Potato Schiacciata

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    2

    loaves

Appears in

Bourke Street Bakery

By Paul Allam and David McGuinness

Published 2009

  • About

A mandolin is just an update of the guillotine, but for a vegetable. It is a dangerous but invaluable tool for any kitchen. Even in professional kitchens people struggle to keep their fingers free from harm, but if you do master the mandolin, it will result in a superior product. To truly suffer for your art, you may have to lose a few fingers along the way.

Ingredients

Caramelised Onion (makes 510 g/1 lb 2 oz)

  • 1.1 kg (2 lb 7 oz) brown onions, sliced
  • 40 ml ( fl oz/2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 2 desiree potatoes
  • 400 g (14 oz) olive oil dough
  • 10 prosciutto slices (optional)
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked

Method

To make the caramelised onions, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 hours, stirring every 10 minutes, until the natural sugars caramelise and turn the onions brown. Allow to cool.

Use a mandolin or sharp knife to thinly slice the potatoes — they should be about 2 mm (1/16 inch) thick. Place them in a large bowl of water, then drain well. Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 3–5 minutes, or until almost tender, then plunge into cold water until needed.

Meanwhile, follow the instructions for making olive oil dough. To shape the dough, divide it into two even-sized portions. Roll out each portion to create a 30 x 15 cm (12 x 6 inch) rectangle, about 5 mm ¼ inch) thick all over, making sure you let the dough rest between each roll for a couple of minutes. Gently transfer the dough to a greased and lined tray. Leave to prove in a warm humid place (25°C/77°F) for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Spread a thin layer of caramelised onions over each piece of dough leaving a 1 cm (½ inch) border around the edges. Arrange the potato slices on top so they are slightly overlapping each other. If you are using prosciutto, lay the slices over the potato to cover evenly. Sprinkle the rosemary on top, season, and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Set aside to prove for a further 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) and bake for 25 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. When cooked the schiacciata should have a crisp brown base and edge. If you added the prosciutto, it should be crisp.