Flatbread--Perfect for the First Night of Summer
I made flatbread for the first time last night, and it turned out to be the perfect impromptu summer dinner.
I started with a simple home-made pizza crust. It's almost impossible to buy packets of yeast in stores, but a few weeks ago, my daughter scored a packet from a friend. Her friend had bought yeast packaged in Turkey in a local store. I could not read the label (I actually studied Turkish decades ago), but I assumed it was equivalent to the yeast packets I usually buy, and used 2 teaspoons to make dough. I added 1. 75 cups of warm water to the bowl of my stand mixer, put the yeast in the bowl to dissolve for a few minutes, added salt and olive oil and then the 4.5 cups of flour. I stirred the dough with the stand mixer for 5 minutes, and was hoping to remove the dough and kneed it for 3 minutes as directed, but friends of mine arrived for our planned socially-distanced cocktail hour on our outside deck, and I did not have time to kneed it. I left the sticky dough in the bowl, enjoyed 1.5 hours outside with my friends (I had not seen them in person since February) and returned to my kitchen to find that the dough had risen on its own, filling the bowl. It was still pretty sticky, but I was able to remove it, and kneed it on a floured surface for a few minutes. I then cut it into 4 pieces, and placed each piece in parchment paper and then in the refrigerator.
While waiting for the dough to cool a little, I prepared the flatbread topping. I had bought a very fresh burrata at the farmers market that morning, so I removed the cheese from the container and cut it into slices. I then washed and halved about 1 cup of cherry tomatoes and picked a handful of basil from my garden. I put the cheese, tomatoes and basil in a bowl, poured a few more tablespoons of olive oil on top and added salt and pepper. Then I removed a section of dough from the refrigerator, and easily rolled it into a sort of uneven oval--I am not a crust perfectionist--placed it on a greased cookie sheet and baked it at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. As soon as the flatbread was ready, I removed it from the oven, placed it on a plate and topped it with tomato, cheese and basil mixture. The combination of home-made dough, farmers market cheese and garden-fresh basil all came together to make a simple and tasty dinner, the perfect way to welcome in the first night of summer.
Here are the recipes I used: