Torta sul Testo

(Adapted from La Cucina Umbria by Rita Boini)

Torta sul testo is a specialty of the province of Perugia in Umbria. Torta sul testo are disks of dough which are heated on a testo. The original testo was an earthenware plate placed over hot coals, thus serving as a cooking surface. A modern day testo is made of ghisa (cast iron), or a combination of alloys, placed directly on the range top. (A heavy well-seasoned black cast-iron pan may be used as a substitute.) Today, torta sul testo are made using bicarbonate (baking powder) or lievito (yeast), and may also be hearth or oven baked.


3 3/4 Cup Unbleached all-purpose flour (500 grams)
2 Tsp. Baking Powder-Trace
1 Tsp. Salt (5 grams)
1 1/3 Cups Water (325 grams


Pour the flour on the work surface forming a fountain. Add the baking powder, salt, and enough water to form a soft dough. Gently knead the dough until it feels smooth. Allow the dough to rest for 15-20 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll or stretch each piece of dough into a 10 – 12 inch disk. Riddle riddling each disk with the tines of a fork. Heat a heavy well-seasoned black cast-iron pan on the range top. Test the heat of the pan by letting a little flour fall on its surface. When the flour becomes dark, without burning, the pan is ready to use. When the pan is hot, place a disk of dough on its surface. Let the disk heat well on one side and then turn it over. The dough is ready when little charred bubbles form on the surface of each side. Cook each disk in this manner, stacking the cooked torta sul testo in a towel so that they stay warm.

Serve torta sul testo plain and cut into wedges as a bread substitute. Torta sul testo may also be served with each wedge cut horizontally (to within approximately one-inch of the edge) and filled with such items as cheese, sausage, prosciutto, salami and sautéed greens such as spinach or chard.

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Last updated on: 10/07/01 11:10:56 PM