Saturday, December 1, 2012

Schiacciata all'Olio

Schiacciata is a type of focaccia bread that is made in the Florence area of Tuscany.  There are a variety of schiacciata recipes, but my favorite is schiacciata all'Olio.  It's quite simple to make, like most Tuscan recipes.  I baked a schiacciata this morning to go with the zuppa Toscana that I made  and it was a big hit with my favorite Tuscan when he came home for lunch.  

The bread is usually around an inch or so thick, crispy on the outside and with a slight chew on the inside with plenty of air bubbles.

To make schiacciata, first dissolve 25 grams (1 teaspoon) of dry yeast in a small bowl containing 250 ml (1 cup) of warm water.

Let that sit for 5 minutes or so.  Then in a large bowl, mix together 45 grams (3 cups) of flour), 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 70 ml (1/4 cup) of extra-virgin olive oil, and the bowl of dissolved yeast.

When the dough comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth.  It should take you around 10 minutes to achieve this.

Place the dough into a large, clean bowl that you oiled with some olive oil.  Turn the dough so that it is covered with oil. 

Cover the dough and set in a warm place to raise for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  

Oil a wide baking pan with some olive oil.  I used the roasting pan from the oven, covered it with foil and then oiled it.  

Spread out the dough with your fingers so that it fits the pan.  

With your fingertips, make indentations on the surface of the dough and then drizzle the whole thing with more olive oil and sprinkle with some salt.  (I prefer to use sea salt, but any salt will work)

Let the schiacciata rest for 30 minutes while the oven is getting hot.  You'll want to heat the oven to 220°C/425°F.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until it is a nice golden brown.  Pull out of the oven and drizzle with some fresh olive oil.

It's fantastic fresh out of the oven, or later when it's completely cooled.  I personally can't wait that long and normally, I will grab a piece within minutes of pulling it from the oven!  

Buon appetito!

Schiacciata all'Olio

250 ml (1 cup) warm water
25 grams (1 teaspoon) dry yeast
45 grams (3 cups) flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
70 ml (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
salt for sprinkling (coarse sea salt is best)

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes or until activated.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, olive oil, and dissolved yeast.  When dough begins to come together, turn out onto a clean surface dusted with a little flour.  Knead until the dough is smooth, approximately 10 minutes.  Place dough in a clean bowl that you oiled with a little olive oil.  Turn the dough so that both sides are lightly coated with oil.  Let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  
Oil a wide baking pan and spread out the dough using your fingers so that the dough fits the pan.  Make indentations with your fingertips on the surface of the dough, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Let rest 30 minutes.
In a hot oven (220°C/425°F), bake the schiacciata for approximately 20 minutes or until it is a lovely light golden brown color.  
Drizzle with olive oil as soon as you pull it from the oven.

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