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Sweet Quince bread

Recipe by Paola

Schiacciata (sweet quince bread) is best eaten on the same day as it is made.

  • 250g plain flour
  • 4 g instant dried yeast
  • 200 ml tepid water
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 medium sized quince
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 40g raw caster sugar
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • honey for drizzling (to taste)
  1. To make the dough, place the flour and yeast in a bowl and whisk briefly. Using your hands, incorporate the water, about 20ml at a time (you do not need to be precise), mixing well with your hands after each addition until it is incorporated. The dough will become very sticky when you have added all the water. Add the teaspoon of EVOO and the salt last of all, again mixing it in with your hands. Use a silicone scraper to clean the sides of the bowl (and your hands) and cover the bowl of dough with cling film. Place in a warm draught-free spot for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  3. Start preparing the quince when the dough is just about ready to use. Quarter, core then peel, and cut the fruit into thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl and toss in the vanilla bean paste, mixing it through as much as possible. Set aside.
  4. Divide the dough in two (one slightly larger than the other) and collect the larger portion with well-oiled hands and stretch it onto a well oiled tray (on a sheet of baking paper on the tray if you like), and stretch it out as much as possible to a square using your fingers. Mine measured approximately 22 cm by 22 cm. Arrange half the sliced quince onto the dough, leaving a narrow border free of fruit, then scatter on half the cinnamon, half the sugar and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the EVOO. Pick up the remaining dough and stretch it out between your hands as much as you can by holding one edge and allowing the other to fall and then turning it a quarter turn quickly and repeating. Lay the stretched dough over the fruit and stretch it further using your finger tips until it nears the edge of the first layer of dough. Fold the bottom layer slightly over the upper layer so that the quince slices inside the schiacciata are sealed. Layer on the last of the quinces, scatter on the rest of the cinnamon, the sugar and the remaining of EVOO.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and eat warm or cold, drizzled with honey just before serving.
  6. Schiacciata (sweet quince bread) is best eaten on the same day as it is made.

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