Recipe: Basic Flatbread
One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.
There’s nothing quite like a good flatbread—particularly if you have access to a wood-fired oven or a cast iron skillet. Flatbreads lend themselves to any toppings that happen to be in season, and right now that includes spinach, scallions, oregano, and asparagus. We also used canned tomatoes from last year and we cheated a little and bought some basil, too. Gather all of your desired toppings beforehand, and use the hour needed for the dough to rise to prepare each of them. Enjoy!
1 packet (2¼ teaspoon) active dry yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon minced herbs (rosemary and thyme work well, but don’t limit yourself to those)
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon organic cane sugar
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
¾ cup warm water
1. In a large mixing bowl, add yeast, garlic, herbs, sea salt, organic cane sugar, all purpose flour and spelt flour, and whisk.
2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add olive oil and ½ cup (120 ml.) of warm water to start. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix. Add more water as needed until dough forms.
3. Transfer to a clean, well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic—about 2 minutes—adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
4. Wipe out mixing bowl and add a bit of oil. Roll dough around to coat and position seam-side down in the bowl. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. Once doubled in size, cut dough into 6 even pieces, arrange on a clean surface, and lay a damp towel on top. Let rest.
5. In the meantime, heat a large skillet (electric or cast iron) to medium-high heat.
6. One at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a large circle that’s fairly thin.
7. Lightly grease preheated skillet and lay down flatbread. Don’t touch, cook for 2½ minutes. Flip and cook for 2½ minutes on the other side. Repeat, adding more oil to coat surface, until all flatbread is cooked.
8. Top with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil (or any toppings you desire) and enjoy immediately or let cool completely and store in a well-sealed bag or container up to 3 days (though best when fresh).