Sunday, January 12, 2014

Restaurant Style Flatbreads

Whenever we go out to eat we always order a couple of flatbreads to share.  I love how they come out with that cracker thin crust and had been wanting to make them at home.   One thought that crossed my mind was putting the dough through my pasta roller.  Thankfully I did not have to go that far.  I found this fantastic gem of a recipe that comes out perfect every time.  It rolls out cracker thin with ease.

We just love making these for dinner!  The whole family gets involved and my daughters love it because they can put whatever they like on theirs.  Then we all try each others creations and decide whose we like the best!  Obviously the topping ideas are endless.  Indeed I will look at menus online of some of my favorite restaurants and their flatbreads to come up with toppings to serve at home.  I set up bowls with all kinds of things so everyone can customize their flatbread.

By the way - these flatbreads cost at least $10 each at your favorite restaurant so I just saved you at least $40 depending on the toppings you choose!

My dough recipe is changed only very slightly from the one here:

I would normally simply list the changes but I am adding the recipe here with my changes because we love this recipe.  I have had the misfortune of loving a recipe and then going to my bookmarked page only to find the site has been taken down.  So, I will place it here where I always know I can find it.

I weigh my flour.  Weighing gives the most consistent results.  I highly recommend a kitchen scale.  I have increased the rosemary in my recipe because I love it and I have decreased the olive oil and it comes out perfect.

Flatbread Dough

  • 2 ½ cups bread flour (300 grams)
  • 2 tsp bread machine or rapid rise yeast 
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbls fresh rosemary, minced
  • ¾ cup wheat beer or pale ale
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbls olive oil
    Put all of the ingredients into a bread machine and put it through the dough cycle. 
    If you do not want to use a bread machine, heat the beer to 120 degrees.  Add remaining ingredients, mix and then kneed until smooth.  Set aside, covered, for an hour to rise.
    While the dough is rising prepare your toppings.  Here are some ideas:

    sautéed onions, diced tomatoes, kale, spinach, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, steak, cooked and crumbled sausage, pepperoni, shrimp, blue cheese, boursin cheese, shredded cheese, balsamic syrup and the list goes on....
    When you are ready to make your flatbreads preheat the oven to 500.  Take the dough and punch it down.  Cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes.  (This is necessary to help it relax and make it easier to roll out).  After 5 minutes divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. 
    Mix 3 crushed garlic cloves with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
    Grease 3 large baking sheets and sprinkle them with cornmeal.  On a large board sprinkled with a little flour roll out the dough into long flatbreads.  Place 2 long flatbreads on each baking sheet.

    Brush each flatbread with some of the garlic olive oil.
    Top as desired.
    Place 2 baking sheets at a time in the oven.  After 5 minutes switch the top and bottom sheets.  ( I also turn them so the back side is now in front.  If you are only baking one move it from the bottom to the top and turn it after 5 minutes for even baking.
    Bake 5 more minutes.  Enjoy!

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Meyer Lemon Curd

    This past week winter was felt everywhere including here in sunny Florida with temperatures dipping into the low 30's Monday night!  The weather is warming up though but in the meantime you can do like I do and head into the kitchen and cook.  It will keep you warm!  Plus I have the perfect thing to bring some sunshine into winter and that is lemon curd.  Indeed right now Meyer Lemons are in season.  One of my neighbors has a beautiful tree laden with fruit and offered some to me.  So I made Meyer Lemon curd with it and it is fantastic. 

    Although I used Meyer Lemons for this batch you can make this with any kind of lemon or other citrus.  I absolutely love this recipe which I have adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.  It is creamy and bursting with lemon flavor and it is so easy to make.  I added a sprig of rosemary to mine while it cooked for a gentle hint of flavor.

    You can use it on toast or scones.  I have used it as a filling in cakes and for lemon tarts and as a topping on lemon cheesecake.  It is just so versatile!  Please give it a try. 

    A few tips before I begin the recipe:  Leave the lemons on the counter as a room temperature lemon will yield more juice.  Grate the lemons first while they are still whole.

    Meyer Lemon Curd
    Yield 2 cups

    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind, yellow part only
    1 4-5 inch sprig of fresh rosemary
    2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 tablespoons heavy cream

    Put the sugar, eggs and lemon rind in a sauce pan and stir to thoroughly blend.  Add the rosemary.

    Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. 

    Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice, butter and cream.  Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble.  Remove the rosemary.

    Pour the lemon curd into clean jars and put in the fridge. It will thicken up as it chills.