Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Flammkuchen with Bacon and Mushroom

Flammkuchen is a kind of Northern European pizza - or perhaps pizza is an Italian Flammkuchen, who knows?  What makes it different is the absence of tomato and the use of dairy, and it appears to be popular in Alsace, parts of Western Germany and even in Austria.  As with pizza, the variations for the toppings are endless.  Thhe bread dough is simple and quick and doesn't need to prove for ages, so it is perfectly feasible for a weeknight supper.  We loved it.  For 2 people, make a bread dough out of 200g plain flour (ordinary plain flour is actually better here, as you get a softer finish), 5g of dried instant yeast, 1/4 teaspoon salt, glug of rapeseed or olive oil, about 100ml of cold water and a heaped teaspoon of creme fraiche.  I mixed it in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 6 or 7 minutes.  You want a wet dough, so add a little more water if needed.  Cover and leave to rise for an hour in a warm place.  Prep your chosen topping - not too much - in our case, another heaped teaspoon of creme fraiche, two rashers of chopped smoked bacon, a handful of sliced mushrooms and a couple of tablespoons of grated cheddar, Parmesan or other hard cheese.  Saute the bacon and mushroom for a few minutes first.  Heat the oven to 220C and put a heavy baking sheet in to warm.  Tip the risen dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and use your finger tips to flatten and shape it into a thin rectangle about 12" by 9" or thereabouts - try to build up a little rim round the edges.  Spread the surface thinly with the creme fraiche, add the toppings and transfer, on the paper, to the hot baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes until nicely browned and golden.  Slice and devour!

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