The first time I ever tasted "Roman bread" was at Monti's la Casa
Vieja in Tempe, Arizona. I vowed to find a good recipe and tweak it to my liking,
and this is the result.
1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 2/3 to 3 cups flour
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Fresh or dried rosemary leaves
Dissolve yeast in water. Let stand until bubbly. Stir in sugar, salt and
olive oil. Add 2 cups flour and eat until elastic. Stir in 2/3 cup more flour.
Knead for 10 to 15 minutes.
Put into a greased bowl. Turn over to coat well. Cover and let rise for
Heat 1/4 cup oil. Add garlic and cook until soft and yellow. Set aside.
Punch dough down and knead briefly. Roll with a rolling pin and stretch
to fit a greased 15 x 10-inch cookie sheet (with sides). Pierce dough with the
end of a wooden spoon at 1-inch intervals. Drizzle garlic and oil all over.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and rosemary. Let rise, covered, for 10 to 15
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes.
Rosemary: Just before baking, dimple the top of the dough and drizzle with
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
and a sprinkling of fresh or dried rosemary leaves.
Provencale: After the dough is stretched into the pan, stir together 1 can
plum tomatoes (drained and chopped) and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil. Spread
the mixture over the dough. Cover with a towel and let rise until puffy, about
Dimple the dough again and top with 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1 can
sliced black olives, 4 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 tablespoons olive oil and
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt.