Sunday, January 27, 2013

breakfast-for-dinner flatbreads

Recently, I bought some pesto to make these delicious Portobello mushroom, goat cheese, and pesto baked sandwiches.

As she does every Saturday, my 10-year-old sister Mia came over after her diving lessons and asked me if I had any snacks for her.  As usual, I offered her whatever options I could think of off the top of my head, and, as usual, she wasn't interested in any of them and instead proceeded to rummage through my fridge to see if there was anything more to her taste in there.

Naturally, there wasn't.  But, there was a tub of store-bought pesto that she couldn't even believe I had in there.  Why on earth would I buy store-bought pesto?  Why wouldn't I just make it myself?

Well, the fact that buying pine nuts and basil to make homemade pesto in the middle of winter for homemade pesto was far more expensive than just buying pre-made pesto was apparently not justification enough for her.

Back to the pesto, though:  I used it for those sandwiches, which were delicious, and then I made a sunny-side-up egg, goat cheese, and spinach sandwich for brunch one morning, which set me on this flatbread track.  I love these flatbreads, and I thought I would enjoy them doctored up in the same way as these sandwiches.  Plus, who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?

Inspired by this recipe, but adapted from this one.

½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup warm water, between 100 and 110 degrees F (I do this by turning on the water until I feel like it is "warm" and measuring its temperature with my thermometer.  Then I put some in a bowl and take the temperature again to be sure it is accurate before I measure it out.)
 teaspoons active dry yeast {½ package}
½ teaspoon sugar
 cup honey
¼ stick (2 tablespoons) butter
½ egg (Crack egg into a small bowl & scramble it, measure out 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons or 1 ½ tablespoon of the egg.  This does not have to be terribly precise for the recipe to work out.)
2 cups flour
Italian seasoning or seasoning mix of your choice (optional--I use Urzi's Bread Dipping Spice)

  1. Scald milk.  Pour the milk into a a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.   Stirring continuously, bring the milk bring to just to a simmer.  When the milk just begins to boil, you have "scaled it," so you can remove it from the heat and use in the next step.
  2. Place scalded milk in a large bowl with honey, butter, and salt.  Stir until butter is melted.  Let cool.
  3. In a separate, small bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and warm water.  Let the yeast mixture stand for at least five minutes; the mixture should puff up and get very foamy.
  4. Add ¾ cup flour to milk mixture; then, add the half egg, and mix well.
  5. Add both the yeast mixture and the rest (1 ¼ cups) of the flour to the milk mixture.
  6. Mix dough until it is sticky.  Using your hands, knead the mixture in the bowl or on a floured counter top for about 3 minutes until it forms a soft, smooth dough.  If a soft, smooth dough does not form within that amount of time, add a little more flour (a tablespoon or so at a time) until it does.  If the dough starts to get dry, drizzle in just a little bit of water or milk. Your flour to water ratio will depend on the brand of flour you are using.
  7. Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured counter top and form it into a large ball.  Place dough ball in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  8. When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 8 pieces.  I do this by setting the dough on a counter top and using a very sharp knife to divide it up.  Form a ball with each of the 8 pieces.
  9. Roll each piece to ⅛ inch thickness so that you have a flatbread that is about 8 inches in diameter.
  10. To cook the dough, heat a large skillet coated lightly with olive oil over medium-high heat.  Now is the time to sprinkle both sides of your flatbread with seasoning, if desired.  Place the flatbread in the pan and cook for about 30 seconds.  Flip and cook the other side for an additional thirty seconds.
  11. Store leftover flatbreads in an airtight container for up to two days; they are the perfect substitute for your typical lunch bread!

Flatbread recipe
Crisp bacon
Grated cheese (Mozzarella used here)
Condiments:  suggestions include pesto (I used this), chipotle mayo, Italian dressing, etc.

  1. To cook eggs sunny-side up, heat a skillet with a tiny amount of butter over medium-low heat.  When the skillet is warm, crack an egg (or more if your skillet is bigger) onto the skillet and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, or until the whites of the egg have been cooked through.
  2. To assemble the flatbreads, first spread on condiments.  Next, layer on the egg, bacon, and spinach.  Top with grated cheese.
  3. To melt the cheese, set the flatbreads on a cookie sheet and broil on high for about 1 minute or until the cheese is melted.
  4. Serve immediately: one to two of these makes a good single serving (I ate two of them).

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