A Florentine version of Focaccia, the name for this favorite in our household, SCHIACCIATA, translates as “squashed” bread. The sweetness of the roasted red onion partnered with sharp Gruyere and a touch of salt produce a remarkably delicious treat. You can skip dividing the dough and make just one larger round. We love the crunchy, rich edges where the Gruyere turns brown and develops a unique, toasty flavor, so we make two smaller rounds providing more crusty surface area.
Ingredients for Schiacciata (with roasted red onions and Gruyere)
- 3/4 C. sourdough starter, at room temperature
- 2 3/4 C. (375 g) flour
- 1.5 t. salt
- 3 T. olive oil
- 3/4 C. warm water (105° – 115°)
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 9 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
- 1 – 2 red onions, cut in wedges
- 2 t. fresh thyme
- 2 t. olive oil
- coarse sea salt
In a large bowl (if you have one, use your electric mixer or Kitchen Aid) combine 1 C. of the flour and the yeast. In another bowl combine the rest of the flour and salt.
Add 1/2 cup of the warm water, the olive oil and the starter to the flour and yeast. If using your electric mixer, beat with whisk attachment, or beat by hand until smooth and well combined.
With a wooden spoon stir in as much more of the flour as you can, then knead with mixer and dough attachment or by hand for 10 minutes, adding the rest of the flour. If necessary, add more of the warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, in order to incorporate all of the flour. (I rarely need to do this.) Your dough should be smooth, silky and elastic.
Shape dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until double, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down dough and chafe for 5 minutes. (Apply downward pressure while simultaneously rotating the dough continuously in a clockwise motion.)
Divide dough into two even portions and shape into balls. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into about a 9″ round. Transfer to lightly oiled baking sheet(s), cover and proof until double, about 30 minutes.
For each round: With your fingertips, gently press the surface of the dough to form dimples. Distribute about 4 1/2 oz. Gruyere then cover with red onion wedges, sprinkle with about 1 t. fresh thyme and 1 t. of olive oil and 1/2 t. salt.
Bake in preheated 400° oven for 30 minutes, rotating and brushing the edges with oil dabbed from the center after 15 minutes, until crust is golden and onions are roasted.