Flat bread, focaccia, call it what you will…this is one fine way to serve up your own custom bread treat at your next munchies gathering.
My go-to toppings are sea salt, Tellicherry, and Aleppo peppers, but you could add rosemary, thinly-sliced tomato, any thing you prefer. I actually tried a sweet version to go along with this savory version at our last gathering, and it was nice – tho’ I was also playing with cooking temps and times, so it came out a bit extra crispity…
•3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, +1/4 cup
•1/2 cup rye flour
•1 tsp seasoned salt
•1 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp Tellicherry pepper
•1-1/2 cup warm water (110º)
•2 tsp yeast
•1 tsp honey
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1/2 cup sugar
•2 tbsp cinnamon
A note (or two) on the dough: This recipe makes enough dough for two 13×9 pans of flat bread. The additional flour called for may or may not be needed – it depends on the day. This last batch required three tablespoons of water and just 1 tablespoon of flour to come together.
Whisk together the 3-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and the rye flour with the salt and the pepper in a bowl and set aside.
Add the honey, warm water, and the yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer and let rest for 15 minutes, until the mixture is foamy and frothy, like this.
Add the olive oil and 3 cups of the flour mixture to the yeast and, using the bread hook, stir on low (I used setting two of twelve on mine) for two minutes.
With the mixer still on low, add the remaining flour, by tablespoonfulls, until the dough pulls away from the side of the mixing bowl and begins to cling to the dough hook – this is where I usually end up adding additional flour, up to 1/2 cup – tho’ this time I just needed one tablespoon of flour and three of water.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead the dough for four minutes, until it is smooth and elastic and has pretty much totally cleaned the sides of the mixing bowl.
Bonus! Because the kneading process has cleaned most of the dough bits off the mixing bowl, you can use this same bowl for rising.
Remove the dough from the hook and shape into a ball. Lightly coat the mixing bowl with olive oil and return the dough ball to it, turning to oil all sides.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 90 minutes to four hours, whatever works for your schedule. As long as the dough has doubled in size, you’re good to go, but if you allow it extra rising time, you may find that you get a more developed flavor.
Brush two 13 x 9 baking pans lightly with olive oil.
Punch the risen dough down and let rest for ten minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide in two. Return one half to the bowl and roll out the other into a rectangle.
Transfer the rolled out dough to one of the baking pans, then flip the dough so that both sides are lightly coated in olive oil, and lightly stretch it to fill the pan.
Poke the dough all over with your fingertips to dimple it.
Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Heat oven to 250º.
Lightly sprinkle one pan of dough with the sea salt and peppers, and the other with the cinnamon sugar (or whatever toppings you prefer).
Lightly cover both pans with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Note: I tried scoring, well, cutting, my dough into rough squares after adding the toppings and it came out OK, but next time I will just cut it after baking.
Bake on the center rack for 25 to 30 minutes, until the bread is lightly browned, but keep an eye on it, whether it was because I had pre-sliced the bread or because of the cinnamon sugar, my sweet flat bread came out a bit, ermmm, extra crispity, in parts. Still tasty, though.
The savory flat bread, however, came out practically perfect in every way. I like mine with a dab o’ cream cheese, Mehran likes his with feta (well, he likes just about everything with feta), and it goes nicely with either Dirty Martini Cheese Spread.
As for the sweet flat bread… next time, I think mebbe I’ll dredge some sliced apple or pears in the cinnamon sugar sprinkle those over the top.