Soaked Spelt Pizza Dough

The good news: my shoulder is feeling fantastic and held up beautifully through a hard interval workout Saturday morning.

The bad news: I am so sore from Saturday’s workout because I haven’t been working out like that due to the LEEP and my shoulder!

The good news: it’s a balmy 60* and I was overdressed on my bike to work this morning.

The bad news: the only leaves left on the trees are the brittle, decaying, brown ones. ūüôĀ ¬†I am a leafy green kinda girl.

The good news: my soaked spelt pizza dough turned out delicious!

The bad news: none? Only that it is going to be hard to resist not eating pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Saturday morning I combined

  • 3 cups of spelt flour
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon whey (poured from the top of my plain yogurt)
Once it was all mixed up in a big bowl, I covered it with a clean dish towel and set aside to do it’s thing. ¬†What is it’s thing? ¬†Breaking down the phytic acid¬†in the flour to increase¬†digestibility¬†and nutrient absorption.
Why spelt? Spelt contains a lot more protein than wheat (10 grams for 2 ounces vs. less than 3 grams for the same amount of wheat). Spelt also nearly three times the fiber of wheat. ¬†While I’ve never noticed an adverse reaction to wheat or gluten in myself, spelt is lower in gluten and people with mild wheat intolerance can often enjoy spelt without a problem. ¬† People with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance still need to stir clear of spelt.
Sunday afternoon I activated the yeast by combining
  • 1/4 cup of 100* water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
Once the yeast was nice and bubbly, about 10 minutes later, I incorporated it into the dough along with a few pinches of salt.

The dough was then drizzled with olive oil, covered, and set in a warm spot to rest and rise.

In my very limited experience soaked spelt doesn’t rise like whole wheat, nor is it as elastic and gluten-y. ¬†For this reason I find it easier to make smallish, hand-formed crust when working with soaked spelt dough.

When the dough was ready to go I incorporated a little more spelt flour as I kneaded for a few minutes.  Spelt has 30 percent more protein and more soluble gluten, which makes it possible to over-knead it.  I get bored easily with kneading so this is good news to me!

I formed 8 little balls with the dough as my pizza stone heated in a 500* oven.

I also got a little topping happy; homemade tomato sauce, 3 kinds of cheese, fresh oregano, sauteed onions, squash, and garlic, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms.

My dough was sticky so I found that it worked best if I pre-baked the crust for a few minutes on the hot stone before adding the toppings.  [no time for pics! at this point I was up to my elbows in flour and toppings!]

Pizza, pizza, pizza!

If you want more details, I used this recipe and this recipe as a guide for the dough.


  1. I can hardly wait to warm up my homemade pizza for lunch today. Pizza was almost always first choice for a birthday or other celebration for you and sisters. The year you were born, we had some community members with allergies, so we made special pizzas, such as no nightshade (tomato, peppers, eggplant), no dairy, no wheat, and had to code the tops to keep them all straight. It was years later that we ever heard of spelt.

  2. Must. Get. A. Pizza. Stone.

    I’ve been using a perforated pizza pan and it works fine, but I like the look of the freeform pizzas with individualized toppings. A stone would work much better …

    Your pizzas look delicious!

  3. Your pizzas look wonderful. I haven’t eaten much pizza since I got “the diagnosis”. There is a local place that does good GF crust but they’re not on a bus route and I don’t get to go there much. Godfather’s delivers but I choose not to order from them even if it is GF crust. my humble opinion.

    • gracefulfitness

      I was in the same boat as you until last summer when I took the plunge. It’s not as tricky as I thought! My doughs never turn out airy and light but I believe that has more to do with the whole grain flours that I use, not my ability to activate the yeast.

  4. sarah

    these look sooo good…how do you keep the dough from sticking to the stone?! i’ve had this trouble in the past and had to oil the stone with coconut oil.


    • gracefulfitness

      I pre-baked the crust on the hot stone without toppings to dry out the bottom then used a metal spatula to detach it before adding the toppings and baking again. Cornmeal helps too!

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