Carta di Musica
Carta di Musica is a Mediterranean flatbread. Hearing that, you're probably thinking "pita," but Carta di Musica is anything but. The name carta di musica in Italian literally means, "paper of music," which refers to the appearance of the cooked bread: paper-thin, golden-brown sheets. Some have also offered the explanation that sheet music may be read through a properly thin slice of the bread. Whatever the origin, you'll find Carta di Musica a real treat and a great appetizer that can accompany fruit or a wide variety of cheeses.
|1 1/2 c.||unbleached flour|
|1 1/2 c.||fine semolina flour|
|1 c.||warm water|
|2 1/4 tsp.||active dry yeast (equiv. to 1 pkg.)|
|1 tsp.||sea salt|
| ||olive oil|
| ||crushed rosemary & sea salt to taste|
You may prepare Carta di Musica either with a baking tile / pizza stone or on a plain cookie sheet. I find the pizza stone cooks them more quickly and generally yields better results.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. If you are going to use a pizza stone, place it in the oven at this time so it will be fully heated by the time the dough is ready.
- Mix 1/4 c. of the warm water with the yeast in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes until frothy. Meanwhile, mix the remaining 3/4 c. warm water with the sugar in a large glass bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture.
- Gradually stir in the semolina, unbleached flour, and sea salt, sifted 1 c. at a time, mixing well. Depending on the humidity, you may need to vary the amount of flour slightly; the dough should be springy but not tough or sticky. Knead the dough about ten times, then set aside in a warm, dark place to rise for about an hour.
- Punch down the dough and give it a quick kneading, then divide it into eight to ten balls of roughly equal size. Take one ball and roll it out on a floured surface to a thickness of about an eighth of an inch; make it slightly thinner for more traditional, crispier, cracker-like bread. Brush one side generously with olive oil. If you don't have an oil mister or canned olive oil spray, go ahead and brush the other side now as well.
- Place one flattened ball, oil-side down, onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Mist the other side with olive oil. Let bake about 3 minutes, until the surface is blistered (some brown spots are okay). You may need to increase the baking time if you are using a cookie sheet instead of a pizza stone. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Sprinkle one side of the baked bread generously with sea salt and crushed rosemary to taste.
You may reheat the bread if necessary, misting lightly with olive oil first; this will result in crispier bread. The traditional recipe calls for very thin, crispy bread, but most people seem to prefer the thicker, chewier version I make.
The crispy version will keep in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. The chewier version should be served immediately and will be best for the first couple of hours after preparation.
Servings as Prepared: 16
Serving Size: 1/2 baked sheet of bread
Carta di Musica is a good source of iron and thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin (vitamins B1, 2, and 3.) It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free as prepared.