Tag Archives: flatbread

Leek, Apple, and Rosemary Flatbread with Chèvre

29 Oct

It may be a little early to start thinking about the holidays, but with two party invitations having come our way in the last week alone, my brain has already started to focus on celebrations, invitations, and that most oft-repeated phrase in my personal RSVP: What can I bring?

Aside from the regular offerings of wine or beer, if time is willing (which, admittedly, it isn’t always), I like to bring a little something homemade to a party. During the full-fledged holiday season, it always seems somehow easier to come up with a proper item to bring. The holidays are a time of rejoicing and unrepentant sugar consumption, so whipping up a batch of cookies or a simple cake never seems inappropriate. But, seeing as how it’s not even Halloween yet, it feels a bit premature to start plying people with sweets already.

Last week I tried out this flatbread for a party offering, and I could not have been happier with how it turned out. I’ve made a similar sort of flatbread before, cobbled together out of a leftover bit of pizza dough and a few bits of this and that, but the end product never seemed as complete as I wanted it to be. Something was missing, I thought. Spying a basket full of apples on our kitchen counter (courtesy of a backyard tree), I was inspired to go in one of my favorite directions: to the place where savory and sweet come together in one tasty package. The savory leeks and earthy rosemary are just delightful with the addition of tender bites of apple, and when combined with creamy goat cheese on top of an olive oil-crisped dough, the result is nothing short of heavenly. It’s a good thing I was only auditioning this flatbread for a future get together. The flatbread you see in these pictures never managed to make it out of the house.

Last Year: Butternut Squash and Dry-Cured Olive Pizza with Ricotta and Chèvre. Well, look at that. The San Francisco Giants just won the World Series again (it is taking all the restraint I have just to not type that in all caps), and, in keeping with my current habit of eating black and orange foods to show my support during their postseason run, here is the very first black and orange food recipe I shared, celebrating the one year anniversary of their previous (and first ever!) World Series win.

Leek, Apple, and Rosemary Flatbread with Chèvre Recipe

This flatbread’s dough is a cinch to throw together, as it requires very little in the way of kneading, and allows time to do most of the work. The dough will need at least three hours to proof at room temperature, but, to be quite honest, the dough really shines brightest when left to proof in the refrigerator overnight. If you mix everything together before you go to bed, place it in the refrigerator, then remove the dough from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you need to use it, you’ll get the most flavorful dough possible.

For the dough:

½ cup warm water

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/3 cup bread flour

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¾ teaspoon rapid-rise yeast

Stir together warm water, olive oil, and honey, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine bread flour, salt, and yeast, and stir to combine thoroughly. Using a sturdy wooden spoon or spatula, stir in water mixture until mixture comes together in a shaggy mass. With the dough still in the bowl, knead the shaggy dough for about 1 minute, until the dough comes together and starts to become smooth. Shape the dough into a ball, drizzle the bowl with a bit of olive oil, then turn the dough around in the oil to coat completely. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then leave the dough on the counter to rise for at least 3 hours (or, preferably, in the refrigerator overnight—just remember to remove the dough from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

For the topping:

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 large leeks, white ends only, rinsed clean, sliced lengthwise, then sliced into half moons

1 large apple, peeled, cored, and diced into ¼-inch chunks

½ heaping tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

2 ounces chèvre

Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange an oven rack in the middle position.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add leeks, and stir to coat evenly in oil. Lower heat to medium-low and cook leeks, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, wilted, and starting to turn golden brown (about 15 minutes). Add diced apples and stir to combine. Cook until apples just begin to release a bit of their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in rosemary, add salt and pepper to taste, then remove pan from heat and set aside to cool just a bit.

Coat the bottom of a 9” by 9” baking pan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Turn room temperature dough out into the oiled pan, and, taking your time so as not to rip the dough, gently coax the dough into a square shape, fitting the dough all along the bottom of the pan. If the dough resists all efforts to be shaped, set the pan aside for a minute or two to allow the dough to rest, then come back and resume your shaping.

When the dough has been shaped in the pan, spoon the leek and apple mixture on top of the dough, leaving a ¼-inch border along the edges of the dough. Evenly crumble the chèvre over the leek mixture. Bake flatbread in center of oven for 14-16 minutes, until the edges of the dough are crisp and dark brown, and the topping is golden.

