Easy Spelt Pizza Crust

For the few minutes spent making a dough for the crust, home-made pizza is a very worthwhile meal. It doesn't take much hands-on time to prepare; the soft, stretchy pizza dough is a lot  of fun to play with; and, you can customize the toppings and make a pizza exactly the way you like it! This recipe makes 1 large rectangular pan of pizza, or a large round pan with a bit of dough left over (for making garlic bread).

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Mix together in a medium or large mixing bowl:

3/4 cup kefir or buttermilk (or milk)... room temperature is best, but not necessary

1/2 cup warm water

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

Stir in: 

1 cup spelt flour

2 scant tsp traditional yeast

Stir in another cup of spelt flour. When it's fully incorporated, add 1 - 2 Tbsp more flour at a time, until the dough is very thick and gathering together into a ball. The total amount of flour used will be around 2.5 cups, with more used while kneading the dough.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured counter. Add a generous sprinkle of flour to the top of the dough, and knead it for a minute (incorporating another spoonful of flour if needed), until the dough is a soft but firm ball.

Set the dough back into the mixing bowl, and cover it with a plate or towel. Set it aside in a warm place for 30 - 90 minutes to rise. (Usually a 30-minute rise is sufficient for this recipe. The dough should rise to 50 - 100% more than the original volume when it's ready to be rolled out.)

Just before it's time to start rolling the dough and adding toppings, turn the oven on to 400F

Rolling the Dough

Sprinkle more flour on the counter. Scoop the dough out of the bowl. Sprinkle a bit more flour on top of the dough... just enough that you can form the dough into a flat disc that isn't sticky.

Roll the dough out into the shape of your pan, rolling from the centre outwards to each edge. Make it an inch or two larger than the size of your pan. Add another sprinkle of flour under the dough if it starts to stick. Do not flip the dough while rolling it.

Sprinkle a generous layer of cornmeal onto your pan, so that the pan is almost covered in an even layer.

Do this next part quickly: carefully lift the dough from the counter and transfer it to the baking pan. It helps to make sure that the dough is not stuck to the counter first... lift it from each edge to make sure it's free and can be lifted (and sprinkle a little flour in any sticky spots , if needed).

This dough is soft and will stick to itself if it's folded together to transfer to the pan. Therefore, have your pan sitting right by where you rolled out the dough, and do a quick lift and transfer. In case it rips or stretches out of shape, just re-roll it into shape again.

Once the dough is on the pan, adjust the edges so that it fits properly on the pan. Trim any overlap. Try to avoid sliding the dough, as then it will move the cornmeal and the pizza could stick to the pan in any place where there's no cornmeal.

And that's it! Now it's time to add the toppings. Spread pasta sauce (or pesto) over the dough, and then add the toppings of your choice.

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Bake at 400F for 20 - 25 minutes (the exact timing depends on the size of your pizza. It's done when the crust is a light brown on the edges. You can tell for sure that it's done by lifting an edge and checking that the bottom of the crust is browned.

Let it sit for a few minutes after it comes out of the oven... and then enjoy!