How to make it

  • *
  • For the flatbreads: Assorted toppings (in the photographs: Sweet Onion Marmalade on both--one with mushrooms, black olives, mozzarella and Parmesan. The other adds cooked Italian sausage and roasted red peppers).
  • 1. Make the dough: Whisk together the yeast, water and sugar in a small bowl until combined and let sit until frothy, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add in the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix on medium-high until a ball of dough forms, about 1 minute. Coat a large bowl with olive oil. Lightly flour a work surface, take the dough ball and knead it 4 or 5 times until soft. Place the dough in the prepared bowl and turn to coat the ball all over with the oil. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and sprinkle two large baking sheets with cornmeal. Set aside. Punch down the dough and divide it into 4 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll one dough ball into a large oval (about 6 inches by 15 inches). Transfer the flatbread to the prepared baking sheet (roll the dough around the rolling pin, place on the baking sheet and unroll) and repeat with remaining dough balls. Brush each flatbread with olive oil, top as desired and bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • 3. To make the Sweet Onion Marmalade: In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and cook, stirring (or shaking the pan) occasionally until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, vinegar and thyme, turn up the heat to medium and scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Cook until the liquid has completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  • …from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:
  • * Planning: The basic yeast dough is one you'll love to have in your back pocket for all sorts of variations--you can add in dried herbs or Parmesan cheese; use it for crispy bread sticks calzones, or foccacia. It freezes beautifully for up to 2 months--just defrost in the frig overnight, bring to room temperature, roll out and bake. The Sweet Onion Marmalade is also pretty tasty on sandwiches, burgers and steak!
  • * Product Purity: There's no UnFab Four alert here, so I'll talk about extra-virgin olive oil. Colavita is a great supermarket choice and Olio Santo, an award-winning oil from California's Napa Valley, is a delicious splurge. $28.00 for a 23.5-ounce bottle, available at Williams-Sonoma.
  • * Presentation: I absolutely love how rustic these flatbreads look. They just say "homemade." This is how I like to serve them: on old cutting boards, plopped in the middle of the table or on artisanal bread boards, like the one in the photograph I snagged at Sur La Table. How fun is that?

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