Around 5:00 it is essential to have a merenda (snack) ready for the kids and whoever else happens to be around. My friend Laura always has warm schiacciata (literally smashed bread) and is famous for it among my group of mom’s. I have found it to be a recipe I can’t live without as I make it for any gathering of children and adults and it is a hit with everyone. I will give you Laura’s recipe and then add the changes I make at the end.
1 cup of water
1 cup of milk- (you can use less milk and more water or rice/soy with equally good results)
One square of fresh yeast (lievito)
½ teaspoon salt
500-800 grams of flour
Sea salt and rosemary for the top
Heat water and milk together until tepid. Remove from the heat and stir the yeast into the liquid until dissolved. Add ½ t. salt, oil and 500 grams of flour. Keep adding flour until it becomes a consistency that you can handle and begin to knead. Knead for 5-10 minutes and then put in an oiled bowl to let rise until double for about 45 min. I say about because when I’m rushed I just use the time I have and it always turns out fine.
Punch the dough down and spread it out in a large pan that has been covered with olive oil. I use a 35-42 cm pan (14 by 17). Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle salt on top. Let it rise about 10 min then in rows press the dough down every 5 or so inches so there are even indentations. At this point you can sprinkle on fresh or dried rosemary, olives or add slices of potato or tomato. For merenda I usually just do rosemary. Bake at 200c(400f) for 30 minutes or until brown on top.
Shandra’s changes: I use half whole-wheat flour and lessen the amount of milk to ½ or 1 cup. I also use soymilk because of Shad.