Notes from Windward: #66

Schiacciata - a Tuscan flat bread

Jillian talks about how to make her favorite bread

      Schiacciata is a tuscan flat bread. My travels near Florence led me to eat this all the time. During dinner, after dinner, dessert, after dessert, breakfast, I was insatiable. The town where I lived, Vicchio, had a bakery that made schiacciata daily, on huge trays. Here at windward we don't have a huge baking operation, yet, but I managed to pull together enough for our big mid-day meal.

Jill grinding wheat for her schiacciata bread


      Schiacciata as I know it has always been salty, like a flat breadstick. The following recipe will make one 12 by 8 inch tray, enough for 4 to 6 people.

From The Bread Book by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter

  • 3 cups white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 oz. fresh yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 tbls. extra-virgin olive oil

For the topping:
  • 2 tbls. extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 tbls. fresh rosemary leaves
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling (in a pinch, crushed rock salt works as well)

1. Lightly oil baking sheet
  • Sift flour and salt into large bowl and make a well in the center.
  • Mix the yeast with half the water.
  • Add to the center of the flour with remaining water and olive oil and mix
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic,about 10 minutes.

2. Place in lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled.

3. Punch down dough, knead on lightly floured surface.
Roll out a 12 by 8 inch rectangle and place on baking sheet
Brush top with olive oil and cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

5. Let rise, in a warm place, for about 20 minutes, then brush with remaining oil, prick all over with a fork and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt
Let rise again in a warm place for 15 minutes

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until light golden. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes From Windward
      Index - Vol. 66