Hi Tom,

I need help with a wheat crust recipe. I have tried numerous formulations but they don’t turn out to be what I am looking for which is a crust that is crispier then the inside, a wheat color and a slight sweetness. Instead I have been getting a dough with no crunch and a dense consistency all the way through. I know it will never be like regular crust but I’m not even close. Please, if you could help let me know, this is frustrating me to no end.

Thank you,

Giuseppi’s Pizza & Pasta

The biggest problem is in getting the dough absorption correct. To do this you MUST use a soaker. To make a soaker, put the whole-wheat flour into a container and add an amount of water equal to 70% of the weight of whole-wheqat flour in the container. Just whole-wheat flour and water, nothing else. Set this in the cooler and allow it to hydrate for two hours, or overnight. The resulting hydrated flour will look something like thick oatmeal. Add the hydrated flour to the mixing bowl along with the other dough ingredients (I like to hold the oil back and add it after two minutes of low speed mixing). The amount of water to add to the dough is calculated at 65% of the TOTAL FLOUR WEIGHT (both white and whole wheat flours) minus the weight of the water that you have already added to the soaker. For example: if you used 10-pounds of whole-wheat flour and 7-pounds of water to make the soaker, and the total flour for the dough consisted of 10-pounds of whole-wheat flour and 20-pounds of regular, white pizza flour, the absorption would be 65% of 30-pounds (65 X 30 (press the “%” key and read 19.5-pounds of total water, now subtract the water already added to the soaker (7-pounds) 19.5 minus 7 = 12.5-pounds of water to be added to the dough. Mix the doug for 2-minutes at low speed, or just until you don’t see any dry flour in the bowl, then add the oil, and mix for 1 more minute at low speed, then mix for about 8-minutes at medium speed and you are finished mixing. The resulting dough will be slightly tacfky, this is NORMAL. Targeted finished dough temperature is 80 to 85F. Immediately scale, ball, and box the dough, wipe the top of the dough balls with oil and take to the cooler, cross stack for about 2-hours, then down stack and nest the dough boxes. Dough will be ready to use on the following day. Remove dough from cooler and allow to temper at room temperature for about 90-minutes, or until the dough can be easily formed. This dough should not be stored for more than 2-days in the cooler.
Note: For a sweeter tasting dough either use honey in the dough to replace the white sugar. The amount of honey to use is 5% of the total flour weight: 5 X 30 (press the “%” key and read 1.5-pounds as the amount of honey to add. Or, you can just increase the white sugar level to 7%: 7 X 30 (press the “%” key and read 2.1-pounds as the amount of white sugar to add. Another option is to replace your traditional olive oil with a butter flavored oil or use butter as the replacement. Use either at the same level as your olive oil.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

question…on this recipe, why do you recommend adding 20lbs of white flour to the 10lbs of wheat flour and not just going all wheat. Is there a min/max ratio of wheat flour to white flour to be able to call it “wheat crust”. I was just wondering as I am experimenting with wheat crust and would like to add it to menu if customers are happy with the result and there is enough sell-thru.


For making a “wheat” crust, a blend of 25 to 30% whole-wheat flour and 75 to 70% regular, white pizza flour makes the best overall crust. If you want to make a “whole-wheat” crust you would have to use all whole-wheat flour. Whole wheat crusts tend to be rather dense, and lack the desired crispiness that we normally associate with thin crusts, but a wheat crust can have these properties, and it will taste better to many people too. It all depends upon what you are looking for. In the original question, he was asking about a “wheat” crust, that’s why I suggested the white flour/wheat flour blend.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor