Sourdough Schiacciata

April 18, 2021
12 Ratings
Photo by Maurizio Leo
  • Prep time 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 1 big loaf or 2 small loaves
Author Notes

Schiacciata (skiah-cha-tah) is a specialty of Tuscany and, at its core, has many similarities to the popular focaccia. Still, it’s just different enough to justify having its place alongside its mighty sibling. The word “schiacciata” in Italian means squished or smashed, so to me, the important aspect of this bread is that it’s not overly thick, perhaps only half the height of typical focaccia. This squishing leads to sturdier and crunchier bread, which is terrific for making sandwiches or accompanying a light summer lunch. Typically, the dough is at lower hydration than focaccia as well, which makes it easier to handle and further amplifies the crispy result.

Traditionally, schiacciata is topped very simply, with only sea salt and olive oil. When I make this at home, I follow tradition and keep this bread straightforward—it plays more of a supporting role in a meal than being the lead actor (as focaccia might, with its myriad toppings). I like to bake this in round pans (10” diameter) to have two smaller schiacciate, but a single, half baking sheet or deep 9 x 13-inch baking pan will also work well. If your pan is not non-stick, I recommend lining it with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Schiacciata keeps very well for a few days after it’s baked when loosely wrapped and kept on the counter. Depending on your preference, you might find it’s better after it’s cooled; the olive oil in the dough and the drizzle on top before baking keeps the bread just soft enough. —Maurizio Leo

Test Kitchen Notes

The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer-turned-bread expert (and Food52's Resident Bread Baker), Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slather on a lot of butter. Today, a guide to making a Tuscan classic—a crispy, crusty, perfectly salted schiacciata. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 520 grams all-purpose flour
  • 16 grams extra-virgin olive oil
  • 349 grams water
  • 9 grams sea salt
  • 104 grams ripe sourdough starter
  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, and when your sourdough starter is fully fermented and ripe, add the flour, olive oil, water, salt, and starter. Mix on low speed for 1 minute until the ingredients are combined. Then, increase the speed (#2 on a KitchenAid) and mix for about 5 minutes. After this time, the dough should start to cling to the dough hook, but it will still be shaggy and sticky. Transfer the dough to another bowl or container for bulk fermentation.
  2. Let the dough rise, covered, for 2 hours during bulk fermentation, at warm room temperature (72 to 74°F). During this time, give the dough two sets of stretch and folds to give it additional strength, where the first set happens 30 minutes into the bulk fermentation. For each set, perform four folds, one at each direction, North, South, East, and West. For each fold, wet your hands, grab one side of the dough in the bowl and stretch it up and over to the other side. Rotate the bowl and continue folding each side. After the last fold, the dough will be neatly packaged up in the container. Cover the bowl, let it rise for another 30 minutes, give it one more set of folds, then let the dough rest for the remaining hour.
  3. After two hours, your dough should have smoothed out and risen some (but not significantly) in the bulk fermentation container. If your baking pan is not non-stick, use parchment paper to line the pan to prevent sticking. Liberally oil the interior of your baking pan with extra virgin olive oil. If using a single pan, scrape the dough out of the container directly into the prepared pan. If using two pans, gently scrape out your dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide the dough directly in half, placing one half in each pan. In either case, wet your hands and gently stretch the dough out until it resists to help it fill some of the pan, but don’t worry if it doesn’t fill the pan. Cover the pans to prevent a skin from forming on the dough, set a timer for 1 hour, and let the dough proof.
  4. After 1 hour, uncover the pan(s), wet your hands again, and gently pick up and stretch the dough outward. Avoid pressing the dough at this point; you want to scoop up a side and extend it outward toward the rim of the pan. It’s not necessary for the dough to fill the pan. Cover the pans and set a timer for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, place an oven rack in the middle of the oven with a baking stone or baking steel on top. If you don’t have a baking surface, these can also be baked directly on the oven rack. Preheat the oven to 450°F or 425°F convection (which I prefer for a faster bake and a more golden crust). Set a timer for another 30 minutes to let the oven preheat and to let your dough continue to proof.
  6. Now, your dough should have had a full, 2-hour proof, and your oven should be preheated. The dough should show bubbles on the surface, and it should have relaxed outward to either fill the pans or come close. The dough should look slightly risen, and if you poke it gently, it will feel light and airy. If it’s still dense, give it another 15 minutes to rise and check back.
  7. When the dough is ready to bake, uncover the pans. Drizzle on a good measure of extra virgin olive oil to cover, but not drench, the surface of the dough. Using wet fingers, dimple the dough assertively from top to bottom, so each dimple presses down through the dough to the bottom of the pan. Then, sparingly sprinkle on coarse sea salt to coat the top of the dough.
  8. Place the pans onto your preheated baking surface in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 450°F or 425°F convection. Rotate the pans 180° halfway through baking and keep an eye on them in the last 10 minutes to avoid overbaking—each pan and oven are different! When nicely golden-brown on top, take the pan(s) out of the oven and let the bread cool for a few minutes. Then, remove the bread from the pan(s), slice, and enjoy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Brooks
    Karen Brooks
  • Heather Sittig
    Heather Sittig
  • S
  • Cami Moyes Jensen
    Cami Moyes Jensen
  • Maurizio Leo
    Maurizio Leo
Maurizio is the software engineer-turned-baker behind the award-winning sourdough website, The Perfect Loaf. Since baking his first loaf of bread, he's been obsessed with adjusting the balance between yeast and bacteria, tinkering with dough strength and hydration, and exploring everything sourdough. His New York Times Bestselling sourdough cookbook, The Perfect Loaf, is now available.

