recipe

flatbreads with honey and salt

I love bread in any form. Baguettes, batards, white breads, Parker House rolls, tortillas, English muffins, pita, pizzas, lavash, etc. While most people feel at ease when they’re eating something rich, salty, and/or sweet, my comfort food is carbs. So naturally, when I saw this pop up in my feed reader this evening, I had to try it.

I made a few changes. Lacking thyme and mahon cheese, I made my flatbreads with just honey and salt (I used some fleur de sel, but you could use kosher or sea salt). The sweet-salty complement makes these perfect for a light dessert (or cheese course accompaniment, as Deb points out) or an afternoon snack. If you want something more neutral, leave out the honey. If you want something with more flavor, make the original version with thyme and Spanish cheese. Or experiment — I bet you could mix in some whole wheat flour (I would do 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour), or some cornmeal (same proportions as for whole wheat) for a nuttier, more interesting texture. You could top each one with a smear of light tomato sauce and grated cheese for a light pizza (don’t go overboard with the toppings, though – you want to retain the crisp, airy integrity of this bread). You could even spread a thin layer of jam and some goat cheese for a more straightforward dessert.

The key here is that it’s dead simple. You will need some parchment paper, though. You can get parchment at any grocery store. I bought a huge box of it at the restaurant supply store 4 years ago and I’ve still only made a tiny dent in it. In fact, if you are in the Seattle area and come to my house, I will give you parchment for free. That’s how much I want you to make this flatbread.

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(Sorry about the weird light in the last one. I need to learn about white balance, apparently).

Flatbreads with Honey and Salt

adapted, barely, from Smitten Kitchen (see also her original flatbread recipe here, which came from Gourmet Magazine, R.I.P.). Makes 16 breads.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus a few more teaspoons for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt OR 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
about 1/3 cup honey – but don’t measure it out, since you will be drizzling each bread to taste
big grains of salt – either kosher or sea salt

Directions

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees and place a baking sheet in the middle rack.

Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the water and olive oil and continue to mix until a light dough comes together. With your hands, knead this a few times until it’s silky smooth. Divide it into 4 equal balls and set 3 of them aside.

Lay out a piece of parchment and sprinkle very lightly with flour. Place a ball of dough and another piece of parchment on top and roll out as thin as possible (don’t worry about the shape). Drizzle all over with honey – use as much or as little as you like.

When the oven is preheated, take the baking sheet out of the oven and slide the dough, parchment and all, onto the sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges.

Remove from the oven, and slide the parchment and bread onto a wire rack. Sprinkle with salt and cut into 4 or 6 pieces. Repeat with the other 3 balls of dough.

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