This recipe makes 3-4 rounds of crisp pizza-like flatbread. You can freeze them, or split them for bistro style panini sandwiches or serve them with cheese and hot marinara sauce. If you have a larger pizza stone, start this recipe on parchment paper and then mid-way through baking, shuffle off the parchment paper, allowing the flatbread to finish baking directly on the stone. For best results, keep the dough soft and slack. It might be harder to handle but it makes a better bread. I often make this without the tomatoes and/or use black olives.
4-5 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups, or more, warm water
¼ cup olive oil
1-2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
Crushed garlic (4-6 large cloves)
½ cup approximately, minced fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, parsley
Semolina or cornmeal
Generously drizzle olive oil in 4 8 or 9 inch layer pans. Dust with semolina and set aside. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place pans on baking sheet.
In a mixer bowl, stir flour and yeast together and then add in remaining ingredients, adding in only as much flour as to make a loose battery, dough. Mix with the paddle attachment, on slowest speed of mixer, for 4-5 minutes. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let stand 20 minutes.
Then resume kneading, only adding in as much flour as required to make a very slack dough, about 5-8 minutes. It should be very soft or loose but have some body or elasticity to it. If it is too tight and bouncy, then slowly drizzle in additional warm water to loosen the dough.
Remove the dough hook and cover the mixing bowl and machine with a large, clear plastic bag. Spray the dough with nonstick cooking spray and let rise about 2-4 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Divide dough among prepared pans, gently stretching out to fit pans but not unnecessarily deflating the dough. Stretch, allowing dough to rest for a few minutes, to coax to fit the pan. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
Make dimples or little indents on the top of the dough and lightly press in cherry tomatoes in the indents, drizzle on olive oil, and dust with black pepper and fresh herbs.
Bake until browned, about 25-30 minutes.
Makes 2-3 flatbreads
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