Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tomato, Basil, and Parmesan Flatbreads

Originally uploaded by rachelita2.
A restaurant recently opened up in my area that has delicious but overpriced flatbread pizzas-- not even pizzas, really, just good flatbreads topped with various combinations such as fig, prosciutto, and blue cheese. But when I discovered a recipe in my new Best of Cooking Light cookbook that has an excellent, crunchy flatbread dough, I was sold-- overpriced flatbread pizzas no more, unless someone else is paying...

The dough is good and crunchy and cooks quite nicely:

1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. olive oil

Combine boiling water and cornmeal in a bowl, let stand 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl, rest 5 minutes. Combine cornmeal mixture, flour, and salt in a food processor, pulsing until blended. Turn on food processor, and slowly add yeast mixture and oil until dough forms a ball. Knead 4 times, dough will be sticky, place in oiled bowl and put in a warm place to rise, at least 1 hour, until doubled. Then punch down the dough, let it sit 5 minutes. Divide into 4 balls, roll each into 10 x 6 inch ovals. Place on baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.

The topping: the recipe calls for a combination of sliced yellow and plum tomatoes, but this was too complicated, so I add sliced tomatoes. Then in a small bowl mix 1/2 cup minced fresh basil, 4 tsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, and 4 minced garlic cloves. Grate 1 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. Fresh basil is essential here-- it's part of the point of why the final product is so good.

Heat oven to 475. Divide tomatoes among the 4 flatbread ovals, bake 13 minutes. Spread basil mixture and cheese over bread, bake another 2 minutes or until melted. Yields four beautiful, crunchy little pizzas.

1 comment:

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Oh my gosh. That looks so good! And here it is lunch time and all I have is prepackaged tuna. Blech.