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Umbrian Flatbread

Flat breads are reminiscent of some of the first unleavened breads. In Umbria this has evolved into torta al testo or bread made on a testo, or hot stone. A dry electric skillet works well too. Be aware that this bread goes by other names depending on where you are in Umbria; for instance in Gubbio this is called crescia, in Perugia torta al testo, in other areas pizza al testo.

Makes 6 rounds or 12 small sandwiches

Ingredients

Filling

2 pounds fresh spinach, stemmed and rinsed well

2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

1/4 pound prosciutto, diced

1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese

Grinding coarse black pepper

Dough

3 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil

Warm water as needed

Directions

For the Filling
Place the spinach in a large pot but do not add water. Cover and cook the spinach about 3 or 4 minutes or just until it wilts down. Transfer the spinach to a colander and squeeze the spinach 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 sauté it until it begins to brown and crisp. Add the spinach and a good grinding of black pepper and mix well. Set aside.

For the Dough
On a work surface combine the flour, salt, baking powder. Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water to it at a time to make a dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let it rest covered for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll out 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. Use a small glass to make overlapping circle designs on the circles. These marks are decorative. Place one at a time on the hot testo.

Cook until the breads have browned slightly on the bottom, about 3 o 4 minutes, and have little specks of brown from the fork marks. Turn them over and brown them on the other side.

Transfer the circles to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut each torta into 4 wedges with a knife. Divide the filling evenly among half of the wedges, and top with the remaining wedges to make sandwiches.

Serve immediately.

This recipe is featured on show 2226 – More Umbrian Cooking / Piu’ Cucina Umbra.

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