My mum use to always say to me as a kid "Have you got hollow legs? Where do you put it all?" Now I am a mother of two, I hear that same question but this time it is coming out of my mouth! Max and Alex have always been good eaters, from the time they popped out and drank me out of milk (well not really- it just felt that way), they now proceed to eat me out of groceries. Don't get me wrong, I am all for healthy appetites and strong healthy kids- I just need to get them onto a budget friendly eating programme, and that is where scacciata comes in.
When we were living in Florence, Italy in 2005-6 I use to see all the school kids pouring out of the school doors and straight into the bakery doors. They all came out with the same 'treat', a big slab of scaccita (which in Italian means 'squashed'). Scaccita is just like foccacia bread that has been doused in olive oil, herbs and salt- plenty of salt. When it is hot out of the oven you could eat your body weight in the stuff and the best part- It's filling!
I have a standard bread recipe that I have previously blogged and that is exactly how I make my version of scaccita. When it comes to the last proving, I simply push the dough onto a tray, smother it in olive oil that I have had crushed garlic marinating in, sprinkle the dough with fresh herbs if they are available and then sprinkle the top with salt. I prefer salt flakes but if I don't have them, then table salt is fine. Once it is all prepped I poke my fingers into the top to make holes where the oil sinks into and then put it in the oven and watch it rise.
Once I pull it out of the oven I brush the top with more garlic olive oil. When I cut into the bread and hand it out to the boys, their eyes light up and the bread is devoured.
If you end up having some left over, it makes delicious chicken sandwiches which is exactly what I did the day after our laksa meal with all the left over cooked chicken I had. In this day and age, when you can get one meal out of a whole chicken that is great, but if you can squeeze another out by coating the chicken in mayo and stuffing it between two delicious slices of bread then that to me is brilliant!