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Square Pizza with Olives

Scacciata con Olive

Makes One 17 by 11-Inch Pizza

I was amused and delighted when a friend of mine sent me a food clipping from Florida showing a woman cutting into scacciata. She wanted to know if I had ever heard of it. Yes, my grandmothers and my mother made this thick egg-dough-based pizza.

It is usually baked in a square or rectangular pan and cut into squares. The word scacciata is derived from scacco, which means "square". There are infinite toppings for this chewy pizza, and probably as many names. Scacciata con Olive, which is a family favorite, can be cut into tiny squares for appetizers, or it can be the centerpiece for lunch or a simple supper.

Ingredients

DOUGH

DOUGH

1 1/2 cups warm water (110º to 115ºF)

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 egg, at room temperature

4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

TOPPING

2 cups prepared tomato sauce

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/3 cup (about 14) oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of the water. Allow the yeast to proof, covered, for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and the egg and beat with a whisk to blend.

Add 4 cups of the flour mixed with the salt to the yeast mixture and mix with your hands to form a soft ball. Add additional flour as needed.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes, or until very soft. Grease a bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, add the dough, and toss it in the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Grease a 17- by 11-inch jellyroll or other pan with the remaining olive oil. Set aside.

Punch down the dough on a floured surface and, with a rolling pin, roll it out to fit the pan. Fit the dough in the pan, bringing the edges up the sides.

Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the oregano over the sauce. Evenly space the olives, cut sides down, over the top. Sprinkle on the cheese.

Bake the pizza for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the bottom crust is nicely browned. Cool slightly for even cutting, then cut into squares and serve.

This recipe is from NELLA CUCINA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1993.

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