Saturday, January 30, 2010

The key is "rustic"

It’s Saturday night, and friends are coming soon for a glass of wine before we all head out to dinner. I happened upon this recipe online – crisp rosemary flatbread. It is simple and quick and will be great with a bit of cheese and glass of white wine.  Also, I’m a big fan of “rustic” fare – no perfect lines here.  And, gentle reader, they are good! If you make them, be sure to roll them out very thin for a cracker-like consistency. 

Honestly, the toughest part of this recipe has been trying to keep Jeremy from eating them all before our guests arrive at 7.

From Gourmet, July 2008
Active time: 15 minutes; Start to finish: 45 minutes
Think of it as a cracker version of rosemary-flecked flatbread. But these are the easiest crackers you’ll ever make: Rather than cutting the dough into small pieces, you bake three large pieces, then break them into smaller ones to serve. The jagged edges invite nibbling.

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.

Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).
Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces.

Note: Flatbread can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

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