Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rosemary Flatbread

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I was going to make buttermilk biscuits for Easter, but these were so much lighter and easier. You just combine the ingredients, let it rise for a bit, and bake off. Even the rolling out is simple, since the soft dough doesn't require the muscle that rolling out pastry does. They come out chewy, and crisp at the edges. I can see myself making these a lot, in endless variations.

Rosemary Flatbread, adapted from Martha Stewart Living
2¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)
¾ cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1 tbs plus 1½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
1 tbs chopped rosemary or other herb, plus more for decorating on top

Place a baking stone in a cold oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Combine yeast and water, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir well.

Pulse flour and 1 tsp salt in a food processor to combine. Add yeast mixture, oil, and rosemary. Process just until a dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough, and divide into 4 pieces. Gently roll each piece into a 6-inch disc. Don't roll them too thin, or they'll have the dryness and consistency of a cracker instead of the softness and texture of a bread. Brush with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and decoratively top with pieces of rosemary.

Bake them one at a time on the baking stone without turning, for about 7 minutes each. A wooden pizza peel can make placement easy, and tongs make removal simple. If you're using a baking sheet because you don't have a baking stone, bake them for 10 to 12 minutes each.