while reading about aperitivo on emiko davies blog (my idol), i came across this post about schiacciatine – soft little hand held buns with crispy exteriors topped with things like herbs, tomatoes & onions and got totally transfixed. they were so small, so cutie! little carb pillows which is exactly what i’m needing 24/7 now that winter has actually hit the city.
for the last month i kept telling myself, “winter isn’t too bad i guess! grey days mean great light for shooting, and i can make all of the soup and stews i want! this winter will be picturesque and cozy!”, but now that the ground is covered in ice and the wind is biting through my jacket when i leave the refuge of my apartment to get groceries, i’ve decidedly changed my tune.
since i’ll be leaving my house less and less as it gets colder, it’s the perfect time to start experimenting with baking different types of bread, starting with these schiacciatine. these little buns are home to florentine bakery, and sort of resemble foccacia but a little more dense with a crispier outing (thanks to the butter or lard in the dough). fitting perfecting in your gloved hand, they make excellent snacks, but also are lovely cut into quarters and served as a little aperitivo to warm up from the cold. this bread tastes best the day it’s made, so invite a few friends over, mix up a couple of negroni and chat about your christmas plans with these fresh from the oven.
recipe from emiko davies
7 grams (1 small packet) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lard or butter, at room temperature
4 cups grams all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons (8 grams) salt, plus extra salt flakes for sprinkling
olive oil for brushing tops
toppings can include thinly slices tomato, thinly sliced red onion sweat out with a little butter, garlic and anchovy mashed with olive oil, a little rosemary
stir the yeast into the water in a large bowl and allow to stand 10 minutes until dissolved. add the oil and lard and mix. combine the flour and salt in a wide bowl and make a well in the centre. pour the liquid mixture into the well and stirring from the centre, gradually incorporate the wet and dry ingredients until you have a dough (exactly the same as making pasta!). knead until smooth and soft, about 8-10 minutes.
place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise, covered, until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
flatten the dough slightly on a floured surface and cut into 8 even portions, rolled into balls. Let rest under a tea towel 15 minutes. dimple the balls with your fingers, flattening into a disc and rest another 15 minutes, covered. dimple again, stretching further. brush discs with olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and place on baking trays lined with baking paper. let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size, covered with a tea towel.
dimple the dough once more, brush again with olive oil and top with your selected toppings. bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden. serve warm or at room temperature. Best eaten on the day they are made.