Monday, July 11, 2011

Flatbread, sweet, salty and cheesy.


Honey, salt. pepper, cheese and fresh herb — all come together on a crispy flatbread. 

Aren't you curious? Well, I was when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. It was the honey and salt combination that hooked me. I never thought of mixing the two together but the more I thought about it the more I was sure it would taste fantastic. 

I was right. The flatbread was fabulous. Perfect as a scrumptious snack or a delicious dessert or even dinner if you, like me, prefer to eat really light at night.

Flatbreads are mostly unleavened or made without yeast. It's a humble bread made with flour, salt and water. This flatbread from Deb of Smitten Kitchen  is a little less humble as she uses olive oil (a fantastic flavour contributor) for  the dough. And then there is the topping: cheese, honey, parsley (well, Deb used thyme but I had none) and sea salt. 

The recipe makes four flatbreads, each the size of a sheet of A4 paper (or thereabouts, the pieces are irregularly shaped and so this is an estimation). 

I decided to play around with the flavours: while they all had cheese on them (I love cheese and couldn't bear excluding the cheese from the recipe), I used the honey+salt+parsley combination for only one of the flatbread. For the second one, I topped the cheese with some caraway seeds and black pepper. for the third I paired the honey with some dried chilli and parsley and for the final piece, just cheese, parsley, chopped and toasted almonds and pepper. 

They all tasted good but the stand-out was the honey+salt pairing simply because of the complexity of flavours on the crispy bread.

Flatbread with honey, cheese and parsley (and anything else you please)

13/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
5 tbsp honey
sea salt

The flatbread is made completely by hand. Well, and a wooden spoon, briefly. It takes about 30 minutes to make, from start to finish.

First, pre-heat the oven to 220c and put a baking sheet in the middle rack to heat up.

Next, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl till well incorporated. 

Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and the oil.

Using a wooden spoon, gently mix the liquid in with the flour mixture till a dough forms.

Use your hand and form the dough into a ball.

Transfer onto your work surface and knead the dough about four to five times. The dough will be slightly oily.

Divide the dough into four equal portions.

Roll one portion of the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Roll it very thin. Very, very thin: about 1 mm thin. Some portions will be slightly thinner or thicker: that's ok. 

Remove the baking sheet from the oven (remember to use oven mitts!) and slide the parchment onto the sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 5 mins or till the bread is lightly golden.

Remove from over, sprinkle the grated cheese all over and return to the oven for 3-4 mins — the sides should be browned. 

Remove and drizzle the honey all over (as much as you wish), sprinkle the sea salt and parsley. 

Repeat with the other three pieces of dough. You can change the toppings at the end but you may want to add more cheese if you are omitting the honey or else your nuts/caraway/etc may not stick to the bread. 

The flatbread is best eaten warm. If you want to save it for later, remove it from the oven a couple of minutes before it is ready and don't add the toppings yet. Just before it's time to eat them, pop them into a pre-heated oven for 3 mins and then add the toppings.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails