Pizza di formaggio, a type of bread, is usually eaten on Easter morning. It's best served with a strong cup of espresso.
- 4 tsp dried yeast
- ½ tsp caster (superfine) sugar
- 180 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) tepid milk
- 4 eggs
- 180 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
- 250 g (9 oz) bread flour
- 250 g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 100 g (3½ oz) aged pecorino, grated
- 100 g (3½ oz) parmesan, grated
- 70 g (2½ oz) fresh pecorino, asiago or Havarti cheese, cut into 5–6 mm (¼ in) cubes (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Yeast proving time: 10 minutes
Rising time: 4 hours.
- Combine the yeast, sugar and milk in a small jug and set aside for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, then add the eggs one at a time followed by the oil, both flours, the nutmeg and the salt. When the mixture comes together, replace the paddle with a dough hook and knead on the second lowest setting for 2–3 minutes, until you have a sticky ball of dough. Tip in the grated cheeses and knead until the dough comes together.
- Tip the dough onto a floured work surface. If using, toss the cheese cubes in a little extra flour, then knead through the dough with your hands. Keep kneading until you have a cohesive ball of dough, then place in a large oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draught-free spot for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Line the base and side of a deep round 23-cm (9-in) cake or bread tin with baking paper.
- Tip the risen dough onto your work surface and reshape by flattening it out with the palm of your hand, then folding the corners onto themselves. Place the dough, seam side down, in the prepared tin. Cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draught-free spot again for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before removing the bread from the tin.
Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00