Flatbreads

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    2

    flatbreads

Appears in

Bourke Street Bakery

By Paul Allam and David McGuinness

Published 2009

  • About

Flatbread seems to be a weekend affair at the bakery. Needing no sharp implements to dissect, it is the loaf most likely to be shared with friends (or eaten on the way home) as it is already topped with flavour. It’s also great for picnics or mezze-style lunches.

Once you have mixed the olive oil dough, you need to add the toppings halfway through the proving stage — once the dough has had time to prove without being weighed down with ingredients, but not so long that when you do add the ingredients the flatbread deflates. It is best to keep the toppings simple and only use two to four different ingredients. Some of the more popular combinations have been included below, but we are also fond of green olive flatbread, anchovy and oregano flatbread or herb and olive flatbread using tarragon, chives, oregano, thyme and even nigella seeds.

Ingredients

Method

To make flatbread, follow the instructions for mixing olive oil dough. Once the dough has finished its bulk prove, you can shape the flatbread.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press down evenly with your hands, until it is a rectangle about 25 x 10 cm (10 x 4 inches) and 2 cm (¾ inch) high. Divide the dough into two even-sized portions, about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) each, trimming each flatbread to create a 25 x 5 cm (10 x 2 inch) rectangular shape. Remember, if you wish to make another olive oil dough you will need to wrap 180 g ( oz) of ferment in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.

Place each flatbread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and use your fingers to press down into the dough and create shallow indents over the surface. Set aside in a warm place (25°C/77°F) to prove for 15 minutes.

Add the topping of your choice and set aside to prove for a further 15–20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Place in the oven and spray the oven with water. Bake for 25–30 minutes, turning the flatbread around after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until you can safely eat it.

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