Pizzelle Al Farro – Fried Mini Pizzas With Spelt

Should I start from the beginning or from the end of the story? The end is: my oven is broken, I want to put my hands in the dough so badly, and I am particularly craving for pizza. Any alternative to baking it?

The answer comes from my past (the real beginning). From a far day when the Napolitan  mother of a neighbor kid took my breath (and heart and whole being) away with her Pizzelle…

I have never been particularly into sports. Nor ever particularly into big social events. However, that particular day, a 10-year old me found the inspiration to be part of the local street fair, not refusing any of the proposed activities, including il tiro della fune e la corsa (a sprint). While my hands got seriously injured by the tiro alla fune, I unexpectedly got the second place in the corsa. The winner was a skinny boy with an innate sense of fairness, which led him to invite me and a few other kids to share the incredible and luscious pleasures of his mother’s cuisine.

Although a few decades have passed since, the memory of that kitchen and of those incredible pizzelle is still so clear and strong. I can still see the skilled mother preparing in no time those little fried pizzas and letting all of us speechless. For those pizzelle just melted in our mouths and tasted like pizza never tasted before.

To do it myself, I made a dough similar to that used by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou (whose book on bread I strongly recommend) for his baked focaccia. I also added some whole spelt flour and adjusted the amount of water accordingly.


you need

dough: 300 g (2 and 1/2 cups) bread flour (I used organic stone-ground), 80 g (about 3/5 cup) whole spelt flour (I used organic stone-ground), 8 g salt (1 teaspoon), 4 g fresh yeast (or 2 g instant yeast), 350 g luke-warm water, 30 g olive oil (2 table-spoon).

topping: tomato sauce (thoroughly cooked), olive oil.

how to

In a separate bowl, melt the yeast in the water. In another bowl combine the flours and the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the yeast water and combine well with a wooden spoon. Pour the oil in a large bowl and transfer the dough in it. Cover and let rest for 1 hour. Uncover and fold (stretching the dough with your hands and folding it like a package) a couple of times. Cover again and let rest another hour. Repeat the folds and let rest covered another hour. After the 3 hours the dough should be all bubbly. It’s ready!

Oil a working surface and transfer the dough on it. Take small pieces of dough and quickly form them into rounds avoiding to work the dough (or it looses all the bubbles). In a little olive oil (I used 1 tea-spoon per pizzella), fry a few pizzelle at a time, on both sides.

Transfer on a plate, top with the tomato sauce and drizzle with olive oil.

Eat hot. And fast (or else someone else will eat your pizzella, too).

CONSIDERATIONS: After having made and eaten these pizzelle for lunch, I had a wide smile on my face for the rest of the day, a smile that not even the most boring chores was able to take away. I had made my pizzelle!  And they really tasted close to the real thing (even though the original, most likely, did not include whole spelt).

I would have liked to take more pictures but my photo session was disturbed by a newly born pizzelle addict. And the oven has just been delivered… what a beautiful day.

CONSIDERAZIONI: Che dire… questo e’ un sogno che si realizza. Poter mangiare di nuovo le pizzelle e poterle offrire alla mia bambina (che gia’ ne va pazza) sono emozioni grandissime. Spero che anche voi vogliate provarci, sono veramente buone come sembrano. A proposito… il mio forno e’ appena arrivato. Che giornata fantastica.

This bread will participate to the weekly bread collection yeastspotting.

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  1. Wow! How clever of you, Barbara! Trust an Italian to find a way to make pizza even when her oven is out of commission… I love the crumb on these pizzelle, nice and light even with the whole spelt. Brava!

    • thank you MC for your continuous support. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.
      I was also extremely happy about the crumb (your post on spelt inspired me to start using more this lovely grain). I guess it was a good idea to use a super-hydrated dough for these pizzelle.

  2. Fried pizza?! I’ve never had that. Or heard of it! It looks amazing and of course, I love that you used whole spelt. Normally I don’t even bother making fried stuff whole grain, but I’m happy to hear that it worked well here!

    And I’m so sorry about your oven. I hope you get a new one soon so that you can get back to baking some more amazing bread! Frying stuff is fun, but perhaps not as practical as baking. :)

    • hi Erin! Thank you for feeling for me. I really missed my oven!

      Btw, don’t feel too guilty in making fried food. A light fry (what we call “frittura leggera”) won’t harm your health as long as you keep the temperature low and use only a little good fat (adding new while you add new items to fry). It is an art and Mediterranean people have used it forever (and their diet is considered by many the healthiest).


      • Oh no. I think you got the wrong idea. I really do love fried food. :) By practical I meant it’s easier to bake things. With frying, you (or at least I) get oil all over the walls, the stove, get burned, etc. So maybe what I need to do is just learn how to fry properly! I have nothing against fried food. Love it! Although way too much…

        • lol. this threat about fried food is totally captivating me :)
          you would not make your walls dirty with the little amount of oil I used in this fried pizzas (which are not deep-fried). the oil you need is so little that it gets totally absorbed by the food (not too bad if you use good oil and low temperatures) and nothing of it is left for your walls ;)

          • Hehe. I know here you use a tiny bit of oil which I know isn’t bad at all. I probably use more when sauteeing a piece of chicken! But in general, which is what I was talking about, it’s messier than that. I love your recipe and will most definitely try it! Promise. I have nothing against these wonderful little pizzas. :) Or regular frying. Except that it’s dangerous for my walls and skin. :) Really… I was talking about frying in general! But maybe my idea of frying (which is deep-frying) isn’t correct. Maybe normal frying is this way and deep-frying is well, deep-frying. Okay, so now I change all my statements to be in reference to deep-frying. :)

  3. Hello Barbara!

    Thank you for the lovely post! In Turkey we make exactly the same dough and fry it and serve plain for breakfasts. It’s one of my favourite breakfast supplements and it’s really great with cheese, butter, jam whatever you can imagine.

