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Bread (Schiacciata) Topped With Tomatoes, Gruyere and Herbs

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

Makes one round foccacia topped with melted cheese, slices of tomato and fresh herbs - no baking tin needed. You need to plan ahead by at least 12 hours because it uses a starter dough which enhances the flavour and texture of the bread. Some variations are also included at the end of the instructions.

Makes one round foccacia topped with melted cheese, slices of tomato and fresh herbs - no baking tin needed. You need to plan ahead by at least 12 hours because it uses a starter dough which enhances the flavour and texture of the bread. Some variations are also included at the end of the instructions.

Ingredients

Serves: a loaf

Metric Cups

For the Starter

  • ½ teaspoon dried yeast
  • 150 millilitres water
  • 125 grams strong white bread flour

For the Dough

  • 1½ teaspoons dried yeast
  • 175 millilitres water
  • 375 grams strong white bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Topping

  • 1 large tomato (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 basil leaves (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 200 grams swiss gruyere cheese (coarsely grated)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the Starter

  • ½ teaspoon dried yeast
  • 5¼ fluid ounce water
  • 4 ounces strong white bread flour

For the Dough

  • 1½ teaspoons dried yeast
  • 6⅛ fluid ounce water
  • 13 ounces strong white bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Topping

  • 1 large tomato (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 basil leaves (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 7 ounces swiss gruyere cheese (coarsely grated)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Method

Bread (Schiacciata) Topped With Tomatoes, Gruyere and Herbs is a community recipe submitted by Stuart and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • To make the starter: Sprinkle the yeast into the water. Leave for 5 minutes, stir to dissolve. Add the flour and mix to form a thick batter. Cover with a tea towel and leave to ferment at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 36 hours, until it forms a loose, bubbling batter.
  • To make the dough: Sprinkle the yeast into 100ml (3½ fl oz) of the water. Leave for 5 minutes, stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • Pour in the yeasted water, the olive oil and the starter. Mix in the flour. Stir in the remaining water to form a soft, sticky dough. Add extra water one tbsp at a time if necessary.
  • Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until smooth, silky and elastic, about 10 minutes. Put the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, 1½ - 2 hours.
  • Knock back and chafe for 5 minutes then leave to rest, about 10 minutes. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to form a round, 24cm (9 ½ inches) in diameter. Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and prove until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile thinly slice the tomato and toss with the 1 tsp of coarse sea salt in a colander. Allow to drain for 15 minutes, then rinse the slices carefully and place them on paper towels to dry.
  • Then using your fingertips gently press into the dough to make dimples about 1cm deep. Lay the slices of tomato evenly over the bread, sprinkle with the gruyere, herbs, ½ tsp of coarse sea salt and the EV olive oil. Bake for approx 25 to 30 minutes till sides are golden and cheese has melted but not browned.
  • Check that it is cooked in the middle, then remove to a wire rack. Delicious served warm but just as good served at room temperature.
  • Variations: OLIVE FOCCACIA: Press 6 to 12 pitted olives (kalamata, Nisoise or black olives are good) into the dough and pour over 4 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt just before baking.
  • PESTO FOCCACIA: Spread 1 2 teaspoons of pesto onto the dough.
  • RED ONION & GRUYERE: Cut 1 red onion into 8 wedges, separate and sprinkle evenly over foccacia, top with 200g gruyere, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons thyme or rosemary and 4 tablespoons olive oil just before baking.
  • HERB FOCCACIA: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon chopped basil, thyme, sage and/or rosemary on the dough and pour over 4 tablespoons olive oil just before baking.
  • To make the starter: Sprinkle the yeast into the water. Leave for 5 minutes, stir to dissolve. Add the flour and mix to form a thick batter. Cover with a tea towel and leave to ferment at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 36 hours, until it forms a loose, bubbling batter.
  • To make the dough: Sprinkle the yeast into 100ml (3½ fl oz) of the water. Leave for 5 minutes, stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • Pour in the yeasted water, the olive oil and the starter. Mix in the flour. Stir in the remaining water to form a soft, sticky dough. Add extra water one tbsp at a time if necessary.
  • Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until smooth, silky and elastic, about 10 minutes. Put the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, 1½ - 2 hours.
  • Knock back and chafe for 5 minutes then leave to rest, about 10 minutes. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to form a round, 24cm (9 ½ inches) in diameter. Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and prove until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile thinly slice the tomato and toss with the 1 tsp of coarse sea salt in a colander. Allow to drain for 15 minutes, then rinse the slices carefully and place them on paper towels to dry.
  • Then using your fingertips gently press into the dough to make dimples about 1cm deep. Lay the slices of tomato evenly over the bread, sprinkle with the gruyere, herbs, ½ tsp of coarse sea salt and the EV olive oil. Bake for approx 25 to 30 minutes till sides are golden and cheese has melted but not browned.
  • Check that it is cooked in the middle, then remove to a wire rack. Delicious served warm but just as good served at room temperature.
  • Variations: OLIVE FOCCACIA: Press 6 to 12 pitted olives (kalamata, Nisoise or black olives are good) into the dough and pour over 4 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt just before baking.
  • PESTO FOCCACIA: Spread 1 2 teaspoons of pesto onto the dough.
  • RED ONION & GRUYERE: Cut 1 red onion into 8 wedges, separate and sprinkle evenly over foccacia, top with 200g gruyere, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons thyme or rosemary and 4 tablespoons olive oil just before baking.
  • HERB FOCCACIA: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon chopped basil, thyme, sage and/or rosemary on the dough and pour over 4 tablespoons olive oil just before baking.
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