Schiacciata is the Tuscan version of focaccia. Schiacciata means “pressed down”. You press down on the dough with your fingertips, to give it an uneven surface that makes it more fun to eat. Make one of the breads the traditional way with sea salt and rosemary. Be more extravagant with the second one and top it with halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, zucchini or mushrooms. You could even make a sweet version with grapes or figs and a sprinkle of sugar.
INGREDIENTS for STARTER
1 envelope of active dry yeast (1/4 oz / 2 ¼ teaspoons / 11 gr) OR 1/3 of a 2 oz cake of fresh yeast (4 teaspoons / 19gr)
1 teaspoon (4 gr) sugar
1 tablespoon (9 gr) flour
1/4 cup (59 ml) warm water
INGREDIENTS for DOUGH
1 ½ (9 gr) teaspoons sea salt
8 cups (960 gr) all-purpose flour
2 ¾ cups (650 ml) water (approximately)
1/2 cup (118 ml) Badia a Coltibuono Extra Virgin Olive Oil + additional
3-4 tablespoons (38-51 gr) fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon (15 gr) sea salt
PROOF the YEAST.
In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar and flour in the warm water.
Stir in the yeast. Let rest approximately 15-20 minutes. The yeast is ready to use when it is creamy and bubbly.
MAKE the DOUGH
Mound the flour on your work surface. Make a well in its center. Pour in the starter. Working with your hands add the water in a splash at a time until you create a wet, sticky dough.
Add more water if needed. Then add the salt to the dough. Use your floured hands to gather the dough together. Sprinkle on a little flour if needed to hold it together.
The dough should be quite soft and airy. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let it rest until the dough has doubled in bulk 1-2 hours.
Put it back on your work surface and softly fold it to release the air. Place it back in bowl, cover it and set aside. When it has again doubled in bulk, punch it down. Let it double a third time. After the third rise, punch down the dough. Use a bench knife to divide the dough in half.
BAKE the SCHIACCIATA
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Position one rack in the top 1/3 of the oven and another in the center. Oil two 13” x 18” sheet pans.
Flatten and stretch the dough on the sheet pans. Press it down all over with your fingertips. You want to make little dents. This is what makes schiacciata, schiacciata. Pour ¼ cup
olive oil onto the surface of each schiacciata. Strew the rosemary and sea salt over the flatbreads.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before serving.