Tag Archives: white whole wheat

Flatbread – it’s not just for happy hour!

Flatbread with za'atar, a Middle Eastern condiment made from a mixture of dried herbs, sesame seeds and sumac plus a quick scattering of sea salt. Divine to munch on with a glass or two of wine and your special someone.
Flatbread with za’atar, a Middle Eastern condiment made from a mixture of dried herbs, sesame seeds and sumac plus a quick scattering of sea salt. Divine to munch on with a glass or two of wine and your special someone.

Of course everyone loves flatbread, that little triangle of flavor, a pretty tidbit to savor while sipping on that weekend glass of champagne.  Well, how about homemade flatbread for dinner?  Now stay with me.  Don’t run away scared at the idea of making dough.  The last two weeks I’ve had major computer problems.  I had to get a new computer and people, let me tell you I loved my desktop.  If I can go from an enormous, gorgeous screen to a tiny 13″ laptop you can pull on your big-girl panties and rustle up a little dough.  It’s easy, forgiving and a great way to relax and unwind.  So pour yourself a nice glass of wine and let’s talk.  Here are some things you’ll appreciate about making your own dough.  The most obvious is you know exactly what’s going in AND what’s not.  Have you ever looked closely at the list of ingredients in a loaf of bread at your grocery store’s bakery?  What’s fumeric acid?  Do we really need sodium stearoyl lactylate?  Or azodicarbonamide coating?  I think not.  And don’t kid yourself into thinking anything is baked there.  It’s all brought in baked and frozen then warmed up in their ovens to look and smell good.  Even the frostings for their cakes are trucked in.  The frosting comes packaged in big, plastic buckets.  With a laundry list of chemicals, preservatives and artificial colors that you don’t even think about when you pick up little Taylor’s “Elsa” birthday cake from the movie “Frozen”.  How do I know all this?  Well, I did a little poking around on the computer and Chiquita in the bakery told me the rest.  No lie.  I’m hoping that homemade is looking a tad more attractive to you now.   Many of us don’t have the need anymore to order birthday cakes at the grocery store; I’m just advocating awareness regarding what you’re eating and what you’re giving your precious family.  Shall we move on to taste?

Yellow heirloom tomatoes with fresh rosemary, oregano, garlic and shaved parmesan cheese.
Yellow heirloom tomatoes with fresh rosemary, oregano, garlic and shaved parmesan cheese.

There is nothing…NOTHING that can hold a candle to the flavor of “made at home”.  You know exactly what went into your baked good and how much.  Plus, many bread recipes, this one included, can be played with.  Different flours, the addition of herbs and spices plus the variety of toppings make planning dinner a breeze and, if I may say so, a pleasure.  Let me point out as well that YOU dictate the thickness of the flatbread so if you enjoy thin and crispy you can have it.  Thick and chewy is right at your fingertips…literally!  With meat or without it is your choice.  Here are some combinations we enjoy.

 

An herbal marriage we enjoy is fresh rosemary, oregano, garlic and lemon or orange zest.
An herbal marriage we enjoy is fresh rosemary, oregano, garlic and lemon or orange zest.

Fresh mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in olive oil, spinach, cooked, drained and chopped, roasted garlic, fresh marjoram and mint leaves and Gruyère cheese.

Caramelized shallots, roasted peppers, crumbled Feta cheese, orange zest, fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, Italian sausage (turkey or pork), hot chile peppers.

Ground lamb, a little tomato, some sautéed eggplant and onions, toasted pine nuts, raisins and a pinch of cinnamon.

I chose sauteed mushrooms, fresh marjoram and mint leaves roasted garlic and Gruyere this this flatbread.
I chose sautéed mushrooms, fresh marjoram leaves, roasted garlic and Gruyère for this flatbread.

With a choice of seafood, meat, vegetables and cheeses the combinations are endless. Keep in mind that the flatbreads can be baked with nothing on them but a faint spritz of olive oil and maybe a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  From there they can be cut into triangles and used to dip into hummous, eggplant dip or, my favorite, the salty, creamy taramosalata.   Store the cooled flatbreads in a zip top bag with the air squeezed out.  In the following days you can crisp them back up again by placing them in a 300° oven for a few minutes.  If they’re not eaten in a day or two keep them either in the refrigerator or freezer  as they don’t contain any preservatives so their shelf life on a counter is pretty short.  Here’s the recipe for your basic flatbread.  Feel free to play with it.  After you’ve tried it out or now if you feel like it, mix up your flours.  I don’t recommend using all whole wheat because the bread will come out kind of hard and incredibly heavy.  The more whole grain flour used, the more toothsome the final product will be.  Therefore, if soft and fluffy is what you’re after then stick with the all-purpose.  My family and I prefer a crisper, nuttier bread so I typically use 3 cups all-purpose mixed with 2 cups white whole wheat.  When you’re ready to bake them off have your family or friends top their own flatbreads from the topping bar you so generously put together for them.  So have fun with it.  And have another glass of wine!

