Sunday, January 30, 2011

Easy Rosemary Flatbread

Yesterday was a most perfect day.  Forget that it was sunny and almost 75 degrees...the best part was that it was so full of socializing with many wonderful folks! It started with one of Scott's clients, James, showing up in the morning to see his bike. The infamous bike on which Scott broke his collarbone after hitting a deer over a year ago on the way home from a show where said bike won first place in its' class! He had finished the restoration that very week and it was sweet. Not so much after the intimate encounter with the deer. James was in Dallas for work this week and rented a car to make the 5 hour drive to the ranch to have a visit (and a test drive) with his bike. We'd never met James although Scott had many phone conversations with him and we were pleasantly surprised at what a great guy he was.  If anything, we were sad his visit was so short!  We look forward to seeing him again sometime soon. Mid day, I headed to Comfort to pick up my milk and visit a new thrift store in nearby Center Point named "Little Shop of Hoarders". Great name, huh? It's owned by a friend of mine, Holly.  I hadn't seen Holly in quite a long time until we sat together at a funeral a few weeks ago. She told me about her store and I couldn't wait to check it out. It is jam packed full of all kinds of stuff-my favorite kind of store- and it felt like a treasure hunt! I came away with a really heavy flannel shirt for Scott, a great stained glass window for the new kitchen and a killer pair of earrings! I returned home and decided I wanted to make a batch of mozzarella. I had an extra gallon of raw milk and have been wanting to try my hand at cheese.  Since we were expecting another of Scott's clients in the late afternoon I thought it would be a nice snack for all of us. I printed out the recipe and from the time I pulled the milk out of the fridge to Scott tasting the finished cheese was 45 minutes!! Phenomenally easy and way better than store bought! The better than store bought didn't surprise me, but the easy part really did! Why haven't I been doing this for years?? I plan on making more next week and will photograph the process and write a post on it, so start hunting down some good milk NOW! So I had this beautiful glob (elegant word, yes?) of still warm mozzarella and I told Scott, "I wish we had some crackers to go with it..." when I remembered some rosemary crackers I'd made a month ago for a client dinner. I threw all the ingredients in my mixer and 5 minutes later the dough was done and resting. I saw Mario's car drive up the driveway with another car following. When the two cars parked, all these people started tumbling out. Who ARE all those people?  I walked out to the driveway and Mario introduced me to his mother and father, his brother and his girlfriend, and his sister along with his wife Eva, whom I had met last year. Mario's family had surprised him for his birthday by traveling all the way from Uruguay for a big celebration. What an amazing family!  While they visited with Scott, I went back to the kitchen, preheated the oven to 475 degrees and rolled out ping pong sized balls of the dough. So easy, quick and incredibly delicious. And with a couple bottles of red wine and some fresh mozzarella, it made a special treat. An impressive snack for an impromptu soiree!
The recipe halves beautifully, but I wouldn't do that if I were you as you'll regret it!
Here's the step by step in pictures with the recipe following.
Mix flour, salt, baking powder, pepper and fresh rosemary in the bowl of a mixer-you can also mix this in a bowl by hand.
Add olive oil and water and mix until a soft dough forms.
Form dough into a ball and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 degrees. I have a pizza stone that stays in my oven all the time for bread baking. If you don't own a pizza stone, place a rimless cookie sheet in the oven or turn a rimmed one upside down. Let it heat up with the oven.
Cut dough into 8-10 pieces.
Roll each piece out on a lightly floured board until it is very thin.
Place the flatbreads two at a time on a parchment lined upside down cookie sheet or a pizza peel.
When the oven reaches 475 degrees, slide the parchment onto the pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven. Bake for 5-8 minutes until the flatbread is golden brown and crisp.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Stack them up as you pull them out of the oven.
You can place them on a platter whole or break them into cracker sized pieces.
I may never buy crackers again!!!
Here is the recipe:

Easy Flatbread with Fresh Rosemary
3 3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt + more for sprinkling on top
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2-3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup water
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for brushing on top

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a pizza stone or a rimless cookie sheet or a rimmed cookie sheet turned upside down in the oven. Place flour, kosher salt, baking powder, black pepper and rosemary in the bowl of a mixer. Mix for 10 seconds to distribute ingredients. Add water and olive oil and mix until a soft dough forms. Form dough into a ball and let rest for 30 minutes. Cut dough into 8-10 pieces and roll each piece out very thin. Place two flatbreads at a time on a parchment topped cookie sheet and slide them into the oven. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat with remaining flatbreads.


Nisa said...

Wowee! I'm gonna have to try this. Thanks Diane!

Anonymous said...

What a treat!
Thank you so much Diane, it was delicious!
Eva will have to try it for me.
Thanks again!