10.02.2006

World Bread Day: Herb Flatbread with Ham, Red Onion and Gruyere

Thanks to Zorra for blogging World Bread Day.

I've been wanting to make a flatbread concoction since Rob found this frozen one at Trader Joe's a month or two back. Flat like a tortilla flat, it was as thin and crispy as matzo, had ham and red onion and was positively smothered in gruyere cheese.
The flatbread recipe itself comes from a NYTimes Dining recipe, originally intended for Stilton-Tomato Pizza. I stole it for this on the advantages that is both a yeast bread and still relatively quick. Plus, no pizza stone required! If you knead the dough in a stand mixer, the thing practically makes itself.
The end result is somewhere between TJ's superthin crisp and what I think of when I think of pizza: the bread doesn't rise all that much, and the edges and bottom have a satisfying crunch that is still decidedly bread and not matzo-like. It's not at all doughy, and entirely scrumptious.


HERB FLATBREAD WITH HAM, RED ONION AND GRUYERE

adapted from the New York Times Dining, July 12, 2006

flatbread
1 packet active dry yeast
1 c water, divided
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
ground black pepper
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning or mixed dried herbs (recommended: thyme)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 c flour

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 red onions, sliced in half moons
2 Tbsp wine or chicken broth
1 tsp dried parsley
~ 6 oz ham steak, cut 1/4" thick and then in matchsticks about a 1/2" long
2 1/2 c shredded gruyere cheese
~ 1/2 c shredded fresh mozzarella

Mix the yeast and sugar with 1/4 c of warm water (110 degrees F) in large bowl. Set aside five minutes until foamy. Stir in 2 Tbsp olive oil, the salt, pepper to taste, and the herbs. Add 3/4 c water and mix.
Mix in 2 c flour. Continue adding flour until dough can be gathered together. Knead with floured hands in the bowl or use the dough hook on a stand mixer (be careful not to overmix if using the mixer), adding more flour as needed, until dough is smooth, elastic, and just a bit sticky. Put dough in a bowl brushed with oil, cover with a clean towel and set aside until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Oil or spray with nonstick cook spray an 11x17 jellyroll pan or rimmed baking pan.
While the dough rises, heat the other 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened a bit but not browned. Add the wine or broth, sprinkle the parsley and some salt and pepper over to taste, and briefly increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring, until the onions have absorbed some of the liquid and softened a bit more. Remove from heat.
In a separate smaller skillet cook the ham matchsticks over medium-heat just briefly until they are fragrant and warm. Do not brown.
Preheat the oven to 500 F with the rack in the lowest position. Punch the dough down. Roll and stretch the dough on a lightly floured board (like the back of a large cutting board) to fit pan, leaving the border just a smidgen thicker than the middle. Put dough in the oiled pan.
Mix the cheeses together and spread a thin layer, about a cup or so, over the dough, leaving a border bare. Spoon and spread on the red onions, then sprinkle the ham over. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake about 20 minutes or until crust is brown.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Ellie said...

Oh yum!! Sounds like you and I have a pretty similar idea of the perfect flatbread/pizza base - crisp and crunchy with little or none of that doughiness! This looks delightful and easy - must give this a try. Also need to get off my butt and try something for bread day :P

11:37 PM  
Blogger emily said...

I know Ellie - I saw your pizzas a while back!
I'm all about the crunchy crust - I've found it reheats well at 350 for 10 min to gain it back after being refrigerated.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Yummy - this sounds really good. I'm definitely trying this one - perfect for dinner.

10:06 AM  

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