The Case for Making Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough

The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer turned bread expert (and Food52's Resident Bread Baker) Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slather on a lot of butter. Today, he’s discussing the pros and cons of whole-wheat pizza dough.

The longer I bake bread and cook pizza, the more I find I like increasing the whole-grain percentage in the dough. Sure, there’s an undeniable charm that comes with the classic Italian way: a 00-flour-based pizza that’s cooked at a super-high temperature, resulting in an exceedingly soft texture, tall rise, and open, airy crust. And while my sourdough bread almost always has some whole-grain component, lately, I’ve been pushing the whole grains in my naturally leavened pizza dough as well. Swapping out some white flour is an easy way to bring flavor to the next level: The added bran and germ mixed into the dough brings deeper grain flavors (read: nutty, earthy, and a touch of minerality), and when coupled with lengthy natural fermentation, you get a one-two punch of flavor and nutrition.