Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rosemary Flatbread with Blue Cheese, Grapes and Honey

I remember the first time we had this bread. It was about 4:30 PM and we were having dinner guests. I don't even recall what I was making other than that I was elbow deep in some sort of intricate prep work and that we were going to be lucky if anything was going to be ready to go on the table when the company arrived. Out of nowhere, my dear husband says "I want to make bread for tonight." Say what? "Like with yeast?" I said. "Uh huh," he replied.

Those of you who have ever made yeast bread from scratch know it usually isn't something done on a whim when guest are expected to arrive in 90 minutes. Except when you're Graham. And then rules don't apply and anything is possible. And I'll be darned, usually anything is possible with him and he somehow Pulls. It. Off. It drives me bonkers because logic (and I) tell him it can't happen and then he just makes it happen. And makes it look easy. So this guy, who had never made yeast bread in all his life, just whips this one up and it's perfect. Perfect. And hot and ready when our dinner guests arrive. Go figure! If you're new to bread baking and looking for a yeast bread recipe to break you in, apparently this one is it. It is so totally delicious and makes a great appetizer while you're scrambling to get the rest of dinner ready (but that never happens here...right....)

Rosemary Flatbread with Blue Cheese, Grapes and Honey
(From Food and Wine Magazine)

1 envelope (or 2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
3/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound red grapes (1 ½ cups)
Coarse sea salt
3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon snipped chives

In a large bowl, whisk the yeast and sugar with 1/4 cup of the flour. Stir in 1/4 cup of the warm water and let stand until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary, fine salt, pepper and the remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of water; stir until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a draft-free spot until billowy and doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°. Place a pizza stone in the bottom of the oven, and preheat for at least 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press and stretch the dough into a 13-inch round, then transfer to a lightly floured pizza peel. Press the grapes into the dough and sprinkle with sea salt.

Slide the flatbread onto the hot stone and bake for about 12 minutes, until the crust is golden and the grapes have begun to release some of their juices. Sprinkle the blue cheese on top and bake for about 2 minutes longer, until the cheese melts. Slide the flatbread onto a work surface and drizzle with the honey and sprinkle with the chives. Cut into wedges and serve.

Makes 1 (13-inch) flatbread

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posted by kelsie