Mar 24, 2014

Whole spelt pizza with arugula pesto and anchovies

I've been making pizzas all Winter long... always after dark. Then one day, there was still daylight after 5pm... And the first pizza that jumped in my blog was this one, with whole spelt, arugula, anchovies and brie.

Past months, I've been experimenting with using whole spelt flour, pushing it and pushing it till I can look in Julian's eyes and say I did my best (kind of, you know). The man is very interested in whole grains.  I'm too but he is more.

I also have discovered that pizza serves as a great base for anything I have too much of and have to use now. Like this box of arugula that would not be as green the next day. The pesto I made... probably not really PESTO, dressed my pizza beautifully. A couple of fillets of anchovies added a salty bite and brie, with its rich and mushroomy flavor, complemented the whole thing.

Recipe by Gray Apron (dough recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano)
time: 20 min preparation + 2 hrs inactive + 2x12 min baking
makes 2 large pizzas

pizza dough (2 pizzas)
150 g (1 cup) regular flour
280 g (2 1/3 cup) whole spelt
12 g (1/2 oz) fresh yeast
300 ml (2 1/4 cup) tepid water
5 g (1 teaspoon) sugar
12 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt

topping (for 1 pizza, the second one is always Margherita)
100 g (3.5 oz) arugula
120 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
15 g (1/2 oz) Parmesan, finely grated
15 g (1/2 oz) Pecorino (or more Parmesan), finely grated
75 g (about 3 oz) brie, diced
9 - 12 anchovies fillet

to prepare dough:
In a small bowl, mix yeast, sugar and a 1/2 cup of tepid water (taken from the whole amount) with a fork or your fingers.

In a big cup, dissolve salt with the rest water. Add olive oil.

In a bowl of a standing mixer equipped with a needle attachment, sift in flours. With the mixer on "stir" incorporate the yeast mix (about 10 seconds). Pour in water/salt/oil mix. Continue kneading the dough for 10 minutes (on "stir") till smooth and elastic. 

Set the bowl with dough (covered with a cotton cloth) in a warm place, away from drafts, for 2 hours or till it doubles in size (I put mine in the oven turned off).

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 230C/450F ( bottom grill only) and brush two baking sheet with extra olive oil. 

Divide dough in half. On a rolling board lightly sifted with extra flour, roll and stretch each piece to fit your baking sheet. Place on your prepared baking sheet. 

to prepare pesto: In a food processor with steel blades, blend arugula, olive oil and cheeses till smooth.

to prepare pizza: Spread pesto on top of pizza dough, arrange anchovies and brie pieces. Set it in the hot oven for 10 - 12 minutes, till you see some browning of the crust.

  • I admit, I was afraid to try my pesto straight out of the blender, but it was OK and since anything you put on a pizza gets better, I left it "as is";
  • anchovies had enough salt and bite to wake up the green paste;
  • brie cheese - it doesn't burn as fast as fresh mozzarella, it melts beautifully, it actually has some taste and I can use less of it and still have a cheesy pizza; I prefer it in the cold months;
  • about the flour - this time pizza was 70%, up from 0% and 50% whole spelt; the dough kneaded, rose, rolled, stretched, baked and tasted like it should.


  1. I'm glad there is someone encouraging your use of whole grains. This looks delicious! It's still not totally common to find whole wheat pizza everywhere but I think that's changing more and more. I cooked spelt penne pasta for dinner last night and it was so good. You're inspiring me when it comes to spelt. : )

  2. I love pizza this look healthy and delicious Ela!

  3. It IS wonderful to see the sun so late in the day, finally! But hoping we get warmer temperatures soon, too. Love the look of your's been too long since I've made it from scratch! Thanks for inspiring me.

  4. Wow! I've been so interested in spelt flavor, like the fact that you used this with the whole wheat flour. This pizza looks amazing!

  5. Wow Ela, this looks very delicious!

  6. Oh I'm so glad you showed us the bottom of the pizza. That's always the secret for me. Nicely browned and crisp but soft and melty on the top. Well done!

  7. it looks fantastic, and the flavour combination is something I know I would enjoy :)

  8. Looks so! Would love 1 piece!

  9. I've been making pizza a lot this winter. This one is very creative and unique.

  10. This pizza sounds great! I am such a big fan of arugula on pizza but never thought to make it into a pesto - what a great idea Ela :)

  11. Love the arugula pesto topping! This is the pizza meal I would love every day!

  12. Arugula pesto and brie sounds amazing! And I love that bright green color!

  13. I love the color, so bright and beautiful! Looks delicious!

  14. I love the pesto topping, it is one of my favourites on pizza!!

  15. This is beautiful and healthy too!

  16. Mmmmm pizza! I could eat it every day! Love that vibrant arugula pesto! Yum!

  17. I love pesto, arugula and anchovies - everything that you've got on that pizza! Love how thin the crust is - you can just fold the pizza slice in two so easily!

  18. Wholesome and scrumptious! A wonderful pizza.



  19. Anonymous3/30/2014

    Arugula pesto and anchovies must be a bomb of savoury flavour to the pizza....
    never gonna get ths on a restaurant here in Indonesia, this must be my next project then!