Stiacciata Alla Fiorentina - Sweet Carnival Pizza
Recipe from 'Lorenza De Medici's - Tuscany The Beautiful Cookbook'
Like most Italian Cakes, this sweet Florentine pizza is linked to a religious feast: "Carnival". At one time lard was used instead of butter, which added to the flavor.
After seeing this recipe in my cookbook, I searched online for more recipes of this Sweet Carnival Pizza. The only ones I was able to find were written in Italian. This was a frustrating and unfamilar dough for me to handle which resulted in me not following the exact procedures discribed in the recipe. I was sure I had a total disaster on my hands. After seeing and tasting my final bake...I may...may attempt it again! It is a delicate delicious buttery flavored cake, lightly sweet with a lovely hint of lemon and would go perfectly with a glass of wine or a cappuccino or just a big glass of milk.
If anyone is feeling venturesome and care to give this recipe a try I have written it down with just a couple of modifications.
6 fl oz - 3/4 cup - 180 ml Lukewarm water (105F to 115F)
1 oz (30g) fresh cake yeast or 2 packages (1 scant tablespoon each) active dry yeast- I used the
Gold IDY because of the extra sugar in the recipe.
11 oz/330g All Purpose (plain flour) flour - I used KAAP flour
pinch of salt
3 oz/90g Unsalted butter, plus extra for cake pan - I used my round metal pizza pan
3 oz/90g Granulated sugar - I used Extra fine baking sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon - Large organic off my tree
1 Tbsp. Confectioners' sugar - I used extra for added sweetness
Place the lukewarm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let stand until dissolved and foamy, about 10 minutes.
Heap the flour on a work surface and make a well in the center. Pour the dissolved yeast into the well and add the salt. With a fork, gradually work in the flour until all of it is absorbed. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Punch down the dough and gradually work in the 1/3 cup (3oz/90g) butter, granulated sugar, lemon zest and the eggs, one at a time. Lift the now-soft dough and slam it down on a hard surface several times. Using the heel of your hand, knead until the dough is no longer sticky.
Butter a 9-in (23-cm) round cake pan. Shape the dough in the bottom of the prepared pan. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 400F 9200C).
Bake the cake until just golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and immediately transfer to a wire rack. Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar. Cool to room temperature before serving.