Yotam Ottolenghi
Saturday September 29, 2007

Even the baking-shy shouldn’t find this a huge challenge. The sumac and za’atar (available online from steenbergs.co.uk) give the pizza a Middle Eastern flair with a rustic quality. Makes six individual pizzas.

10g active dry yeast

385ml tepid water

660g white bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting

15g salt

150ml olive oil

900g spinach

450g pecorino cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (or grated)

2 tbsp sumac

2 tbsp za’atar

Black pepper

6 free-range eggs

Rock salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water, making sure the water is not above 30C. Add to the flour, along with the salt and two tablespoons of olive oil. Knead vigorously for eight to 10 minutes, adding a little bit of flour if the dough feels too sticky. The end result should be smooth and silky. Mould into a ball.

Brush the insides of a large bowl with a little oil, transfer the ball of dough to the bowl, cover with a wet towel and leave to rise for one to two hours, or until it doubles in size.

Once the dough has proved and risen sufficiently, divide it into six. Flour the work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a round disc roughly 0.5cm thick. Dust a baking tray with more flour, lay the pizza bases on top, cover with a towel and leave to rise again for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Now prepare the topping.

Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and, when hot, add the spinach and cook until wilted. Scatter some cheese over each of the pizza bases, then lay wilted spinach on top. Sprinkle over sumac, za’atar and freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle one and a half teaspoons of olive oil over each pizza.

Bake the pizzas for 12-15 minutes, or until the dough forms a nice, brown crust around the edges. Remove the pizzas from the oven and immediately break an egg over each one. Use a fork to spread the white around and about the pizza topping, but take care you do not break the yolk.

Sprinkle with rock salt and return to the oven for five minutes more, just until the egg white is set but the yolk is still runny. Serve piping hot, perhaps with a simply dressed, crunchy green salad.

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