Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Rosemary flatbread

Let's get things straight. I am not one of those people who twist themselves into knots making absolutely everything from scratch. I'm much happier spending my time making one or two impressive things for guests and then supplementing with store-bought stuff. I'll make a curry and buy roti, I'll make a pie and buy the ice-cream... Crackers fall into the category of things I'd usually buy but when it's this easy, I make an exception. 

Flatbread is not so much bread as it is one enormous cracker. And in this case, a crisp, flaky, herb-infused cracker, sprinkled with salt and studded with fat sprigs of rosemary. The time it spends in the oven - barely 10 minutes - is by far the longest part of the cooking process. The dough is assembled in about as much time as it takes to throw the few ingredients together, and rolling it out is similarly speedy as you're not trying to conform to a particular shape - the more rustic the better. I like to put it out whole and let people break off pieces to suit their particular grazing needs. Somehow it feels very friendly, as you're really sharing food... I suppose the very definition of breaking bread. Just make sure you break off enough. As quickly as it's made, it disappears just as fast.

Rosemary flatbread
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

I'm sure this recipe would adapt well to whatever herb you had on hand - thyme perhaps or tarragon - but I've never strayed from the rosemary/sea salt combination as it seems pretty well perfect to me.

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, plus a few extra 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 (I used Maldon)

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

Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre, 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 (keeping 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 lightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake til pale golden and browned in spots, about 8-10 minutes. 

Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time - only oiling and salting just before baking) on fresh parchment.


  1. Love fresh made flat bread and it looks great on you lovely MUD platter.

  2. Oh, I can definitely do rustic rolling... especially with an empty wine bottle.
    Can't wait to whip this one up!