Friday, January 20, 2012

Mediterranean Flatbread

Last night, I woke up in a panic not knowing where I was.  Maybe that's a result of not having been in my own bed for over 2 weeks.  I've never been a good sleeper though.  Well after I woke up, I got up to get water or what have you and upon trying to walk back in my room ran straight into the vacuum cleaner.  Y'all, I think my heart stopped.  Note to self: Don't leave the vacuum in front of your door.  It will give you palpitations.  Then I ended up knocking over my water glass.  I was just a mess.

Anyhow, I've found my new favorite food.  Flatbread.  It's like pizza that doesn't get soggy.  You can top it any which way you like, and it's a cinch to make.
On the reals, this stuff reheats waaaay better than pizza, even in the microwave.  Let's get it started, yo.

I used bread flour for this, which I think helped the consistency of the dough after it baked.  The original recipe uses all-purpose flour, so it definitely works if you don't want to buy flour you don't think you'll use.  The other ingredients are: baking powder, salt, oil (grapeseed in my case), oregano (or the herb of your choice), and water.
The most prep you have to do is chopping the herbs.  You want about a tablespoon.
Whisk together the flour, herbs, baking powder, and salt.
 Make a well in the center.
Add the oil and water to the well, then gently mix the ingredients together until they've just combined. This is one of the times you need a wooden spoon.
Knead the dough on your work surface four or five times.  You're done!  Well...sort of.  If you're not using the dough right away, go ahead and cover that business up with some plastic wrap.  The best part is that this doesn't need to proof, so you can go on and make your flatbreads!
I wanted a Mediterranean style flatbread, so I reduced some balsamic vinegar, natch.  This is about 1/2 cup.  Sprinkle in a pinch of sugar and let it sit on medium heat until it reduces by about half into a viscous syrup.
Slice half of a red onion thinly because we're about to make red onion jam.
Toss your onions into a pan that's been heating oil.  Cook them over medium heat until soft and translucent.
Sprinkle in some sugar and stir it around the onions.  Cook for about another minute.
Add some red wine and red wine vinegar.  Bring it to a boil and then immediately reduce it to a simmer.  Let this cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
Let's put together the flatbread.  Divide your dough into 3 equal balls.  On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough until it's super-thin.  Like 1/8 of an inch, if that.  It doesn't need to be round, just thin. Call it rustic.  Rub a teaspoon of oil over the top.
Top it with whatever your heart desires.  I used feta cheese, sliced yellow bell pepper, chopped cherry pepper, chopped Kalamata olives, chopped peppadews, and the red onion jam.  Um, the onion jam hadn't made it onto the pizza at this point.
Bake that business 10-12 minutes, until the edges are brown.  It might puff up a little in places because there is baking powder in there after all, but it won't have the same feeling as pizza dough.  Cool the flatbread another 2-3 minutes on a wire rack.
I ate a whole one myself, and it was plenty with a salad.  Remember the balsamic vinegar we reduced? Drizzle it artfully over the flatbread.  It adds this wonderful mixture of sweetness and tartness that just makes this whole thing wonderful.
This is a different one I made with roasted tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, mozzarella, and red onion.  You can see exactly how thin it is.  This really comes together in no time, and you can use whatever you have in the fridge.  It's a dream for a weeknight dinner.  If you have leftovers, it reheats superbly in a toaster oven or a microwave without going way limp on you.

Mediterranean Flatbread (makes 3 flatbreads)
Dough adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 3/4 c bread flour (all-purpose may be used)
1 tbs chopped oregano
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c water
1/3 c oil (grapeseed or olive oil work best), plus more for brushing
Red onion jam (recipe follows)
1/4 c chopped Kalamata olives
4 cherry peppers, chopped (another hot pepper may be substituted)
4 peppadews, chopped (another sweet pepper may be substituted)
1 c feta cheese
Reduced balsamic vinegar, drizzled (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 450º.  Put a heavy baking sheet on the middle rack.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oregano, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the water and oil.  Gently stir the liquid into the flour until a dough forms.  Knead the dough on your work surface 4-5 times.  Divide dough into 3 even balls.  Cover with plastic wrap if not using immediately.
  • Roll dough out on a piece of parchment paper until it's super-thin, about 10".  Brush dough with a teaspoon of oil (or let's be real, rub it on with your fingers like I did).  Sprinkle red onion jam, olives, peppers, and feta cheese onto each dough round.  Transfer parchment to hot baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are brown and crispy. (Do not reuse parchment paper)  Drizzle with reduced balsamic syrup and serve warm.

Red Onion Jam (makes enough for 3 flatbreads)
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 tsp oil (grapeseed or olive)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs dry red wine
  • Heat oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat.  Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.  Add sugar and stir.  Cook about 1 minute more.  Add red wine vinegar and red wine, turn heat up to medium-high.  Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Cook until the liquid has evaporated.  Use on flatbread, hamburgers, or anything needing a sweet onion kick.

No comments:

Post a Comment