Focaccia or Schiacciata? – Stuffed schiacciata with onions, zucchini, mushrooms and fontina
Focaccia o schiacciata? – Schiacciata ripiena con cipolle, zucchine, funghi e fontina
Even though this week is a crazy week, I think I am even crazier to be cooking, when I should be either packing or painting or working on some menus and certainly not working on my blog. I am just a little obsessive when food is concerned and I just wanted to make this schiacciata for such a long time, that I decided to stop postponing and make it in a little rush!
Another Italian little stuffed bread, it can be called focaccia ripiena (ripiena = stuffed, filled), torta ripiena or schiacciata…the dough is somehow the same, then it’s stuffed with vegetables and melting cheese.
Schiacciare means to crush, so schiacciata means crushed. Basically the dough is crushed flat so you get a great filling in between the two sheets. You have different types of schiacciata, in Florence, they also have schiacciata con l’uva which is a sweet version of this one but made with black grapes. In the South, in the Catania region (Sicily), they have schiacciata catanese which is a savory schiacciata stuffed with sausages, cheese and cauliflower. I have seen schiacciata mainly stuffed with vegetables and never tried any other version.
This is perfect for a little aperitivo, you can cut it in small squares and serve it with some olives and cold cuts when you have guests over with a little cup of Champagne. The melting fontina on top of vegetables in the middle of a deliciously crunchy, salty and “herby” crust is delightful. The rosemary is my favorite herb on focaccia, its scent infuses in the crust and your house smells like a bakery from heaven. You can use caciocavallo cheese if you can find it, but the cheese needs to be a melting one.
You don’t need to work the dough as much as I did, I let it rest overnight. When I have time, I let it rest a long time, then knead it again, the whole process taking 12 hours, I get a wonderful dough, light and airy and crunchy on the outside. If you don’t have time, you can just let it rest for one hour, knead it again and let it rest for another hour, and it should be fine.
For the dough
- 500 g white flour
- Beer yeast dissolved in a glass of water (or more)
- 4 tbs olive oil (+ 1)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- rock salt for topping
- 1 rosemary sprig for topping, roughly chopped
- 1 thyme branch for topping, roughly chopped
For the stuffing
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- Italian fontina cheese
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 + 1 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper
In a mixing container, place flour. In a glass dissolve about 1 tsp beer yeast in a lukewarm glass of water. Mix with flour and add olive oil and salt. Gradually mix all ingredients together and knead the dough with your hand. You want a soft consistency almost sticky but very elastic dough, so if the dough tends to be hard, add water. Knead for about 10 minutes. Place in a container, cover with a cloth and let it rise for about one hour. It should double its volume. Knead the dough again and let rise for another 2 hours. Repeat the process twice.
While the dough is rising, start melting onions. Heat olive oil in a pan, then add sliced onions. Let them brown at medium temperature, then decrease heat, cover with a lid and let it cook slowly until they turn soft and caramelized. Remove from the pan. In the same pan, heat 1 tbs olive oil, then add mushrooms and zucchini, salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft and water has evaporated.
Cut the dough in two pieces. One should be a little bigger than the other one. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll the dough in two sheets, one slightly larger than the other one. The dough should not be too thick, about 7 mm thick.
Using an oven tray, or a large rectangular dish, place larger dough in the greased dish, add one layer of onions, then add mushroom/zucchini mixture. Add slices of fontina on top and cover with the other dough sheet, using the extra dough from the bottom sheet to seal the sciacciata.
Place rock salt all over the top, spread olive oil all over the surface and add rosemary and thyme. Using a fork, make a few holes on top to prevent the dough from inflating. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 375F – 380F. When the top is lightly golden brown, remove from the oven. Serve hot.
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