Umbrian Griddle Baked Flat Bread (Torta sul Testo)
Recipe type: Breads and Rolls
Serves: 12
  • Filling:
  • 20 ounces fresh spinach; stemmed, rinsed well
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto; diced
  • grinding of coarse black pepper
  • Dough:
  • 3 1/2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
  • warm water; as needed
  1. Cook the spinach without the addition of any water, covered, in a 2-quart pot about 3 or 4 minutes or just until it wilts down. Transfer the spinach to a colander and squeeze it dry with a wooden spoon or let it cool, and squeeze it dry with your hands. On a cutting board chop the spinach fine and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan; add the prosciutto, and cook it until it begins to brown and crisp. Stir in the spinach, and a good grinding of black pepper, and mix well. Set the filling aside, and make the dough.
  3. Mix the flour, and baking soda together in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg, olive oil, and cheese together. Add this to the flour mixture, and mix with your hands to obtain a soft dough. Add warm water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough seems dry. It should feel soft and pliable. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Let it rest covered for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a 6-inch circle. Set the circles aside on a floured surface.
  4. Heat a cast-iron griddle, frying pan, or an electric frying pan until hot. Prick the circles all over with a fork. This will help to keep the rounds flat as they cook. Use a small glass to make overlapping circle designs on each piece. These marks are decorative. Place one or two of the circles on the hot pan; do not cook more than two at a time. Cook until they have browned slightly on the bottom, about 3 or 4 minutes, then turn them over and brown them on the other side.
  5. Transfer the circles to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Divide the spinach mixture among 3 of the circles; top with the remaining three circles. With a knife cut each into 4 wedges to make 12 sandwiches.
  7. Serve warm.
This recipe yields 6 rounds or 12 small sandwiches.

Comments: Flat bread cooked on a dry skillet is reminiscent of some of the first unleavened breads. In Umbria this has evolved into torta sul testo or bread baked in earthenware. I use a dry electric skillet. If you have a stovetop griddle, that will work well too. Torta sul testo is often served with a stuffing of bitter greens such as spinach or broccoli rape; or serve them warm without a stuffing, accompanied by Pecorino cheese, and oil cured olives for an antipasto.

Source: Ciao Italia at

Yield: "12 sandwiches"

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 1008 Calories; 83g Fat (71.7% calories from fat); 53g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 15g Dietary Fiber; 266mg Cholesterol; 4821mg Sodium. Exchanges: 5 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 Vegetable; 14 Fat.

NOTES : Recipe from "Ciao Italia In Umbria" by Mary A. Esposito, (St. Martin's Press, 2002)
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