This stuffed flatbread is quite well known in Sicily, specifically Ragusa and Siracusa, hence the name. I like to call this bread stromboli’s thin cousin because Scaccia Ragusana begins with a delicate semolina dough rolled out thin and filled with tomato sauce, paper-thin onion slices, and, traditionally, caciocavallo cheese (which translates to "cheese on horseback"). Thinly sliced provolone rounds are a perfectly acceptable substitute, as are different fillings, as some Sicilians add ricotta and eggplant. Consider this delicious dough a blank canvas for you to fill with whatever you choose.
Once all the delicious flavors are layered, the bread is folded on itself, then pleated at each end before a quick bake in the oven. Slice it up once cooled for the perfect afternoon snack. —Anna Francese Gass
- Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
- Cook time 35 minutes
- makes 2 breads
1 1/4 cups
warm water, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons
(1 packet) active dry yeast
extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
durum wheat (semolina) flour
1 1/4 cups
all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
prepared tomato sauce
white onion, sliced very thinly
thin slices caciocavallo or provolone cheese
fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- Add 1/4 cup warm water to a measuring cup, add the honey, and stir until honey dissolves. Add the yeast, whisk to combine, and allow to sit for 10 minutes while the yeast blooms.
- Add semolina and all-purpose flours to a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add oil and salt to the yeast. Turn on the processor, and slowly pour the oil mixture into the flour.
- Once combined, slowly add the rest of the water 1/4 cup at a time. Stop adding water once a ball of dough has formed, and is tacky but not sticky. You may only need 3/4 cup of the water.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes to smooth it out and form a neat ball. It will feel a bit grainy from the semolina.
- Place the dough in a clean bowl and drizzle a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil over the top. Cover the oiled dough with a clean kitchen towel, and allow to sit for 2 hours. It will rise in volume and take on a spongy texture.
- Cut the dough in half, and turn out one half onto a floured surface. Cover the remainder with the kitchen towel.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, then roll the dough out into a 17 x 8-inch rectangle.
- Spread the tomato sauce onto the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around all of the sides, and sprinkle half of the chopped basil on top. Evenly distribute the thinly sliced white onion on top of the basil.
- Lay 3 slices of the caciocavallo or provolone down the middle of the rectangle, parallel to the long sides of the dough rectangle.
- Lift up one of the long sides, and lay halfway over the filling, using the cheese slices as your guide.
- Lift the other long side, and lay it on top of the other folded dough so you can no longer see the filling (about ¾- inch over).
- Lift each short end so they meet in the middle of the Scaccia, then press down to seal the bread. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet and lay the scaccia on top, seal side-down.
- Repeat the process with the remaining dough and ingredients.
- When both scaccias are on the baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, then flip over each loaf and cook for 8 more minutes to achieve a crust on the bottom and top.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes, slice to preferred size, and serve.