This is a typical recipe that peasants used to prepare in the Easter Season, when chicken started their massive production of eggs and the period of Lent imposed a bland diet. It is still widely popular, and every family preserves its own special recipe.
The most important, and the most difficult, part of this recipe is the moment of the leavening of the dough: the dough in fact has to be “helped” to rise, to recreate the ancient risings in the madia, an old forniture to make and keep bread. This recipe presents four leavenings, let’s start with the first one, the biga.
Ingredients for 2 schiacciate di Pasqua
For the biga:
150 gr manitoba wheat flour (strong flour)
125 gr lukewarm water
1 block of fresh yeast / or 1 bag of baking powder for desserts
For the 3 adjustments:
300 gr granulated sugar
50 gr anisette (anise flavored liquor)
50 gr Vinsanto
60 gr butter
90 gr olive oil
30 gr aniseeds
1 vial orange-flower aroma
450 gr wheat flour type 00 (superfine flour / pastry flour)
300 gr manitoba wheat flour (strong flour)
1 pinch of salt
1 grated orange peel
1 yolk to brush
Let’s start with the biga (a type of pre-fermentation used in Italian baking): in a glass melt 25 gr of fresh yeast in 125 gr of lukewarm water, then in a bowl add 150 gr of strong flour and work it together with the melted yeast. When done, cover your bowl with a plastic wrap and let it rest for one night.
In another bowl blend the liquors (vinsanto and anisette) and put also the aniseeds and the orange peel to macerate with the liquors, let them macerate for one night.
The next morning we’ll start with the first adjustment: we must mix 1/3 of all the ingredients together with our biga: take 2 eggs, 100 gr granulated sugar, 20 gr butter, 30 gr olive oil, 150 gr wheat flour 00, 100 gr manitoba wheat flour and combine them together with the biga, then keep kneading all together until the dough looks homogeneous and bouncy. Now let the dough rise for 1 hour and a half or 2 hours, possibly in a warm oven (not more than 50°C) or in a warm place.
We’ll repeat this operation other 2 times, always using the same amount of ingredients and always waiting for the dough to rise for 1 hour and a half or 2 hours. In the last passage add all remaining ingredients, knead together and let it rise.
We are now ready to divide the dough and put it in 2 buttered baking pans. Brush the surface of the schiacciate with the yolk and bake in the hot oven at 160°C for one hour. Let them cold down and then enjoy!
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