Fiorentina Spelt Pizza by Roger Saul

Is there anything better than an egg topped pizza?  I don’t think so.  As you can see from all these pictures, the Fiorentina Pizza is something that I make quite a lot.  The recipe is from the book Spelt by Roger Saul.

IMG_5333 Florentina Spelt Pizza

I first heard about spelt when I watched a farming debate on BBC Newsnight a few years ago.  Roger was talking about the work on his family farm Sharpham Park where they grow spelt.  He has led the revival of this grain in the UK and last year he brought out his beautiful Spelt cook book.

IMG_5531 Florentina Spelt Pizza

Spelt is an ancient grain and is much different to other grains.  It is easier for us to digest and contains many beneficial nutrients.  It is a hardier grain, with a husk that protects it from the elements and also protects the nutrients within.  The gluten in spelt is thought to be more ‘fragile’ and water soluble which helps us digest it and avoid bloating.  It also has a much higher protein content than normal wheat bread, so appealing for those on a low-carb diet.  Other benefits include its high fibre content, lower GI (glycaemic index) for a slower energy release and naturally occurring vitamins – it’s high in vitamin B which is essential for our bodies to convert food into energy.  Spelt is a lovely light flour and makes the crispiests pizza doughs.

This recipe is reproduced with kind permission by Roger.  The only differences are I use my own method to make the dough (old habits) and I had an optional flavour base.  I’ve also based the ingredients on one 23cm / 9in pizza or two smaller pizzas. If you enjoy spelt, I would highly recommend Roger’s Spelt recipe book.

INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

[For the pizza dough]

  • 200g white spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 80ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil*
  • 1 tbsp (heaped) dried fast action yeast
[For the flavour base, optional]

[For the Fiorentina pizza topping]

  • 50g spinach leaves
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 10g parmesan
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to drizzle*

First, prepare your pizza dough (see instructions here).  When you have rolled out your pizza, preheat your oven to 250C and start to prepare the Florentina Pizza topping. Rinse the spinach in a pan and then drain the excess water.  Put the pan over the heat for a few minutes until the spinach has wilted. Season with a grating of nutmeg and a little salt and pepper to taste. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce the pizza base, then spread equal amounts of wilted spinach around to create a ring. Crack an egg in the centre of the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes. Finish with your parmesan shavings and a drizzle of oil.

Florentina Double Yolker Pizza

Have fun with your pizza toppings.  You can keep it simple, or try some meal balls fried in a little chilli oil.  I use spare burgers to create my meatball pizzas which you can see above. Here you can see a double yolker pizza, need I say more?
* I use a lot of cold pressed rapeseed oil in my cooking and baking which is a fantastic alternative to olive oil.  For this dish, the deliciously unique flavour of extra virgin olive oil is perfect.


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