Don’t get me wrong, the flat bread recipe I’ve posted makes for a fine bit of flattened bread – and not a too, too bad ‘za! dough, either – but this flat bread is a more better suited to slicing in half, then filling with goodies – like this caprese version with parsley pistachio pesto, sliced tomato, and fresh mozzarella.
The recipe’s general method (from the nice folk at Food Network) is different from others I’ve tried and posted, too, and I’m thinking it might be a keeper.
Note: this recipe is not fast, with three rises and rests before you can bake, but recall that just because a dough may be well and truly risen in an hour or so, you don’t have to be there to deal with it right then. Two, or three, or even four hours will be fine; so do what I did, start the dough early in the day, then go about your errands and come back to it as you can.
•1-1/2 cup warm (105º to 110º) water
•2-1/4 tsp yeast
•1/8 tsp sugar
•3+ cups flour
•1 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp seasoned salt
•2 tbsp+ extra-virgin olive oil
•Additional coarse sea salt
Whisk 3 cups of the flour together with the seasoned and sea salts in a bowl and set aside.
Combine the yeast and sugar with the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and let rest for ten minutes or so, until the yeast is foamy.
Add the olive oil and the salted flour to the yeast and, using the dough hook, mix on low until you have a smooth dough – I added another 1/2 cup of flour at this point and let the mixer knead it for ten minutes.
The dough was smooth, but quite sticky, that’s normal.
Gather the dough into a ball, cleaning the sides of the mixing bowl as well as you can, then stash the ball in the bottom of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and stash in a warm spot to rise until doubled, as noted above, it’ll probably be good to go in an hour, but if you aren’t – no worries.
I got back to mine about four hours later, punched the bubble-filled and still kinda sticky dough down, then turned the dough out onto a lightly floured board.
Knead the dough by hand for five minutes or so, adding additional flour as needed to make a smooth, not sticky dough.
Shape the dough into a ball, pop it back into the mixing bowl, and recover with the plastic wrap. Stash it again in that warm spot, and let it rise for 90 minutes, or until it has again doubled in size.
Stay with me here, we’re only one, last 90 minute rise, and then a pretty quick baking time from a couple of nice flat breads.
Brush two baking pans with olive oil.
Divide the dough in two and roll each half into a rectangle, roughly 8×14 inches.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pans and let them rest, uncovered, for 90 minutes, until a crust has formed over the top of the dough.
After 40 minutes, set your oven to 475º and place your pizza stone on the bottom rack while the dough continues to rest. You’ll want a very hot oven and stone when you are ready to bake.
Once the dough has that nice crust over the top and your oven and stone are both nicely warmed and heated through, poke your fingertip through the crust to dimple it all over, then give the dough a little stretch.
Brush the top with olive oil, and, if you like, sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt.
Bake the dough, one baking sheet at a time, first placing a sheet directly on the pizza stone for seven minutes, then moving the baking pan to the middle rack and continuing to bake for another five minutes or so, until the flat bread is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and repeat with the second flat bread.
Serve at once (it is really good), or set aside to cool, then stash in a zipper bag. You can keep the flat bread for a day or so, any longer than that, I’d suggest stashing the zipper bag in the freezer.
Quite good as it is, but our plans for this batch involved that caprese combo of fresh mozz, sliced tomatoes, and the parsley and pistachio pesto.
Which I will tell you all about…
tomorrow, so you have plenty of time today to get started on your bread!