23 Reviews

Karen B. August 25, 2022
This bread has such great flavor! I have been encountering Maurizio's recipes a lot lately and have tried several, always with great results. His recipes are not the "no-knead, ready in a couple of hours " kind that are so handy when you're pressed for time, but,believe me, it's really worth the extra time and effort (sometimes 2 days) for the beautiful results and fantastic flavor!
Maurizio L. August 26, 2022
Yes, my recipes are definitely a little longer than some easier ones, but for good reason (I may be biased) 🙂 Thanks so much for all the comments!
Boulangerick April 17, 2022
Maurizio, Excellent, can you offer an opinion as to using T65 or T55, rather than All-Purpose in your Schiacciata recipe.
Thank you,
Richard (#boulangerick)
Maurizio L. April 18, 2022
Hey, Richard! Either of those flours will work very well with this recipe!
John July 4, 2023
I am ordering your book. Both this and your sourdough ciabatta formulas were so helpful. I’m trying to keep most of my baking to sourdough.
Could you do me the favor of expanding on flour?

The Giustos and Central Milling flour with Kamut was perfect for the ciabatta.

But I still can’t find good Italian to American conversion data. When you say AP flour… what protein content are you talking?

I felt like my choice of 00 was delicious and I loved the texture but a LITTLE tougher than the schiacciata I eat in Florence! Is this due to flour or the fact that florentine sandwiches are made with yeast?
Thanks in advance!
Maurizio L. July 4, 2023
Hey John! Thanks so much for ordering my cookbook. In there you’ll find a large section in flour. I tried to help those outside the USA or those without access to the same flour as me ways to find approximations! It’ll answer all your Qs. If not, always feel free to email me through my website and I’ll help 😊
[email protected] October 6, 2021
Love this recipe. More versatile than your focaccia, which I also love. I used the 9x13 USA pan you recommend and the bread was perfect. Great for sandwiches and freezes well. I cut the bread into squares and just threw them into a ziplock bag. They won't last long enough to need extra wrapping. I love the look of the round bread so I need to pick up a couple of 10" pans.
Maurizio L. October 7, 2021
Awesome! Yeah, it's such an easy thing to throw together--the amount of work is far less than the quality of output! Check out Lloyd Pans, they make awesome round ones. Happy baking!
gregorytborders July 4, 2021
Hello Maurizio- I love this recipe! It seems in the past that I have been able to bake it in the morning, but I don’t see directions on how to adjust the recipe. I’m hoping to bring it to the wine country for lunch and make sandwiches so thinking a morning bake is better than the day before bake. Any tips?
Maurizio L. July 5, 2021
Hey, Gregory! To make this so it's ready in the morning, I would place the dough in its bulk fermentation container (after step #3) into the refrigerator, covered. Then, the next day, take it out and continue the steps, baking it when it's fully proofed and ready to go.
gregorytborders July 6, 2021
Terrific! Thanks so much for getting back to Metz. That makes perfect sense!
gregorytborders August 19, 2021
quick question- to do the overnight and bake in the morning, do I still let the dough proof for 1 hour in the pan before putting it in the refrigerator, or do I just put directly in the fridge after I place the dough in the pan? Thanks Maurizio!
Maurizio L. August 19, 2021
I would let it proof an hour in the pan, then into the fridge (so it would be around 3 hours total room temp fermentation time).
Chucklesyyc February 22, 2021
Ciao Chef. Thanks for the great recipe! Definitely want to try this using instant yeast if at all possible? Can you help with the modification?
Maurizio L. February 22, 2021
Definitely possible! I can't say for sure since I have limited experience with instant yeast, I'd say maybe 1-1.5% IY?
Chucklesyyc February 22, 2021
Ok great. Thanks for responding. I’m going to give it a try and see what I come up with. The bulk fermentation and final rise will be shortened of course so we shall see. Thanks again. Grazie Mille
Heather S. August 12, 2020
This is a fantastic recipe and novel use of sourdough for those of us who typically make a country loaf. It will become a regular in my household. Facile e delizioso!
Maurizio L. August 12, 2020
Grazie, Heather! So glad to hear you enjoyed it :)
S August 9, 2020
Oh my, can I not use regular yeast? My ‘mother’ came down with a virus...and I had to throw her away. I have not begun a new starter.
Cami M. August 9, 2020
I love all of the details included in this recipe. It came out perfect on the first try. I divided into 2 loaves and baked them in 9 in. Round cake pans. One was devoured quickly and the second we ate as caprese sandwich with pesto home grown tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Amazing! Our favorite meal of the summer. I've tried many focaccia recipes but I loved this recipe more than any that I've tried. It was the perfect thickness, texture and flavor.
Maurizio L. August 11, 2020
So glad to hear this, Cami!
bluepoppy August 7, 2020
This is a great recipe. Easy to make and delicious. I have a starter but if you don’t it is worth making or obtaining one.
Maurizio L. August 11, 2020
Thank you! Enjoy :)