this point, you may freeze the dough. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.) Allow refrigerated dough to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

For the Fresh Tomato Sauce:

Bring a 4-quart pot of water to a boil. Place the tomatoes, 2 or 3 at a time, in the boiling water for 30 seconds and then transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Working with one tomato at a time, score the skin with a paring knife. Lift a piece of the skin from the tomato flesh and begin peeling it away. Continue peeling until all the skin has been removed. Repeat the process with the other tomatoes.

Remove the core and cut each tomato in half horizontally. Working over a bowl, take a half of a tomato in your palm and squeeze gently and evenly against the flesh of the tomato until the seeds flow from the flesh. Repeat this with the other tomatoes. Discard the seeds. Chop the tomato flesh into ½-inch (1.3 cm) dice. You should have about 3 cups (about 540 g).

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until warm. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often to ensure the garlic does not burn.

Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and several grindings of pepper. Cook until the tomatoes soften and begin to release their juices. Continue cooking for another minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

For The Whole Wheat Crust:

Place a pizza stone on the top rack of a cool oven. Set the oven to broil and preheat for 30 minutes.

On a generously floured work surface, flatten the dough ball with your fingertips and stretch it into a 12-inch round. Sprinkle a pizza peel  with cornmeal and lay the pizza dough round on it. Spread ¾-cup of the tomato sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving ½- to ¾-inch of dough uncovered around the outside edge. Scatter the cheese on top of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with oil.

Give the peel a quick shake to be sure the pizza is not sticking to the peel. Slide the pizza off the peel onto the stone in the oven. Broil for 1 minute. Turn the oven temperature to the highest bake setting and cook for 5 minutes. Quickly open the oven door, pull out the rack, and with a pair of tongs, rotate the pizza (not the stone) a half turn. Cook for 5 minutes more.

Using the peel, remove the pizza from the oven. Cut into slices and serve.