Trattoria Da Burde's Easter Ciaccia recipe
Chef Paolo Gori tells us the secrets for making a soft and fluffy focaccia perfect for Easter lunch
In Tuscany we have many culinary traditions to bring to the table on Easter Day, one of which - especially in southern Tuscany - is the Ciaccia di Pasqua, a very high leavened flat bread that is characterised by being rich in pecorino, parmesan, eggs, and even a little peppery. To be served with eggs, capocollo, and pickles on Easter Day. The name Ciaccia gives just the idea of a schiacciata, although in reality it is much taller.
Paolo Gori, chef of the historic Trattoria Da Burde, a name that is now a guarantee among Florentines and others, and perfect for a quick lunch break or a slower informal dinner, all to be savoured, away from the more chaotic streets of the city centre, told us the secrets to making it at its best.
The atmosphere is familiar, like that of the trattorias of yesteryear. Genuine and authentic flavours are on the table, just like the ones Paolo made us taste in the making of his Ciaccia cake.
Pecorino cheese in two versions, a drier and more mature one to grate, and a fresher one to cube
Flour (as coarse as possible, such as 00 or stone-ground flour)
Salt (without exaggeration as there is also pecorino cheese)
First we put together a little grated Parmesan cheese and some seasoned pecorino cheese, then we take a bowl and put the lukewarm milk, the brewer's yeast (a quarter of a loaf is enough, it's all about how long you leave it to rise) and mix everything together. We add the oil, the eggs, beat well, then add a pinch of salt (without exaggerating because there is also pecorino cheese) and finally the flour. We can put it in the planetary mixer or knead by hand, the dough must always remain soft and very moist.
In the meantime, let's prepare some pecorino cheese to put inside the dough, a fresh, soft pecorino, because the Ciaccia already has some piquancy from the seasoned pecorino and parmesan cheese. We clean the pecorino and dice it. This part of pecorino gives the right softness to the dough.
After stretching the dough in the planetary mixer (or by hand if you prefer), we add the pecorino and parmesan cheese and mix again in the planetary mixer or by hand. Finally, we finish the dough by hand by putting in the pecorino pieces.
Then we take a baking tin that can go in the oven, sprinkle it well with oil, place the dough inside the tin, spread it out a little and leave it to rise (if you have put in a little yeast, 2 to 3 hours, otherwise much less).
Once the rising time has passed, we put the Ciaccia in the oven at 185 degrees, we can also put a little water in a bowl that holds the temperature in the oven to make everything wetter and therefore the dough softer.
Once those 15/45 minutes have passed (depending on the power of the oven) we take the Ciaccia out of the oven, nice and soft and warm, we turn it over and put it on a grid to dry and cool.
Once cooled we pass it on the cutting board and on Easter morning we cut it, ready to be enjoyed with eggs, capocollo and pickles!
Happy Easter to all!