While on vacation this summer I was looking for a simple bread recipe. I did not want to commit myself to running back to the house every two hours to punch the dough. With no internet connection and a handful of cookbooks what was I to do? I went through my stack of old magazines and found the perfect recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine, the special collector edition From May 2000: Tuscany. If you are looking for a bread to eat alongside a soup, salad or stew, this is your bread. It is great too for an antipasto platter and for dipping in oil and spreads. As the bread came out of the oven we started tearing it into chunks and between warm mouthfuls everybody was putting in their two cents about the recipe. My daughter suggested that a sprinkle of fresh rosemary would make it perfect and that’s what I did on the second round… thanks Maya! Going back to the article and reading notes about the origin of the bread: Schiacciata (skah-shah-‘tah) I discovered that it is very versatile when it comes to its toppings: tomatoes, olives, sauteed onions. It can be turned into a breakfast bread by adding raisins.
Classic Tuscan Flatbread (for 1 round loaf)
- 1 cup lukewarm water (90 to 100 degrees F)
- 2 packages dry yeast (1/4 oz each)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped rosemary
Pour 1 cup lukewarm water into small bowl, sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes.
Place 2 cups flour in large bowl. Make a well in center of flour. Pour yeast mixture into well. Using a fork, stir until dough comes together. Knead in bowl, adding enough flour 1/4 cup at a time to form slightly sticky dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Coat bowl with 1 tablespoon oil. Add dough and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Brush an 11 inch tart pan with removable bottom with 1 tablespoon oil. Punch down dough. Turn out onto floured work surface and shape into an 11 inch round. Transfer dough to prepared tart pan or a baking sheet if you don’t have a tart pan. Cover loosely with plastic. Let rise until dough is almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Press finger tips into dough, creating indentations. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary. Bake until golden, about 28 minutes. Cool bread in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely.
From my kitchen to yours,
CK, la fille du boucher