Summery Flatbreads And A Few Words About The Garden

It’s been a very mild summer here Vaguely-North-of-Seattle. We finally got a few days that could be called “very warm or hot” strung together and the basil really responded. Happy and productive basil means it’s time for panzanella (last week, didn’t get a picture), flatbreads (more below), and pizza:

The toppings are basil, roasted red pepper puree, and fresh mozzarella that I squeezed as much water as possible out of so it wouldn’t make the pizza soggy.

Recipe: 300g bread flour, 175g water (58% hydration), 6g olive oil (2%), 6g kosher salt, 3/4 tsp instant yeast. Knead and let rise 2-3 hours, folding the dough about halfway through. Preheat oven to 425F. Stretch the dough out over the screen, top with red pepper puree and bake 10 minutes. Top with mozzarella and bake 4-5 more minutes. Remove from the oven. After the pizza has cooled somewhat top with the basil, unless you’re ok with dark green wilted basil, in which case putting the basil onto a hot pie will work fine too.

The inspiration for the pizza came from the ticking time bomb that is fresh mozzarella in the fridge, and:

I guess you could say the other inspiration was basil trying to go to seed.

I’ve been baking a lot of flatbreads this summer that have Greek Yogurt substituting for 50%-100% of the water in the dough. I’ve been varying the baking methods — lately I’ve enjoyed making small fairly thin flatbreads and baking them on a hot skillet, about 3 minutes per side. I think the key is to use fairly thin dough and a medium-hot skillet and not to let them go too long, or the flatbreads tend to get tough.

The house was especially warm last week so we used the outdoor grill:

Both sides were brushed with a little olive oil then it was grilled on the first side for around 3-4 minutes. It was then removed from the grill, flipped it over, topped with the cheese/olive oil mash and returned to the grill for another 3-4 minutes. After it came off of the grill it was topped with the basil and pine nuts. I think we might have added a drizzle of balsamic after this picture was taken.

It’s easy to sub yogurt for water. A good starting point is to take a pizza dough you like and sub out half the water for yogurt and if the dough seems too stiff then add water back in a tablespoon or so at a time. Note that by adding yogurt you’re also adding fat, so don’t expect a big cavernous hole structure, but the bread should stay tender. Also take care not to add too much additional salt, though the 2% of flour weight still seems to work ok.

Example: 400g bread or AP flour, 120g yogurt (or Greek Yogurt)(30% of flour weight), 120g water (30% of flour weight), 8g kosher salt (2% of flour weight), 1 tsp of instant yeast. Plan for the rise to take 2-3 hours, depending upon the temperature of the house, the yogurt, and the water. I’ll often fold the dough about halfway through, though that’s optional.

As far as the Garden Update: We’ve harvested 3 pounds of Oregon Spring so far and 8 pounds of cucumbers. And a whole bunch of beans. The beans don’t seem to care what the weather is doing. The Romas are very definitely offended that it hasn’t been consistently nice. As a flat guess we’ll see 60-70% of our usual yield per box.

This is my first post with the “new” Block Editor. From what I can tell the Classic Editor is now a Plugin that’s behind the “Business Account” paywall. This post probably took 4x as long as it should have, though I’m sure I’ll get used to it. That, and the saving feature when Previewing a Page is funky and not cooperative. We’ll see how it looks..

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