Friday, April 26, 2013

Flat bread with mushrooms, bacon, cheese, and balsamic reduction

Hello, lovely.
I had a fantastic surprise this morning when I arrived at work: it was Teacher Appreciation day, so our usual meeting was canceled. Given our abbreviated Wednesday schedule and the fact that last period is my planning, I was done at 11:35! It was that snow day emotion--unexpectedly not having to work! One of the best feelings there is.
So, having some free time, I of course felt like cooking. There wasn't much in our fridge--but I found ricotta and mozzarella (originally intended for raviolis I never made) and some dried porchinis (no idea why I originally bought these). And I always have garlic, yeast, and flour. So, flat bread! Flat bread has become my "whatever's in the fridge" go-to creation. It's great to have around for snacking, and it's fun to make.
Some of the ingredients. Not pictured: balsamic, olive oil


For flat bread dough:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
1 TB sugar
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1tsp salt
2 TB olive oil

1 package dried porcini mushrooms 
7 strips bacon, diced
3/4 cup ricotta 
1/2 cup mozzarella 
4 cloves garlic, chopped
red pepper flakes 
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

What to do: 
1. Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and add the yeast. Let it sit for 15 minutes. This wakes the yeast up and gets them horny and hungry. 
2. Add the flour. Mix and knead into a pliant, cohesive ball. You may need to add more water or flour. 
Dough before rising
3. Allow the dough to rise. Cover with a damp paper towel and set somewhere warm. It should about double in size. This will probably take around an hour. 
After rising
5. Boil some water. Add the dried mushrooms to the water and allow to sit in the hot water with the burner off.
4. When the dough is risen, knead it a few more times, then stretch/ spread it into a large oval and put on an oiled rectangular cookie sheet. Push into all the sides and attempt to get it uniformly thick.
6. Spread the cup of ricotta over the flat dough. Then, leave this to rise again while you make the toppings. 
Dough spread with ricotta.
7. Crisp the bacon. Sprinkle the crisp bacon over the dough. 
8.  Mince the garlic and sprinkle it evenly over the top.
9. Take the mushrooms out of the water and lightly squeeze them out. Toss them into the bacon grease and cook for about a minute on high. Then, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and spread them out over the dough. 
10. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes (up to you how much to use). 
11. Dot all over with little chunks of mozzarella. 
12. Bake at 450 for about 35 or 40 min, or until golden brown. 
13. While the flat bread is cooling, pour the balsamic into a small saucepan and add about a tablespoon of sugar. Simmer to reduce into a syrup that coats the back of a spoon. When thick, dribble this over the flat bread. 
14. It's done! Slice and eat.
Were I to make this again, I would omit the reconstituted mushrooms. Their earthiness clashed a bit with the salt-sweet-garlic-cheese of the other flavors.  Would have been better without them. Alas! Now I know.

No comments:

Post a Comment