    Funny enough to mention, I did this last time when a friend from Sweden was visiting me. You should really trust me and serve this on a Mediterranean breakfast/brunch.

    • Hello Ash! Thank you for the visit and for letting me know about this Turkish specialty. I would have never guessed you had this for breakfast, will try. Indeed, pizzelle sound a little like Mediterranenan pancakes, don’t they? Swedish friends over? What a small world we are all living in! ciao!!

  4. It is also remind me my mom’s Fricasse, a Tunisian fried bun that you can stuff with lots of yummy things like: boiled potatoes, tuna, capers, hard boiled eggs, preserved lemons etc.
    Next time she’ll make it i will try yours pizzelle too. Thanks

    • I am learning so many things about Mediterranean cuisine from these comments, thank you Idit! Fricasse? Totally going to look it up and trying it soon. It is amazing how many similarities I often find between Italian and Middle Eastern/North African culinary traditions. This is so fun! ciao!!

  5. What a lovely little bit when you were without your oven. I showed your post to my husband and he said this brought memories. Not only did his family do this but would also take some of the dough and after it was fried, they sprinkled it with powdered sugar for a dessert.

    • Karen, so sweet of you to show this to your husband. so happy to share this old memory with others who also experienced it. hope you try them one day. what a great idea to have them with sugar (bet my little one would just love that!).

  6. Sembrano uscite appena appena da una friggitoria napoletana! Buon ferragosto …io faro` vacanza domani ma qui in Germania non e` festa!

    • da una friggitoria napoletana, davvero? che bello, grazie. pensa che io non le ho mai mangiate a Napoli, sono una volta a Roma, tantissimi anni fa. buon ferragosto! (anche qui non sanno cosa sia)

  7. I must try this, they look so delicious!
    i hope you enjoy your new oven! What will you bake first? Can’t wait to see.

  8. Well, looks like you really made the most of being without your oven… However, I have a different question… how could you possibly wait so many years before trying them again? I am in love with that bubbly dough!

  9. fatte con farina di kamut, da provare ancora con la farina di farro, pian piano ci arrivo :) sembrano molto soffici e di sicuro sono buone, proverò :) ciao cara buon ferragosto… p.s. ho sfornato anche le brioche :D nn mi fermo nemmeno con il caldo, pensa sto cucinando a quest’ora :) ciaooo

  10. What a clever idea! I often make a pizza on top of the stove but fried? wow.. that sounds so good. I love fried dough.

  11. These look amazing. I’ve been having a pizza-obsessed summer and I definitely need to try these. Can’t wait to see the beautiful breads coming out of your new oven :)

  12. I love pizza fritta, I had a few when I was in Rome, my mum used to fry large pizzas fold and fill with mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil and oil, deliciously oily!!! I made them at home, but my husband wasn’t impressed….I should try with your recipe, it looks less oily than mine and the spelt…it sounds almost healthy!!

  13. Barbara! Oh my goodness, I guess my subscription to your blog was lost when you changed hosts b/c I have not gotten an update in months! I finally remembered to come check you out and see I have missed tons. Well, I resubscribed so no more missed posts. I’ve never heard of pizelles but it does look fabulous! he most astounding thing is that there is no cheese, but I bet it’s so flavorful you don’t even need it!

  14. Meravigliose queste pizzelle, viene voglia di addentarle, la pasta è un capolavoro!
    Baci da Sabrina&Luca

  15. A great solution when the oven is broken! I’ve never tried these little fried pizzas, but that crust is a stunner.

  16. Ohh, these look so tasty. I love that you use some whole spelt flour. I am so glad your oven came, what a day. I lived without an oven for a while when I went to university… I missed it so much. Not that I didn’t appreciate my oven before but I’ll never take it for granted anymore that’s for sure.

  17. What a great idea, this could be perfect for a meal on working days.
    Leftover Pizza I always put in the pan with olive oil the next day and like the taste very much- but freshly baked will be much better, I have no doubt about that!

    • you could certaily freeze the minipizzas and reheat them for lunch, as long as you have a microwave at hand. they are terrible if not warm (but heavenly otherwise).

      • so today I tried something like that- with an “ordinary” pizza dough, yeast, spelt flour type 1200 and olive oil; – this one always lives in my fridge- had 3 pizelle with a slice of salami, onion rings and a speck of mozzarella, very nice!

  18. Che bella storia! proprio vero che il cibo è emozione, ricordo, amore, e in questo caso si perpetua con la tua dolcissima e fortunatissima bimba, che ha il privilegio di assaggiare le tue prelibatezze :)

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