Tomato and Onion Flatbread

WHEN women of the islands fire the oven to bake the week’s bread, they also prepare flatbreads, topping them with cheese or seasonal vegetables and herbs and drizzling them with olive oil. More like focaccia than pizza, these breads are found everywhere, in many variations. Ladenia is the flatbread baked on Kimolos, and it is topped with onion and tomatoes.

On other islands, in the winter, people often top these flatbreads with pancetta-like cured pork or with chopped sausage. If you like, you can use the dough for Whole Wheat and Barley Bread to make this flatbread.



  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ½ recipe Old Dough Starter
  • 2–2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • About cup cold water
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour


  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 cup drained grated fresh tomatoes (see Note) or cup drained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1–2 teaspoons dried savory or oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Make the Dough

In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes, or until frothy.

Place the starter in a food processor and add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and the salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and ½ cup cold water and pulse to mix. Add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and the whole wheat flour and, with the motor running, pour in enough cold water to make a sticky dough that just holds together. Let the dough rest in the food processor for 15 to 20 minutes.

Process the dough for 1 to 2 minutes more (add a little water if the dough is too stiff; it should be smooth and sticky).

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes, adding a little more all-purpose flour as needed until the dough is soft and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball.

Oil a large bowl and a piece of plastic wrap. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with the oiled plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in volume, 1½ to 2 hours.

Oil a 14-inch pizza pan, preferably nonstick, and transfer the dough to it. Oil your fingers and press the dough to flatten it to cover the pan, dimpling the top. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Make the Topping

In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion over medium heat until just soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool.

At least 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450°F.

Distribute the onions over the dough. Top with the tomatoes, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with the savory or oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 20 minutes more. Wearing oven mitts, remove the flatbread from the pan and place it directly on the oven rack. Bake for 10 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

The flatbread can be eaten warm or at room temperature.