Mustazzeddu – Focaccia from Sardinia

mustazzeddu_2

Here it is another of the many types of Italian focaccia.

This time I prepared a typical recipe of Sardinia region, the Mustazzeddu. But it is known also as Pratzida, Sa pani cun tamatiga (literally bread with tomato), and for sure some other names too, depending on the area/villages 🙂

It seems this recipe originated in the area of Sulcis-Iglesiente, and some legends say that the local nuns invented this recipe, to feed the poor people with a simple but richer meal rather than just the simple bread.

It’s a very simple recipe, but like all the simple recipes the details make the difference, and the choice of the few ingredients. It is usually prepared in summer, with fresh ripe tomatoes, but depending on the villages also other ingredients can be used, like the eggplants or other seasonal vegetables. In this case, since it’s december, of course I didn’t buy the tasteless tomatoes of this season but I used “pomodorini del piennolo del Vesuvio (a pacchetelle)”, which tasted almost like fresh in summer, so if you also want to make it out of season I suggest to prefer some good artisanal preserved tomatoes of this kind or similar.

It is usually prepared with durum semolina flour, both “semola rimacinata di grano duro” and “farina di grano duro“, with the first used in higher percentage if you want to obtain a more crunchy result.

Another important ingredient is the extra virgin olive oil, a good quality oil will make a difference too.

Traditionally it is made with sourdough and baked in the wood oven, but if you use little amounts and you let the dough to leaven properly also with fresh baker’s yeast it’s possible to obtain very good results at home.

Let’s see!

 

INGREDIENTS (for a 26-28 cm round pan):

For the dough:

  • 500 g semolina durum flour (I used 300 g of “semola rimacinata di grano duro” and 200 g of “sfarinato di grano duro Senatore Cappelli“)
  • 330 ml water
  • 3 g fresh baker’s yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 15 g salt

For the filling:

  • 900-1000 g ripe small tomatoes 
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 3-4 anchovies salt-cured (optional)

 

  1. First of all prepare the dough: sift the flours, add the crumbled yeast, the water and start working it at low speed. When the water is absorbed add the salt, and when the dough got a shape add also the extra virgin olive oil. Keep working it for about 10 minutes, until smooth and no more sticky. Then take a bowl, greased with some olive oil, and place the dough, covered with a plastic wrap. Let it rest until it doubles it’s size, about 6 hours.mustazzeddu_6
  2. Then put the dough on the working table, squeeze the fermenting gas out, then make it again in a round shape and put it back in the bowl to rest another 90 minutes about.
  3. During this time prepare the filling: cut the tomatoes and drain most of their liquids out. Then season with extra virgin olive oil, pepper, salt, add the basil, the minced garlic and the anchovies. Let the flavors mix together.
  4. Now take an oven pan and place a baking paper inside, grease the bottom with olive oil and some flour.
  5. Flatten the dough, with a rolling pin, not too thin but at least half centimeter thick, or also a bit more. If it has leaved well the dough should be easy to flatten, not elastic and it shouldn’t come back after pulling it.
  6. Put the flatten dough in the pan, leaving the external dough falling outside from the edges (try to make it as more round as possible, and place it exactly in the middle).
  7. Now simply pour the tomatoes inside, spread it well inside, and then bend the external dough over the filling, and bend it like in the photos.mustazzeddu_5
  8. Brush some olive oil (and also some water of the tomatoes) over the dough and bake it at 250 °C, static oven, for the first 20 minutes, and then at 220 °C for the last 30 minutes. All together about 50 minutes (if it gets too dark cover it with an aluminium foil). After the first 20 minutes you can brush some more olive oil.
  9. Take it out, let it cool down and then serve it 🙂 it’s good either warm or also cold!

 

mustazzeddu_4

mustazzeddu_3mustazzeddu_1

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Products used:

Flour: semola rimacinata di grano duro from Garofalo, and stone ground organic “sfarinato di Senatore Cappelli” from Mulino Marino

Tomatoes: “pomodorini del piennolo del Vesuvio a pacchetelle” from San Nicola Dei Miri/Gentile

Extra virgin olive oil of my father, from lake Iseo.

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