Torta Al Testo: The Umbrian Flatbread Sandwich
Torta al testo is a traditional speciality of Umbria dated right back to ancient Roman times. So obsessed are the Umbrians with this simple flat-bread, there are entire restaurants in Perugia dedicated to it. Torta al Testo literally means "cake of the tile". In ancient Roman times the "testo" was a stone disk placed on the embers of the fire which the dough was cooked on.
Classically, it was filled with sausage meat or wild herbs, but here we have a more modern incarnation featuring cheese and prosciutto. These are often eaten as a meal in themselves, but you can also have them as a delicious starter or simply a snack.
- Flour – 500g/18oz
- Instant dry yeast – 1 packet (9g/0.3oz)
- Salt – 1 level tsp
- Warm water – 350ml/12 fl oz
- Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Prosciutto from Norcia – several slices
- Stracchino cheese – 50g/2oz
- Arugula/rocket – bunch
- Step 1
- Mix the flour, yeast, salt, water and olive oil together in a bowl until a ball of dough is formed. If it’s too sticky add a little bit more flour.
- Step 2
- Knead the dough with your hands for 10 minutes until it becomes a smooth ball. Put the dough into a large clean bowl and cover it with a tea towel. Let it rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until it’s doubled in size – around 1 hour.
- Step 3
- Roll the dough into a disc, about 1cm thick. Place directly onto preheated testo or griddle pan, without any oil. If you’re worried about it sticking you can use some parchment/baking paper cut to the size of the pan.
- Step 4
- Prick the disc with a fork and cook it over a medium-low heat for a couple of minutes on one side. Carefully flip it over and continue to cook the other side. It should take about 10 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness of your disc.
- Step 5
- Take the torta off the heat, cut it in half horizontally and put in as much or whatever filling as you like. Do as the Umbrians do and fill with sausage meat or wild herbs, or as we have here with a modern twist with stracchino, ham, and rocket.
- Step 6
- Cut it up into slices and serve while it still hot.