Marilyn’s Best Pizza Dough

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  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm water (110° F)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups spelt flour, freshly ground from whole berries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, ground from soft white wheat berries


Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and let stand for 10 minutes, until creamy. Stir in olive oil.

Whisk in spelt flour, 1 cup at a time, along with salt. Beat for a minute or two, until it becomes stretchy and elastic.

Stir in pastry flour to make a soft dough. (Alternately, all the flour can be added at the same time and mixed for 5 minutes on low with the dough hook in a heavy-duty mixer). Either way, the dough should remain soft and rather sticky.

Cover and let rise for 2 to 3 hours. If it doubles before the time is up, deflate it.

Deflate, divide and shape into 5 or 6 balls (each will make an 8- to 9-inch pizza crust). The smaller size will be easier to handle. (At this point, the dough could be frozen in individual balls for later use.)

Cover and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to work with.

Shape each ball into a flat round, using enough flour to prevent sticking but not working too much flour into the dough. Rice flour is nice to use for shaping. It doesn’t absorb into the dough as readily and tends to stay on the outside where it’s needed. Place on a baking sheet liberally dusted with cornmeal or rice flour.

Preheat oven to 500° F. Top with your favorite sauce and toppings. The oven rack should be in the lowest position to ensure a nice, crispy crust. An 8-inch pizza cooks for about 6 minutes. Check carefully until you get to know your oven. If your oven tends to be hot, try baking it at 450° F.

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