A basic dough for flatbreads of all kinds. This recipe is easy and it produces excellent results. And its great for a heatwave. Lately we’ve been experiencing Europe’s worst heat wave of this young century so I’ve been trying, as much as possible, to stay out of the kitchen. We’ve been eating a lot of pizza, flatbread and focaccia. Along with a colorful salad using vegetables from our garden it makes for a quick and easy meal both to make and to clean up from after.
This is a basic, straight dough which means it uses no preferment (like a sponge, sourdough, poolish, etc). I make up enough to last several days, keep it in the fridge and pull it out as I need it. For toppings I use an assortment of fresh vegetables from the garden and maybe some cheese, sausage or smoked pancetta. Or, for focaccia, just olive oil, rosemary and salt. For a middle- eastern style flatbread I use olive oil and sesame seeds. The dough takes just a minute to mix and 5 minutes to bake and it produces a delicious light and airy crust.
- 300 grams pastry flour
- 200 grams all purpose flour
- 325 grams tepid water
- 10 grams salt
- 1 gram instant yeast
- 1 scant tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl using a spatula mix everything together, just until the flour and water have been incorporated.
- Shape into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a plate and leave it a room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Using wet hands give the dough two "turns" by holding it over the bowl and stretching it out until it is about a foot long. Fold the dough over itself in thirds and rotate it 180 degrees. This is your first turn. Stretch and fold again for the second turn. This way you are stretching the gluten in the other direction. You should see your dough has gained considerable strength after these two turns but if not give it another one.
- Transfer to a lightly oiled plastic bag and leave in the refrigerator for 12 hours or up to 3 days.
- For one flatbread, remove ⅓ of the dough from the fridge an hour (or more if you have a cool kitchen) before baking and shape it into a tight ball. Cover it with a bowl.
- 30 minutes before baking turn on your oven to its maximum temperature. Use a pizza stone if you have one.
- Lightly oil a sheet of parchment and then stretch out the dough onto it. It will be quite elastic and resist being stretched so let it rest for 15 minutes before finishing.
- After 15 minutes stretch it out again as thin as you like. Notice how cooperative it has become after a rest.
- Top with your selected garnishes and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
- Transfer to a peel (if using a stone) or a cookie sheet if not and bake.
- Time will depend on how hot your oven gets and how thin you like your dough. My thin pizzas take 5 minutes at 300 C.
- Topping ideas
- sesame seeds, olive oil and salt
- herbs like rosemary, oregano or thyme with olive oil and salt
- thinly sliced vegetables like potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, onion, tomatoes, squash, beets, carrots,
- baby spinach, basil,
- bacon, sausage or pancetta
- capers and anchovies
- shaved parmesan
- This is not a "wet" dough, it should form a tight ball easily. All flours are not created equal. Flour strengths vary from country to country and even from region to region. The stronger your flour the more water it can absorb so you may find you need to experiment a little and vary the hydration of this dough by adding more or less water.
- Another factor to consider is the weather, if it is very humid, your flour will need less water and vice versa if it is very dry.
Ooh la la, they look delicious!
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