Umbrian Griddle-Baked Flat BreadClick to Play

Umbrian Griddle-Baked Flat Bread

Mary Ann Esposito

Flat bread cooked on a dry skillet is reminiscent of some of the first unleavened breads. In Umbria this has evolved into torta sul testo or bread baked in earthenware. I use a dry electric skillet. If you have a stove top griddle, that will work well too. Torta sul testo is often served with a stuffing of bitter greens such as spinach or broccoli rape; or serve them warm without a stuffing, accompanied by Pecorino cheese, and oil cured olives for an antipasto.

Makes 6 Rounds or 12 Small Sandwiches

FILLING

20 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed and rinsed well
2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 pound prosciutto, diced
Grinding coarse black pepper
DOUGH
3 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
6 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
Warm water as needed

DIRECTIONS

Cook the spinach without the addition of any water, covered, in a 2-quart pot about 3 or 4 minutes or just until it wilts down. Transfer the spinach to a colander and squeeze it dry with a wooden spoon or let it cool, and squeeze it dry with your hands. On a cutting board chop the spinach fine and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan; add the prosciutto, and cook it until it begins to brown and crisp. Stir in the spinach, and a good grinding of black pepper, and mix well. Set the filling aside, and make the dough.

Mix the flour, and baking soda together in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg, olive oil, and cheese together. Add this to the flour mixture, and mix with your hands to obtain a soft dough. Add warm water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough seems dry. It should feel soft and pliable. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Let it rest covered for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a 6-inch circle. Set the circles aside on a floured surface.

Heat a cast-iron griddle, frying pan, or an electric frying pan until hot. Prick the circles all over with a fork. This will help to keep the rounds flat as they cook. Use a small glass to make overlapping circle designs on each piece. These marks are decorative. Place one or two of the circles on the hot pan; do not cook more than two at a time. Cook until they have browned slightly on the bottom, about 3 or 4 minutes, then turn them over and brown them on the other side.

Transfer the circles to a wire rack to cool completely.

Divide the spinach mixture among 3 of the circles; top with the remaining three circles. With a knife cut each into 4 wedges to make 12 sandwiches.

Serve warm.

item recipe is featured in Episode 309 of Season 3.

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