Since it is summer, and it is hot, my blog posts, meals, and entire kitchen have been put on the back burner (or better yet, not on a burner at all…just forgotten about entirely). It seems to be fresh fruit and cold salads all around our honeyed home for this particular time of year. Although, there is one upside to this season’s climate, and it is a good one at that. It just so happens that an average temperature of 80º in your home isn’t exactly ideal for comfort, but transpires to be the pinnacle temperature for bread dough. That is why I was determined to make my next post all about the perfect process of raising dough. I honestly adore the entire experience and believe that making bread is truly a satisfying art. The evolution of the bread dough is incredible to watch and really makes you feel that you have made something worth recognizing.
My first flatbread dough was made from Sara and Hugh Forte’s book The Sprouted Kitchen. She makes a flatbread with pears and arugula that is just divine and includes fascinating detail about the dough rising technique. This recipe is inspired by hers in that book, which I am telling you, you must buy (if you haven’t already). I am completely obsessed with Cambozola cheese these days and have been pairing it with fresh fig slices on cheese plates at home. I decided that two are such a perfect pair that they needed to be incorporated on another level. I hope that enjoy this as much as we did.
*If you do not have the time and resources available for homemade dough, please feel free to purchase the already made pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. This option is perfect for times when you are in a pinch, but please remember to grill on a grill pan before adding toppings to ensure that the dough is cooked all the way through.
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp honey
- 1.5 cups unbleached AP flour
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 TBSP fresh thyme leaves
- 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
- 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- sea salt & black pepper (about 1/2 tsp each)
- 10 fresh figs, stems removed and sliced thin
- 2-3 TBSP fig jam
- 7 oz Cambozola, crumbled & rind removed from all sides (or any other blue cheese you like)
- 2 TBSP flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1. Put the active yeast in a small bowl with honey and 1/4 cup of warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes and you should begin to see the yeast bubbling a bit. Mix the flours, thyme leaves, and salt in a large glass bowl. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil to the flour mixture and combine. Add 1 cup warm water and knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth. Brush the dough with a bit more olive oil and cover the bowl with a dish towel and let sit for at least one hour. The dough should rise and double in size.
- 2. Once the dough has risen, punch the dough to remove the air pockets and knead it a couple more times. Put the dish towel back over the bowl and let it rise for another hour.
- 3. This time, divide the dough in 2 parts and roll into balls and place them back into the bowl and cover with a dishtowel to rise for another hour.
- 4. After the dough balls have risen for the third time, preheat your grill pan to a medium-high heat. Roll the dough balls out on a floured surface as thinly as possible. Pay no mind if they are not perfectly rectangle, the more imperfect they look, the more rustic and homemade it appears.
- 5. Place onto the heated grill pan and grill for about 1.5-2 minutes on each side and there are visible grill marks. Set them aside on wire racks to cool before adding toppings. Preheat the broiler. (I only used one of the flatbreads for the toppings since it is just my husband and I. I put the other grilled flatbread into a ziplock bag and then into the freezer to use at a later time.)
- 1. Caramelize the onions when there is about 25 minutes left for the last rise of the flatbread dough. Heat 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the thin onion slices and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper. Sauté for about 15 minutes or until nice and golden in color. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and sauté the onions and vinegar for another 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set the onions aside.
- 2. Spread the fig jam in a thin layer all over the grilled flatbread (make sure to go all the way to the edges). In an even layer, top with the caramelized onions, Cambozola crumbles, and fresh fig slices. Place the flatbread on a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. The cheese should be melted, the figs caramelized, and the dough thoroughly cooked through. Place on a wire rack to cool slightly for about 3 minutes and prevent the dough from being soggy.
- 3. Top the flatbread with fresh flat leaf parsley, slice, and serve immediately!
- *This recipe makes 2 grilled flatbreads, each of which can be cut into 10 slices. Since it is only myself and my husband, I put the other grilled flatbread into the freezer for a later use. The toppings were enough for the 1 flatbread. If you are making both flatbreads, then I suggest doubling the topping recipe.
- *Make sure that the active yeast is not expired and that the 1/4 cup of water is not too hot (not above 100 degrees). Do not add the salt directly to the yeast, make sure to add it to the flour mixture first. Hot water and salt both kill yeast so be sure to avoid both of those things and you should be in good shape. The yeast is dormant until the warm water and honey is added, so make sure it does begin to fizz and bubble before adding the flours. Keep the bowl in a warm and dry place when the dough is rising (78-80 degrees is about the perfect temperature to allow for proper rising).