Sometimes all I want is bakery style schiaccia, no matter how much I love a classic tomato sauce based red pizza, and the occasional cheesy white one, too.
Schiaccia (literally: smacked down [dough]) is the Tuscan name of focaccia, just plain pizza dough baked with a lot of olive oil and salt and very little else. It comes as thick, soft, dimpled schiaccia morbida, usually topped with just rosemary or green olives, which can be sliced and filled with salumi, cheese, grilled vegetables. But then there is also sciaccia croccante, oh so thin and crispy, most often left plain, shattering into delicious shards with every bite.
Ever the indecisive one, I was craving both crunchy shards and chewy soft dough, and this version of schiaccia is where it led me.
First, my favourite pizza dough: a sticky mess of flour, water, yeast, salt, olive oil kneaded forever until just a bit tacky, very elastic and smooth, and finally after rising all soft and stretchy-flabby. Start rolling/stretching a portion of it into a roughly rectangular shape; heavy-handedly drizzle a sheet pan with olive oil and preheat the oven to the max (250C/480F in my case).
Transfer the dough into the pan and continue stretching it out, remembering that irregularity is your friend here: keep it quite thick around the edges while also creating some almost see-through, paper-thin spots in the middle. Top in whichever way your fancy strikes, but sparsely (here: some halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, olives, a sprinkle of oregano) except for obscene amounts of olive oil (yes, extra virgin, you will always taste the difference) and sea salt drizzled/sprinkled all over – puddles are definitely a wonderful thing here and if there is not even a little bit of oil dripping down your fingers when eating the schiaccia, you did it wrong (sorry).
Bake on the lowest rack of your screaming hot oven until crispy, golden on the bottom and slightly brown around the thinner spots. Eat straight from the oven with a punchy salad (I am thinking of lemony arugula or endives/escarole/puntarelle with an anchovy dressing), possibly even some of it piled on top.
But most importantly make plenty extra, because this kind of pizza’s natural state is cold, wrapped in waxed paper to (rather vainly) try to keep the oil on the schiaccia instead of your hands/purse/everywhere, and taken somewhere outside – if at all possible to the beach, where you will never be quite sure whether that wonderful salty taste on your lips is from the last swim or the last bite of schiaccia.
#pizzalove #schiaccia #focaccia #notcontest