Easter is soon enough to start thinking to some special recipe. As mentioned in my last post, baking has become lately my favourite part of the cooking or at least the one I am enjoying the most.
So thinking about Easter the first recipe that came to my mind is the Pizza di Formaggio. The name pizza could be misleading as it not a pizza as such. I would consider as savoury and cheesy soft bread. I hope it makes sense but there is not an exact translation.
This is a dish typical of central Italy, where I am from. It is very common both in the Umbria and Marche regions. My grandmother always used to prepare at least a week before Easter Sunday a batch of 5 or 6 of Pizze di Formaggio. Half of them were for the family consumption during the long festive Easter weekend, the other half was for the neighbours and the part of the family that could not spend the Easter day eating with us.
So what a best teacher if not the experienced grandmother to find out al the secrets about the perfect Pizza di Formaggio. I phoned her up and tried to get the recipe. Not easy task, though. She always cook by heart or adapting the recipes every time.. So between her instructions and my personal research on the internet below is the result of my very own Pizza di Formaggio for a perfect Easter brunch.
120g of sourdough starter (or if you don’t have it 50g gram of fresh yeast or 10 g of dried yeast)
1 cup of water (I also used some milk)
600g of very strong flour
4 or 5 eggs
1 tbs of sugar
10g of Salt
10 g of Pepper
50ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
150g of Pecorino Cheese (possibly aged)
150g of Parmesan
Some recipes also use other kind of cheeses such as Emmental or Smoked Provolone.
Beat the eggs and add the grated cheeses, some pepper, salt and the Extra virgin Olive Oil. Leave to rest for 15/20 minutes. In the main time put the sourdough starter and the water together in the bowl of the mixer give it a stir and gradually add the flour and the eggs mixed with cheeses. Mix all together for quite long time adding more water or flour if needed. I left the mixer on for 20 minutes with the hook. After 20 minutes the dough should be quite elastic and sticky. Leave the dough to rest for an hour more or less in warm environment. I used the oven with the light on. After one hour fold the dough a couple of time to give it a bit of strength. I divided the dough into two and put every one of them into the baking tins (with very high edges). Leave the cake to rise for 10 hours. I left them to raise overnight. Once well-leavened cook at 180 for 50-55 minutes. Once cooked leave to cool down at least an hour or two before trying them.