While in Genoa, we sampled Ligurian ‘focaccia’ which was almost nearly similar to the flatbread called ‘schiacciata’ (literally translated ‘flattened’ bread) which we ate while travelling through Tuscany. Seasoned with olive oil and sea-salt, then baked in an oven, it’s characteristic little dimples capture the olive oil and herbs. Crisp at the bottom, but soft on the inside, its toppings ranged from savory (onions, mushrooms, ham or olives) to sweet (honey, figs).
(Requires a full size 18″x 26″ baking sheet pan)
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp dark brown sugar or honey
1 1/2 cup water (slightly warm)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1 tbsp fresh rosemary. chopped
course sea salt (for sprinkling on top)
additional extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
(Optional toppings: rosemary, garlic and pepper flakes, or rosemary and caramelized onions)
- In a large bowl, mix the yeast and sugar in water. Cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.
- Stir in olive oil and salt to the yeast mixture
- Add the flour, a cup at a time, mixing well. Add cornmeal to form a soft, elastic dough. Add additional flour if the dough feels too wet and sticky. Once kneaded, it should be somewhat sticky and difficult to stretch
- Turn dough onto flat surface and knead for 10 minutes, then place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled – about an hour
- Punch the dough a few times to release air. Hand-stretch on a lightly oiled baking tray or pan to about a foot. Do not use rolling pin. Use fingertips to stretch dough to edge of pan
- Cover and let rise for half hour. Preheat oven to 475F
- After second rise, press the dough using knuckles to make little dimples.
- Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle rosemary and sea salt
- Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. (Place a small container of water to maintain humidity and keep the dough moist, or spray dough lightly with water)
- When baked, set on wire racks to cool – this will keep the base crisp