I’ve been making flatbreads for my clients for years and they’re always the hit of the party. This is easy even in the smallest of kitchens. Buy a large, square pizza stone and store it at the bottom of your oven – below the last shelf on the metal. Not only is it great for pizzas and flatbreads, I roast vegetables, chicken and fish on baking sheets placed on top. It gives me another shelf to work with and helps maintain oven temperature. Just be careful because it will change the heat structure of your oven and the bottom will be hotter than the top.
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Makes 2 flatbreads
If you don’t feel like making your own dough Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have good pre-made dough. Just make sure to let it rise in a loosely covered, well-oiled bowl for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¾ cup warm water (105° F to 115° F)
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Olive oil for bowls
1 head garlic, top ¼ cut off
3 strips thick cut bacon
½ cup olive oil, divided
1 medium sweet onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup dry white wine
½ lb pioppini mushrooms, bottom ends trimmed
1 ½ cups Comté cheese, grated (French Gruyere-like cheese)
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped or chiffonade
Tools: Large pizza stone, pizza paddle
Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Whisk the yeast, warm water and honey together with two tablespoons of flour in a large bowl. Let rest until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture doesn’t foam, throw it away and start again with fresh yeast.)
Add the remaining flour and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the dough comes together in a ball. Kneed the dough for a few minutes in the bowl. Cut the dough in half and drizzle about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of two medium-size mixing bowls. Place one piece of dough in each bowl and roll it around to evenly coat with oil. Cover each bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rest in a draft-free spot for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Place the garlic head on a piece of foil, drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil and wrap tightly. Roast on the top shelf of the oven for 30 to 45 minutes until soft and golden. Cool slightly, then squeeze each clove to remove garlic.
Lay the bacon on a cutting board horizontally and cut it into ¼-inch strips. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden. Using a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion to the bacon fat and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add about 5 cloves of roasted garlic, white wine and salt and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until the onions are a deep golden color. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to the same pan and sauté the mushrooms with a pinch of salt over medium-high heat until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Lightly flour your work surface and scoop the dough out onto it. Cut the dough in half and gently round each piece out. Cover one dough ball loosely with plastic.
Roll the dough into a 1/8-inch thick round with a flour-dusted rolling pin. Lightly cover the pizza paddle with cornmeal and gently lay the dough on top. Slide the paddle back and forth to make sure the dough isn’t sticking anywhere. Cover the flatbread with half of the toppings and shake one more time to make sure you can easily slide the dough off the paddle. If it’s sticking anywhere, lift the dough in that area and add a little more cornmeal under the dough.
Place the paddle at a slight angle with the tip at the back of the pizza stone and gently shake the dough off the paddle onto the stone. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and top with fresh sage. Let the flatbread cool slightly before cutting it.
*Don’t start to make your second flatbread on the pizza paddle while the first one is still in the oven. You can roll out the dough to have it ready, but you will need the paddle to get the first flatbread out of the oven.