Italians take bread very seriously – for them it represents a cornerstone in their food culture. There are over 300 different types of Italian bread and vast regional differences. Schiacciata is a Tuscan version of what is known as focaccia in the North. It is a little thinner, and perhaps a little closer to a pizza. One of the best ways to enjoy a schiacciata is to slice it in two and fill it with Mortadella, the classic cured pork sausage from Bologna. You can also drizzle some olive oil on top and enjoy it pure and simple – absolutely divine!
500 gr/1.1 lb wheat flour, of which 250 gr/0.5 lb very fine “00” type, and 250 gr/0.5 lb regular all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 bag of dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 dl/0.4 cup olive oil
3 dl/1 1/3 water
Mix the two different types of flour in a bowl. Dissolve the dry yeast and the sugar in a bit of warm water and pour this mixture into the flour mix. Combine the warm, not hot, water together with the oil and salt, and add them to the flour mix. Start kneading with your hands and keep kneading until the mixture is smooth. If your dough is too sticky, add a little bit of flour. Set the dough aside. Let it rise, covered, in a warm place for about 2 hours.
Grease a pan with olive oil and lay the dough out. Continue kneading with your hands, drizzle some oil, and work the oil into the dough. Turn it over, and repeat the same all over again. Once the dough is firm, cover it with a clean cloth and let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
With your fingertips, poke the surface of the schiacciata sheet. Bake it in a hot oven, preheated to 250 C/480 F, for 10-15 minutes. Drizzle some olive oil, and your schicciata is ready to be served.