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The torta al testo, also known as crescia (in the Eugubino-Gualdese area) or ciaccia (in the Valtiberina area), is a typical food product of the Umbrian gastronomy.
It is composed of a mixture of water, flour, bicarbonate, and salt, which is given a flat and round shape; in the only variant, tifernate is provided the egg as an ingredient. The cooking happens from tradition on a round plate in cast iron said “text,” from which the product’s name.
torta al testo has ancient origins, being born as a non-leavened alternative to traditional bread. There are two variants: the original one with wheat flour and the one with cornflour born after importing this cereal from the Americas.
The baking surface, a disk about 3 cm thick, is called “testo” from the Latin testum, the brick tile on which, in ancient Rome, focaccia was baked. Originally it was made at home by carving large refractory stones or shaping a mixture of clay and excellent gravel; in modern times, it is possible to buy it in cast iron or cement.
Ingredients and preparation
The recipe is composed as follows:
500 grams of flour;
1 pinch of baking soda;
1 pinch of salt;
To prepare the torta al testo, pour the flour into a well on the pastry board, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and water in sufficient quantities to obtain a consistent but soft dough. Cut out a disc of the same diameter as the text, which should then be poked with the prongs of a fork. Heat the pan over the flame and, when the pan is hot, throw a handful of flour on the surface. When it becomes dark, but without burning, the testo will be ready. Arrange the cake and cook it on both sides, and serve it still hot. It can be topped as desired with cold cuts, cheese, herbs, or meats.
Regional Recipe from Umbria
Production area province of Perugia