Whole grain, oil-free, and vegan: Finding WFPB pizza crust in retail stores is a tall order. Engine 2-brand prepared crust (in the freezer aisle) and Trader Joe’s whole-wheat pizza dough (in the refrigerator aisle) are two good options. Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own crusts and keep them on hand for impromptu pizza nights.
This tasty WFPB pizza crust recipe is par-baked to ensure your final pizza comes out lightly crispy, not soggy. Simply make the dough, roll it out, and bake it roughly halfway through—that’s the par-baking step—before adding toppings and popping it back into the oven. Experiment with your own topping combinations, or try these crusts with South-of-the-Border Pizza or Pizza with Creamed Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Olives.
Or simply stash your par-baked crusts in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. (Pro tip: Place a piece of wax paper between two crusts if you’re storing them together.) Par-baked crusts will keep for about five days in the refrigerator or two months in the freezer.
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. To make the sponge, gently heat the milk and date paste in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring to combine. Sprinkle the yeast and flour over the milk, cover pan, and set aside for 30 minutes in a warm place.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt; mix well.
4. Add the sponge to the flour mixture and knead to form a dough. If the dough is sticky, add more all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until dough is soft and not too sticky. Cover the bowl with a cloth and keep in a warm place for an hour while dough rises.
5. Place the ball of dough on a flour-dusted work surface, and use a knife to cut the dough into 2 equal portions.
6. Roll each portion of dough into 8-inch crusts; poke the crusts several times with the tines of a fork.
7. Transfer the crusts to separate baking sheets.
8. Place one of the baking sheets on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes to cook the crust halfway through (this is called par-baking). Repeat this process with the second crust.
9. Once removed from the oven, top the par-baked crusts with the pizza sauce and toppings of your choice, and return the pizzas to the oven to bake for 20 more minutes or until the toppings are cooked through.