I’ve been really into baking lately. I think it has something to do with the changing seasons. I also find the act of measuring ingredients very therapeutic, and, well, I really like to eat. Bread-like products might be my favorite category of foods.
I’m visiting my parents, who have a giant, beautiful kitchen that is a pleasure to cook in. Imagine, having more than 2 square feet of counter space for preparation! Imagine having space where not one, not two, but three or more people can prepare different dishes and not be in each other’s way! If I didn’t experience it for myself, I might not believe it. Being in their kitchen always makes me want to cook, to spread out, to enjoy the control of a high-power gas stove, to have a dishwasher and a double sink. I could continue to wax on about the advantages of their kitchen over my *tiny* apartment kitchen, but I think you get the drift.
The combination of wanting to bake, being at my parents’, and needing to bring an appetizer to a dinner party lead me to discover this recipe on crisp flatbread, originally from Gourmet magazine (July 2008). With a few adjustments, I came up with the below recipe for flatbread.
The decision was also influenced by the rosemary plant that my parents have. This plant has been in our house as long as I can remember. It suffered a setback a few years ago and is not quite as big as it once was. But, it still manages to fragrance the room when you brush against it. Strangely, I dislike dried rosemary, but I have a soft spot for fresh. I like to find a way to work it in to my cooking when I have access to this amazing plant.
1. Preheat oven to 450 F with heavy baking sheet on middle rack.
2. Combine flour, rosemary, paprika and salt in a bowl.
3. Form well in center of ingredients and add water and oil.
4. Stir to combine and form dough.
5. Knead on floured surface for a minute.
6. Divide dough into 4 balls. Put 3 aside and cover in saran wrap.
7. On piece of parchment paper, or non stick liner, roll out 1 ball. It should be quite thin, and luckily, the shape does not matter.
8. Rub additional olive oil over bread. Sprinkle sea salt, fresh rosemary sprigs and paprika over dough.
9. Slide parchment paper and dough onto cookie sheet to bake.
9. Bake 8-10 minutes until crispy and golden.
10. Cool on wire rack, discarding parchment paper.
11. Repeat steps 7-10 with remaining balls of dough.
These can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for several days, if you can keep away from them for that long.
I can’t wait to tell you what we used for a flatbread-spread!*
*It was more like a topping, but spread provides for better alliteration.