Easy Easter Cake

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is a specialty typical of Florence that can be found there during the first months of the year, especially during Lent. This cake is the quintessential Florentine dessert because it is based on olive oil and is simple and healthy.
This recipe is from my mother and, like every recipe, hides some little secrets. This one has three:
1. It must be baked on a very ordinary iron oven tray, not an aluminum one.
2. As soon as you have prepared the mixture and have laid it out, put it in the oven, immediately!
3. Make sure the oven is at the right temperature before you start cooking because the preparation only takes a few minutes.
This cake is simple to make but the decoration is what makes it impressive: an egg with a bow if you do it for Easter, or with a Lily of Florence on any other occasion. The Easter egg design you see here may look hard, but it’s as easy to do as the schiacciata!  Just click here to download the stencil.
Schiacciata alla Fiorentina
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons

extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra
2 eggs
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 1⁄4-ounce package instant yeast
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 cups whole milk
confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly brush a 9-by-13-inch pan with olive oil and sprinkle with flour. Shake the flour around the pan so that there are no spots left uncovered and tap to remove any excess. Place the eggs, sugar, orange zest, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk until well combined. Add the olive oil and milk in a slow, steady stream and mix until combined. Add the flour and mix until a smooth batter is reached. Pour the batter into the pan and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the schiacciata is golden and springs back when touched. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, using a stencil, if desired, and serve. Serves 10

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