Friday, March 8, 2013

Mediterranean Flatbread



This homemade flatbread dough is super versatile, and quick enough to make any night of the week! I loaded mine with fresh vegetables, salty feta, and creamy hummus to create a colourful mediterranean-inspired entree. It is hearty enough to be served as a vegetarian main, or served in smaller portions as an appetizer. 

Flatbread Dough:

1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
3/4-1 cup warm water
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Toppings:
Feta cheese
Roasted red pepper hummus
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 green onions, chopped
10-15 marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped or whole - I used jarred artichoke hearts that were marinated in olive oil, vinegar, and herbs. I used some of the artichoke marinade to coat the topping mixture, so if you don't use marinated artichokes then just drizzle a bit of olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and a sprinkle of basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic powder into the bowl of toppings and adjust to taste

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and 3/4 cups of lukewarm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast and sugar, and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes until a foam develops on top.

In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, basil, garlic powder, and salt. Add the olive oil and stir. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, stir it into the flour with a spoon until it forms a loose ball. You may need to add in a bit more water at this point if there are still loose, dry bits of dough in the bowl. Add a little bit at a time until it comes together and is a little bit sticky.

Turn the dough ball out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead well for 7-10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky then sprinkle it with a little bit more flour, but it should remain sticky and stretchy.

Place the kneaded dough ball into a large bowl that has been lightly greased with olive oil. Turn the ball around in the bowl to coat with olive oil. Cover loosely with a dish cloth and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. You can also let the dough rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator and use it the next day.


Prepare the topping ingredients by tossing the bell peppers, tomatoes, green onion, and artichokes together in a large bowl. I used jarred artichoke hearts that were marinated in olive oil, vinegar, and herbs. I used some of the artichoke marinade to coat the topping mixture, so if you don't use marinated artichokes then just drizzle a bit of olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and a sprinkle of basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic powder into the bowl of toppings and adjust to taste.


You can make this flatbread in a 16" round pizza pan or on a rectangular baking sheet - it's up to you! Prepare your pan of choice by lightly greasing it with olive oil. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air pockets. Stretch it out into a circle or rectangle by gently turning it around in your hands and then placing it onto the pizza pan, or by pressing and stretching it out thinly onto the baking sheet. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place the rack in the centre of the oven. It is very important to fully preheat the oven before baking the flatbread.


Spread a thick layer of roasted red pepper hummus on the crust and cover evenly with the vegetable topping mixture. Crumble feta cheese over the toppings. Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until the crust is browned on the bottom. Check the centre of your crust to make sure it has cooked all the way through, and leave the flatbread in the oven for 3-5 additional minutes if necessary. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 3-5 minutes, then slice and serve.



*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

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