Spianata

Yield:
8 to 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces artichoke hearts, julienned
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, in all
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, blend the yeast, 2 tablespoons of the flour, and 1/4 cup of the warm water together. Let sit for 5 minutes. Beat in 2/3 cup of the flour and water. The batter should be very elastic. Seal the sponge with plastic wrap and let sit for 7 to 8 hours. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook, blend 2 cups of flour and salt. Add half the sponge, olive oil and the lard. Beat for 5 minutes on low speed for the gluten to develop. Turn the speed to medium and mix until the dough starts coming up the sides. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 3 hours or until double in size. Lightly grease a 14 to 16 inch pizza pan. Punch the dough down. Press the dough out, to fit the pan. Cover the pan and let rise until double in size, about 3 hours.

In a saute pan, heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, saute the artichokes and onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon garlic and wine and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the artichokes are soft. In a mixing bowl, combine the Fresh Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, remaining garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to 450 degrees and bake the bread for 10 minutes. Spread the cheese mixture over the bread and top with the sauteed artichokes. Sprinkle with remaining olive oil. Return the heat of the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for additional 15 minutes or until the bread is crisp. Place the bread on a platter and slice.


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