Who's the Baketard?

Why Baketard? Love to cook, hate to bake. Despite having gone to cooking school and working in some top kitchens, I never learned the baking side of things. I'm building my baking and photography skills, while sharing recipes that rock my world in the mean time.

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Scaccia (Tomato and Cheese Pie)

I found this recipe in Saveur last month. In spite of it falling into the baking category, and in spite of “Scaccia” sounding like a condition sure to send you running to the clinic for a shot of penicillin, I just had to give it a try. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be incredible and I managed not to let my baking “different-abledness” get in the way. I deviated from the recipe in that I mixed and kneaded the dough with a Kitchen Aid and the dough hook attachment (Total mixing time was 4-6 minutes until the dough reached the shiny elasticity described in the recipe.)

I had to roll this out on the dining room table with a lightly floured tablecloth, because this rolls out a lot larger than a standard cutting board or kitchen counter space permits. Total active work time (excepting the 30 minute rest time and cooling period for the tomato sauce) was only about 20 minutes.

As the original recipe states (click the Saveur link above), this comes out of the oven looking charred and ugly (it says the uglier, the better), but you forget about that once it’s in your mouth. (This is me refraining from making a reference to the similarities with your mom.)

Note: If you live in Seattle, you can find caciocavello cheese at PFI for about $12 bucks/pound.

Scaccia (Tomato and Cheese Pie)

SERVES 10-12

3 1/2 cups durum wheat flour

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 bunch fresh basil

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

12 oz. caciocavallo or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated


1. Place flour in a large bowl and make a well in center; add 2 tbsp. oil, salt, and 1 1/4 cups water, and stir until a dough forms. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 6–8 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and basil, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, to meld flavors, about 10 minutes. Discard basil, remove pan from heat, and set aside to let cool.

3. Heat oven to 500°. Transfer dough to a floured work surface, and using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 1/16″-thick rectangle. Arrange the dough so that the long sides are parallel to you. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce over dough in a thin layer and sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Fold left third of dough toward center, spread top with 1/4 cup sauce, and sprinkle with 5 tbsp. cheese; season with salt and pepper. Fold right third over center to meet left edge, and repeat with sauce, cheese, and salt and pepper. Fold in top and bottom so they meet in center; spread top with remaining sauce and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Fold top half over bottom half, like closing a book, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400° and continue baking until dough is set and slightly charred, about 60–65 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into squares and serving.

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Reader Comments (12)

OMG, this looks amazing!

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEarnie

This will certainly be on my "to try" list soon!

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

Looking lovely! Perfect for a picnic :D In Sicily we often fill this kind of "pie" also with vegetables like sauteed broccoli, onion & potatoes, greens.
They are a main part of our Christmas eve dinner too.

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlessio

Looking lovely! Perfect for a picnic :D In Sicily we often fill this kind of "pie" also with vegetables like sauteed broccoli, onion & potatoes, greens.
They are a main part of our Christmas eve dinner too.

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlessio

Thanks for the comments. Alessio, I will definitely try stuffing it with other ingredients next time. I loved it! Thank you for the recommendations.

April 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarc

Thanks so much for posting about Scaccia. I never heard of that before. I make all kinds of pizza. Is the Scaccia considered a kind of pizza? It looks so delicious!

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

From what I've learned since making this, it seems to be. Very similar, at least. Some of the regional variances seem more like a Calzone. (I'm not an expert on this by any means....mayte Alessio can educate us :)


May 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarc


Alessio is on to something. Try a filling of sautéed spinach, garlic and lots of caciocavallo.

O. M. Freakin' G.


September 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJilldo

This is awesome, I am all Sicilian and my grandmother would always make this. It was delicious hot or cold. I use to love it for picnics, not messy, filling, room temperature was great, everybody loved it. Delicious.

May 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercarol

My family has been making this for years, but in smaller loaves. I have been trying for the last couple of years but am very frustrated. My filling breaks out and I only put filling on the bottom layer. The old chefs are no longer with us for a demo. These photos help. Thank you.

August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat

I'm glad these are helping -- I love this recipe and make it all the damned time. Haven't had the filling issue, but hopefully practice helps. It's definitely a big mess to tackle, but I think it's worth it :)

September 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterMarc

I grew up with scaccia, cooked by my Sicilian grandmother, from Modica. Her version which I do need to recreate, used a dough that had a little yeast, and white flour, was rolled out into a rectangle. The sauce was an onion/tomato mixture, with a lot of onion sauteed slowly untill golden brown and sweet, then the tomato was added, maybe a 50/50 mixture with the onion. It was spread over the dough, with a margin on one side, and at the ends to seal. Then aged provolone cut into small cubes spread on the sauce, then a large handful of coarsely chopped parsley. The dough was folded into thirds, and was sealed on one side, and the ends were picked up and sealed on top of the long rectangle, maybe 3 1/2 inches wide, and 16 or 18 inches long. Pricked all over with a fork to let out the steam as it was baked. Delicious cut in slices hot or cold, and unforgettable.

April 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterray

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