Flatbread

  • Servings: 10-12 individual
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 envelope yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2-1 2/3 cups warm water, no more than 115°
  • 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour plus more to spread or your combination of flours totaling 5 cups
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • olive oil to oil resting bowl and later to spread
  1. Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in a large mixing bowl or stand-up mixer bowl.  Gently mix and set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Add yoghurt to yeast mixture and mix to break up yoghurt.  If using a stand-up mixer use the paddle to mix.
  3. In a separate bowl mix flour and salt together.  Add to the yeast/yoghurt mixture and continue mixing with the paddle if using the stand-up mixer.  If mixing by hand, it will be very wet and sticky but the more you mix the drier the dough will become.
  4. If making by hand continue kneading vigorously until smooth.  If using a stand-up mixer, change from paddle to dough hook and continue kneading for 5 minutes until smooth.
  5. Lightly coat a large bowl with a bit of olive oil, place dough in bowl and turn dough over so both top and bottom are lightly covered with olive oil.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 1 1/2 hours of until at least double in size.
  6. After dough has risen, punch down and divide into 10-12 equal pieces.  Using your hands, and you can oil them if dough is still a little sticky, roll into smooth balls and set aside, covered, for 20 minutes to rest.
  7. Lightly cover work surface with some flour and roll out dough to desired shape and thickness.  Place on baking sheets covered with parchment paper.
  8. Add toppings, or if baking plain flatbreads, drizzle with a bit of good olive oil and a quick scattering of sea salt.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until barely golden around the edges.  Keep an eye on them if your baking sheets are dark.  They cook WAY faster.

http://www.theirreverentkitchen.com

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Pizza

In our house during the winter months, Friday nights mean one thing.  Homemade pizza for my family and lots of brown likker for me.  My husband and son are Greek Orthodox and years ago requested that I not serve meat on Friday so they could take communion on Sunday.  Okay.  I can do that. To honor their request, I began making pizza every Friday night, salsa or classic rock blaring from the kitchen radio. I love the Allman Brothers.  The kitchen door’s always open since you have to jack your oven up to at least 450° and it gets some kind of hot down here in South Florida.  And on the counter, on a pretty little napkin, will be a faceted, crystal DOF with 6 or 7 ice cubes cracking and popping around two fingers of brown.  My, how I love that stuff.  Anyway, it’s Friday, so before I begin pouring, and you know I will, let’s talk pie.  Pizza dough is quite simple if you allow yourself enough time and space.  The dough is versatile.  I use several different types of flour from all-purpose to whole wheat to white whole wheat depending on my mood or what I have on hand. If you choose a heavier flour you need to make a few adjustments.  First, I never use just whole wheat.  The end result is heavier than a door stop.  The ratio I use is equal parts, 1-1. The exception is white whole wheat. I’m using it tonight and I’ll use a full 3 cups. I think King Arthur makes an exceptional product and you can find it at all leading grocery stores.  I make the dough first since it needs a good 1 1/2 hour rising time so while it’s rising in a warm corner, I can keep on working.  I use one of two different kinds of sauce.  My red sauce consists of tomato puree, salt and pepper.  What I don’t use, I freeze.  If I choose fresh tomatoes I add draining time.  After they’ve been chopped finely, I drop them into a colander in the sink, sprinkle with just a little bit of salt and go on prepping my toppings.  Tonight I’ve decided on chopped plum tomatoes with shredded fresh basil, grated mozzarella, slivered onion and turkey pepperoni.  I know. That’s meat. But with the Greek festival coming up Jimmy doesn’t always make it to communion especially if he has a festival meeting on Sunday and he always does.  And James is back at school in North Carolina.  Go Heels.  Back to toppings. I love chopped tomatoes, a sprinkle of fresh dill, crumbled feta, chopped Kalamata olives, a little scattered mozzarella,  some cooked, drained spinach and a swath of good olive oil.  Remember, cut all vegetables a uniform thickness and take comfort in knowing the combination of pizza toppings is infinite. P.S. Mint is outrageous with sautéed mushrooms, roasted garlic and grated fontina. I’m just sayin’.

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Pizza

  • Servings: 2-12 inch pizzas
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pre-heat oven 450°, 500° if it goes that high

  • Sauce:
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • salt and pepper to taste or
  • Fresh:
  • 8-10 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  •  fresh basil finely chopped, to taste
  • salt and pepper

Dough

  • 3 cups flour, your combination of all-purpose, whole wheat etc.
  • 1 cup water at 115°
  • 1 packet yeast or 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil

 

Toppings: any of the following

  • fresh mozzarella
  • crumbled feta
  • grated fontina
  • zucchini slices
  • fresh tomato slices
  • kalamata olives
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • feta cheese
  • kefalotiri cheese
  • mizithra cheese
  • spinach
  • onion slivers, sautéed
  • freshly basil, chopped
  • fresh mint, chopped
  • fresh dill, chopped
  • fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • hot pepper flakes
  • the ubiquitous bagged shredded mozzarella
  • turkey pepperoni (fabulous. tastes exactly the same as conventional but not greasy)
  • turkey sausage, cooked and crumbled
  1. Combine ingredients for tomato layer and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour with yeast and warmed water and mix well. Add olive oil, mix well and add rest of flour. After mixing in bowl until incorporated, turn on to counter and knead until silky and smooth…5-8 minutes. Coat with a little olive oil, return to bowl, cover and put in warm corner to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. While dough is rising, prepare sauce of choice and cut any vegetable or herbs for toppings.
  4. When dough has doubled, punch down (yeah. hit it.) and divide into two or more parts. Whatever strikes your fancy and let rest for another 15 minutes.
  5. Dust baking sheet or pizza paddle with cornmeal and shape the dough by flouring lightly and flattening the dough with your finger tips and the heels of your hands. Shape into disks, stretch and flatten to desired thickness.  Don’t worry if the dough tears, just pinch back into shape and keep on going.  Shake baking sheet occasionally to keep dough from sticking and add cornmeal as needed.
  6. Add sauce or tomatoes, toppings and slide into oven.
  7. Bake 10-15 minutes depending on toppings.  Just look at it . You’ll know when it’s ready. Slice and enjoy!

http://www.theirreverentkitchen.com