Crispy Flatbread

Flatbread is fast, fun and easy to make. You can top it with almost anything or you can add herbs to the dough to make seasoned crackers.

The reason that flatbread can be made so quickly is that it doesn’t contain yeast, so there’s no waiting around for dough to rise. You just mix, flatten and bake for a delicious appetizer that everyone is bound to like!

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Optional Toppings:

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1 teaspoon sun-dried tomatoes, drained and minced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons
  • Huitlacoche (also spelled cuitlacoche), if you are brave

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a heavy baking sheet or pizza stone on the middle rack.

2. While oven is heating, saute mushrooms 2-3 minutes on medium-high. Remove mushrooms from heat and transfer to a bowl. Saute onions for 3-4 minutes on medium-high until they are softened. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

3. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

4. Roll dough out on a sheet of parchment paper into a 12-inch round (can divide into smaller portion sizes as well). The thinner you roll the dough, the more it will take on the texture of a cracker, so play around with it a little to see what you prefer. As you can see from my picture, the final shape can be rustic instead of perfectly round.

5. Top with cooked mushrooms, goat cheese and onions (or your favorite toppings).

6. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool.

7. While flatbread is cooling, mix mayonnaise and minced sun-dried tomatoes until fully incorporated (I usually do this in a food processor). Dollop or pipe mixture onto flatbread and then add the arugula. Cut flatbread into 1-inch by 3-inch pieces and serve.

Alternatively, you can substitute Huitlacoche (also spelled cuitlacoche) for the mayonnaise mixture. I prefer the sweet flavor of the Huitlacoche but have found that most people do not like the idea of eating a fungus that grows on ears of corn. Maybe I should stop asking…

I adapted this recipe from one that was in July 2008 edition of Gourmet magazine. The difference is that they added 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary to the dough to flavor the flatbread, and the recipe in the magazine did not have any toppings. The reason I didn’t add the rosemary here was that I went the topping route and wanted to focus on those flavors. If you decide to make this recipe without the toppings, brush the rolled dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt prior to baking.

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