Potato & rosemary flatbread

Introduction

When we lived in Atlanta, I was a devotee of Morningside organic farmer's market. I still miss Wes and Charlotte's Berkshire pork which is amongst the best in the world. I made several sides of pancetta and bacon from their pork bellies, guanciale from the cheeks and fresh and fermented sausages from a mixture of pork cuts. I posted many of these early curing experiments on egullet.

Right opposite the farmer's market is the original Alon's Bakery. After the 30 minute cycle, mostly uphill I might add, we felt deserving of a treat. My favourite: a slice or two (ahem) of Alon's flatbread. I decided to recreate them here.

Tips

My preference would be for a sour-dough pizza base, rolled super thin, but I have given a simpler recipe below that works really well.

If you are feeling a little lazy, you could use pre-rolled pizza dough or puff pastry, but it will need to be thinner and make sure that you prick it all over with a fork to stop it rising under the filling.

You can use a mixture of plain\all-purpose flours. I used ½ bread flour to ¼ semolina flour and ¼ all-purpose flour.

Ingredients

  • Dough (enough for two flatbreads)
  • 450g\1lb\2 cups flour (see Tips above)
  • 1½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 160ml\5-6fl oz\23 cup water
  • 120ml\4fl oz\½ cup olive oil, plus more for greasing trays and brushing
  • Potato Topping
  • 2 waxy potatoes, peeled then sliced thinly and evenly
  • 2-3 sprigs of Rosemary, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Tomato Topping
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves pulled from the stem
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Handful of basil leaves, torn

Tools of the Trade

  • Mandolin, mechanical slicer or a steady hand and a sharp knife
  • Large pizza stone, cooking slab or rectangular baking trays (45cmx30cm\18"x12")
  • Pestle and mortar or blender

Method

DOUGH

To make the dough, sift or mix the flours together with the baking powder and salt in a mixer or bowl.

Make a well in the center and pour in the oil and water, mix or stir together to form a dough. Add a little more flour if the mixture is too sticky.

Knead for a minute then divide the dough into two balls.

Add ½ of the chopped rosemary to one dough ball and knead it until the rosemary has been incorporated (30-60 seconds).

Take the other dough ball and add ½ of the thyme leaves. Proceed as above then place this ball into a bowl and cover.

Sprinkle a work-top with flour and roll-out the rosemary dough until it is roughly 1cm\½" bigger than the pizza stone, cooking slab or baking tray. Fold the overlap back onto the dough to form a small rim. Prick the interior all over with a fork.

POTATO TOPPING

Mix the sliced potatoes, garlic, ½ teaspoon of sea salt and the rest of the chopped rosemary in a bowl.

Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt, then place a single layer of potatoes, just overlapping each other, on top.

Bake in a preheated oven 230°C\450°F\gas mark 8 (reduce temperature by 10% if using a fan oven) for 10-12 minutes. If using a pizza stone place the dough on waxed paper before shifting to the pizza stone; cooking time can be reduced to 8-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

TOMATO TOPPING

Roll-out the remaining thyme dough as for the rosemary dough above.

Brush with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for 3-4 minutes. If using a pizza stone place the dough on waxed paper before shifting to the pizza stone; cooking time can be reduced to 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the oven, brush with a little more olive oil, sprinkle with ½ of the torn basil leaves and a little sea salt. Create a single layer of tomatoes, without overlapping, and drizzle with olive oil. Return to the oven for 8-10 minutes (6-8 on a pizza stone).

Place the remaining basil leaves, garlic, oil and salt into the blender or pestle and mortar, and process to a rough paste. When ready, remove the tomato flatbread from the oven and leave to cool.

When the tomato flatbread is just warm, spoon the garlic and oil paste on top and serve.

Suggestion

Italians also serve this dough as it is brushed with garlic laden olive oil, before and after baking for 5-6 minutes. A sprinkle of sea salt, a few leaves of rosemary (and suddenly its Tuscany - Patsy Stone, Ab Fab III).

Also excellent with a thin layer of caramelized onions.

Tomato Flatbread