“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Versilia, Italy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Schiacciata con l'olio (flat bread with oil)


“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight...Breadmaking is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells... there is no chiropractic treatment, no yoga exercise, no hour of
meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. That will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.” 
― M.F.K. FisherThe Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition


What can I say about this bread?  Well, it is soft, crispy, oily, salty and simply delicious.  This bread is only found in Tuscany and depending on the region is either called Schiacciata or Focaccia.  Schiacciata literally means crushed, flattened or squashed in Italian.  Do not be fooled by this low lying bread, it really is so tasty.  In comes in sweet and savoury versions but it is most common to see it in bakeries "panifico" sold by the slab seasoned only with salt and oil. 
In Italy bread seems to be one of the only essentials that is disproportionately overpriced. For me another easy excuse to make this at home. Not to mention all of the therapeutic benefits I receive. Once you get the hang of this, I swear you will never go back. As with everything, it is always trial and error. But it is within error that triumphs success. I have successfully mastered the art of making foccacia and my friends eternally thanks me for this!

What you need:
400g un-bleached tipo 000 flour
250ml warm water
42g packet fresh yeast
1/2 tspn sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin Italian olive oil
2 tpsn oregano
Salt
(this recipe will make 3 large focaccia's) 

How to make:
1: In a large bowl mix the fresh yeast with warm tepid water and whisk.  Then add the sugar, then sift the flour
2:  Mix all of the ingredients together until combined.  Once combined use your hands to really work the dough.  Use the palms of your hands to knead the dough for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Once it has turned into a soft but firm consistency create a ball size and set aside
3:  Leave the dough in the large bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 1/2 hour.  After 1/2 hour punch the dough down, then allow to rise again for 1 hour.  Cover the dough and set aside in a dark warm place (this will help the dough to rise).  The dough should double in size

What you need:
400g un-bleached tipo 000 flour
250ml warm water
42g packet fresh yeast
1/2 tspn sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin Italian olive oil
2 tpsn oregano
Salt
(this recipe will make 3 large focaccia's) 

How to make:
1: In a large bowl mix the fresh yeast with warm tepid water and whisk.  Then add the sugar, then sift the flour
2:  Mix all of the ingredients together until combined.  Once combined use your hands to really work the dough.  Use the palms of your hands to knead the dough for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Once it has turned into a soft but firm consistency create a ball size and set aside
3:  Leave the dough in the large bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 1/2 hour.  After 1/2 hour punch the dough down, then allow to rise again for 1 hour.  Cover the dough and set aside in a dark warm place (this will help the dough to rise).  The dough should double in size

What you need:
400g un-bleached tipo 000 flour
250ml warm water
42g packet fresh yeast
1/2 tspn sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin Italian olive oil
Salt 

How to make:
1: In a large bowl mix the fresh yeast with warm tepid water and whisk.  Then add the sugar, then sift the flour
2:  Mix all of the ingredients together until combined.  Once combined use your hands to really work the dough.  Use the palms of your hands to knead the dough for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Once it has turned into a soft elastic consistency create a ball size and set aside
3:  Leave the dough in the large bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for an hour.  After one hour punch the dough down, then allow to rise again for one hour.  Cover the dough and set aside in a dark warm place (this will help the dough to rise).  The dough should double in size
4:  Cut the dough into 2-3 pieces (depending on the size of your oven trays).  Roll out the dough to the size of your oven trays.  The dough should be about 1 1/2 cm thick.  Place the rolled out dough onto very well oiled oven trays
5:  Lightly dust the dough with flour
6:  Use your fingers to press firmly into the dough to create wells (this will helps the oil to sink in).  Lavishly cover the dough in olive oil and sprinkle with salt (rosemary is optional)
7:  Bake in a pre heated 200 degrees oven for about 15 minuets (depending on how thick and large you have made it).  It is ready when it is golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on top.

 

Buon Apetito

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