appetizer flatbread (pick a topper)
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Desired toppers (see recipes below; each recipe makes enough to top 1 flatbread)
1. In a medium bowl, combine the warm water, olive oil, yeast, and sugar. Stir to dissolve yeast. Let stand about 10 minutes or until foamy.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2 3/4 cups of the flour and the salt. Stir yeast mixture into flour mixture until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes).
4. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 60 minutes).
5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Punch down dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into nine equal portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each portion into a 94-inch oval. (Cover remaining dough while working so it does not dry out.)
6. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Place three of the ovals, crosswise, on the prepared baking sheet. Top each oval with a desired topper. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden. Repeat with the remaining dough ovals.
Variation: Balsamic-Cremini-Goat Cheese Topper: In a medium skillet, heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms; cook until nearly tender. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar; continue cooking until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender. Spread mushrooms over a dough oval. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese and 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves. Just before serving, drizzle with 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.
Tip: Barbecue Chicken Topper: Spread 2 tablespoons bottled barbecue sauce on a dough oval. Top with 1/4 cup shredded cooked chicken and 1 tablespoon chopped green sweet pepper. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
Variation: Thai Peanut-Chicken Topper: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup shredded cooked chicken, 2 tablespoons bottled peanut sauce, and 1 tablespoon shredded carrot. Spoon over a dough oval. Sprinkle with 1 green onion, bias sliced.
Variation: Sausage-Green Olive Topper: Spread 2 tablespoons purchased pizza sauce on a dough oval. Top with 2 tablespoons cooked Italian sausage and 1 tablespoon sliced green olives. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese.
Variation: Blue Cheese-Pear Topper: In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion; cook until tender and golden. Spread onions on a dough oval. Top with 5 or 6 thin slices pear and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese.
Variation: Apple-Bacon Topper: Top a dough oval with 5 or 6 thin slices apple. Sprinkle with 1 slice crumbled, crisp-cooked bacon. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons maple syrup. If desired, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons shredded white cheddar cheese.