While I am on the theme of flat breads with toppings, I thought I would share with you a small selection from around the world.
I came across a mention of Tarte Flambee in an article recently where the recipe instructed you to buy a ready made pizza base on which to place the toppings. This misses the whole essence of the dish, which is fineness. The bread base wants to be rolled as thinly as you can into a rectangle. When I was cooking this regularly in a restaurant I would use day old dough that was less springy than fresh and consequently easier to roll thinly.
A standard bread dough as in the previous post is used for the base. As I have said roll it thinly into a rectangle to fit either a silicon or metal baking sheet.
The classic topping is a smearing of thick cream, then onion that has previously been sliced thinly and softened in butter and small lardons of smoked streaky bacon.
Preheat the oven to 250 C with the floor lined in fire bricks as in the previous post.
Place the tart on its sheet onto the bricks to bake.
As the dough is thin it will only take five or six minutes for it to be cooked and crisp.
Variations to go on top of the cream –
Sliced mushrooms softened in butter – even better if thy are wild mushrooms – with or without the bacon.
Shredded spinach softened in butter.
Asparagus, either white or green or both.
The onions with thin slices of sauccison sec, or strips of cooked ham, or strips of mortadella.
The Provencale Onion Tart takes the same idea to the south of France and makes it more robust.
Line an oiled shallow tart tin with bread dough rolled to about half a centimetre thick or a bit thicker.
Peel and slice 3 or 4 large onions thinly. Soften in olive oil and continue cooking slowly until the onions are much reduced and starting to caramelise.
Distribute the onions evenly over the base of the tart, drizzle over some cream and decorate with a scattering of black olives.
Bake at 230 C on the bricks for 10 to 15 minutes.
To test if it is done, lift up the tart with a palette knife and check that the dough is cooked to a light brown firmness underneath.
Langos – pronounce the s as sh – hails from Hungary. I was visiting there with some friends, and the family of Zsuzsi prepared this and baked it in the most amazing ancient bread oven in the little house on their allotment.
The toppings for this are put on after the bread is baked. They are laid out on the table in little dishes for each person to serve themselves. There was –
A bowl of sour soft fresh cheese.
Tiny cubes of streaky bacon, fried until quite dry and crisp.
Both sweet and spicy smoked Paprika.
A bowl each of chopped dill, parsley and chives.
The dough for this is made with the addition of mashed potatoes, which makes a very soft and fluffy bread.
Use the bread recipe in the previous post adding 150 grams mashed potato and cutting the water down to 200 ml. If the dough seems too dry at that, then add a little more water. It is impossible to be more precise as potatoes vary so much in their water content.
When the dough is ready, form into individual sized breads about 10 cm across and about a centimetre thick. Put them on a floured tray in a warm draft free place to prove for half an hour.
Heat the oven to 230 C with the fire bricks in. Bake the Langos on the bricks for about ten minutes or until a lighbar brown in colour.
Serve while still warm with the toppings as described.
Other recipes to search out for yourselves are Turkish Pide and Cocas from the Balearic Islands.