Friday, April 18, 2014

Flat Bread Pizza with Fennel and Sunflower Pesto


































Fennel and Sunflower Pesto Pizza
Thin and Crispy
I often mention my place in the country it’s a small home Jeff and I purchased in PA about 65 miles north west of NYC. It’s a cozy home with one bedroom and an office upstairs, two baths and a finished basement. When we purchased the house it needed a lot of work, for instance linoleum tile lined the kitchen walls, the bathrooms were gray and pink with wall paper trim, the bedrooms had old blue carpet and the basement had the same linoleum flooring with a horrible musty smell and no charm. Fortunately, Jeff and I are quite visual and could see the beauty beyond the blemishes. What really sold us was the property, a long windy driveway lined with tall evergreens, beautiful green grass in the front and backyards, a wood pile wall and beyond that a creek, about 1.5 acres of land, and to top it off the deer were there to greet us providing additional charm to the location and of what’s to come. The kitchen too sold me, though not pretty at the time, it had a view of the backyard with a large deck leading out to a beautiful scene of trees and wildlife, and outdoor seating, I could see myself having dinner on the deck sipping wine at night, coffee in the morning watching the animals and smelling the trees.
This was the first day viewing homes in a town we had never visited. Two hours later we made an offer and that day we were owners of this quaint fixer upper. Nine years later and lots of elbow work this home is truly ours without the blemishes, (ok maybe some) Luckily, I have a man who can fix and build anything. He’s reworked the bathroom, basement and built beautiful furniture, and installed wide plank wood flooring in all the rooms.
We don’t live here full time but spend as much as we can, the winter’s keep us away most of the time while the other seasons this house steals me for weeks. We also have a small place near NYC where Jeff works and travels with a fashion photographer and where I run my photo business.

So here we are at the house, the kitchen a place I love to be other than outside in the yard, I like to cook a lot here as the space inspires me. This week I tried flat bread, it was unintentional really, instead I wanted to make pizza but didn’t have the yeast for the rise so I omitted it knowing I’d have flat pizza but what turned out was a fantastic thin crispy light crust. In fact, this may be our new pizza.  I made four pizzas out of this recipe. Jeff and I had one each and saved the other two for the next evening topping it with other ingredients.
Enjoy!!

Flat Bread
4 pizzas
Ingredients
1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cup spelt flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp dry oregano crushed between fingers
1 cup warm water between 105-115 degrees
1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
oil to grease bowl

Method Dry
Using a whisk, sift the flours and sea salt into a medium bowl, add the oregano

Method Wet
1. Add maple syrup, and oil to 1 cup warm water and pour into large mixing bowl, water should be about 105-115 degrees

2. Add the dry ingredients to the water a little at a time and mix well with a large spoon and then with your hands, it should start to form a ball. Knead the dough for 2 minutes you can do this in the bowl or on floured surface.   Put the dough back in a lightly oiled bowl and let sit for one hour covered.

3. Prepare your toppings and have ready

4. Preheat the oven to 425 with rack in middle and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

5. Divide the dough into 4 balls. Place each ball between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out into a circle or rectangle shape, flip the dough over and roll again, my rectangle size was about 12in.x7in.

6. Prebake the flat bread for 8 minutes, remove and add your favorite sauce along with toppings.

Fennel and Sunflower Pesto Pizza
Very thin slices of sweet white onion
Fennel sliced thin
Potato sliced thin, rinsed and pat dried
Cherry tomatoes halved
Kale chopped
1 clove garlic ground in mortar with sea salt transfer to small bowl add 2 tbsp oil
sunflower pesto

Add the garlic oil to the bread, top with chopped kale, onions, potato if using, fennel and cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with sunflower pesto and bake until tomatoes wrinkle and crust is golden about 15-20 minutes.

Sunflower Parsley Pesto
Use more oil if you want it runny, this is a crumble version, which I really enjoy. This is also great for sandwiches, wraps, soups, pasta, crostini
Ingredients
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
large bunch parsley
¾ tsp sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove minced garlic

Combine everything to a food processor and mix it up!

Sunflower Parsley Pesto



































Easy Tomato Sauce for base – good for two flat breads
3 tbsp tomato paste
Enough water to loosen it but still on the thick side
Sea salt to taste
Pepper if you like
Mashed garlic could be nice

Combine everything in small bowl and coat the pizza

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