Remove flatbread from the pan using a flexible spatula. Cool briefly on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Roundup

22 Apr

Good things have been happening over at Indie Fixx, where I write a twice-monthly column called Melting Pot.  These two most recent recipes are fast becoming favorites of mine.

Fig and Manchego Flatbread

The perfect balance of salty and sweet.  Small children have been known to swoon over this bread.

Pear and Apple Kuchen

A wonderful, light cake with a yeasted base and a fruit and streusel topping.  This might become my go-to breakfast pastry.  It is only slightly sweet, and you can let the yeasted dough rise overnight, then assemble and bake everything in the morning.

For the better part of a month, I’ve been staring at this chocolate bunt cake recipe from 101 Cookbooks.  It’s got a generous amount of dark beer in it, along with muscovado sugar and maple syrup.  It has started to haunt me in my sleep, so I think it is only a matter of time before I break down and make it.  Would you look at that slip of chocolate icing resting atop the cake?  I swear to you, I can almost feel myself biting into it.

Everything Flatbread

22 Sep

There need only be the mere mention of a get together or activity, and the very first words blurted out of my mouth are, “What can I bring?”  It’s beyond a habit at this point, I fear, for recently I have been faced with the rather challenging situation of not really having much to physically contribute beyond my ability to create things in the kitchen .

This is, of course, rather perplexing for me.  As someone who has remodeled a kitchen or two, landscaped her own yard, and once tiled a bathroom floor while six months pregnant, the recent realization that I can no longer lift heavy things or reliably handle a shovel has proven to be somewhat sobering.

Of course, it should be pointed out that, technically, I should have stopped lifting heavy things and swinging construction implements long before I made the decision to actually stop doing so, but sometimes it takes me a while to learn.  Maybe not learn, but, you know, listen to my body.  The short version of this story proceeds as such: Ten years ago I was hit by a truck while riding my bike.  I lived to tell the tale, but my back and neck have never been the same.  It took me a while to admit it, but it has finally come to pass that me and physical labor?  We’re no longer friends.  Sure, I still want to lift heavy rocks to build a retaining wall, but I also want to be able to stand upright without crying, so those rocks are just going to have to be moved by someone else.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s a predicament that I find I can overlook somewhat if I just make every effort to contribute in a different way.  You need someone to demo your kitchen?  How about I bring over some snacks and share them with whomever you get to do that with you?  Need to dig up some bushes and move them?  I will make you lemonade.  Over the summer, determined to help my son’s school beautify their new play area without simultaneously crippling my body, I made a similar offering.  You need help moving those wood chips?  Here come the snacks!

The good thing is, as much as people appreciate help with laborious physical tasks, there is hardly a project that does not have room for snacks.  A simple flatbread sprinkled with seeds and a bit of dried onion and garlic will go a long way on a hot afternoon.  Offering a light bite with a familiar taste (in homage to everyone’s favorite standby: the everything bagel) is a good way to pep up spirits that have grown weary with work.  Pair it with some mango lemonade and you might feel just as welcome as someone arriving with a bit more muscle and a lot less neck pain.

Everything Flatbread

Good news!  This flatbread is made from the exact same dough that I use to make pizza.  This means that you can make a batch of flatbread, then have enough dough leftover to pop in the fridge and save for making pizzas another day.

1/3 of a batch of this pizza dough

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

sesame seeds

poppy seeds

caraway seeds

dried onion flakes

granulated garlic

sea salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.  Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sprinkle a very small amount of flour onto the paper.  Place the dough onto the parchment paper, then, using your hands, gently stretch the dough across the entire surface of the baking sheet, coaxing the dough as you go and making certain not to tear it.

When the dough has been sufficiently stretched, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough and, using a spoon or a brush, coat the top of the dough.  If you find that 1 tablespoon of oil is not enough to cover the dough, add the remaining tablespoon.  Sprinkle the top of the dough with the seeds, onion, garlic, and salt.

Bake the dough on the lowered oven rack for 10-15 minutes, until the edges have browned and the top is bubbled and golden in spots.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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