Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. Walnuts. No seriously, walnuts on a flatbread is what I came up with yesterday and it was amazing. The texture and the richness of the walnut combined with balsamic vinegar and pesto was to die for.
Sundays are usually the big meal days. Aka, the meals that take a bit more effort and thinking compared to a weekday meal such as spaghetti. Well, Sundays were the big meal days for a while because I was working and had recuperated enough over the weekend to cook a nice meal. I don’t work yet but…I decided to keep the tradition alive.
Honestly, I’m not sure what the difference between a flatbread and pizza is. I assume it’s the thickness and shape of the dough that alters the name. Okay, I just googled it. I guess it’s the difference between unleavened and leavened dough, as well as the optional use of toppings (sometimes) with flatbreads. Regardless, whether you want to call this pizza or flatbread, all I care is that it tasted amazing.
Keep in mind, this is a post focused on the toppings, not the process of making the pizzbread (new name). Although I will include some tips.
Tip #1: Your dough needs ample time to rise. Try not to use the hot-0ven-proofing method if you have the time. I find that the dough just gets too mushy and tastes more yeast-y.
Tip #2: Use good yeast. Like I’ve said time and time again, I only use Dr. Oetker’s. This is just my opinion on a good yeast but I promise, there is a huge difference between using this and Fleischmann’s. If I could, I would use live yeast but have no idea where I can buy it.
Tip #3: You need a cast iron pizza pan or a pizza stone. The biggest issue with using a cookie sheet is that it’s temperature fluctuates way too easily. It just doesn’t retain it’s heat like a cast iron pan does. Using cast iron makes the crust have a thin layer of crunch on the bottom (which all pizzas should have) rather than some chewy piece of somewhat cooked dough. I promise, if you buy the cast iron pan, you won’t regret it. And it’s quite inexpensive too.
Tip #4: Use proper mozzarella, do not use shredded mozzarella in a bag. Not living in New Jersey puts me at a disadvantage because I had access to all the fresh mozzarella in the world. But I resort to using Belgioso cheese from Sam’s Club. It’s not what I normally use but it’s what I got. So yes, I am a cheese snob. But using good cheese makes a world’s difference. Bagged (or that white block of what people call cheese for a reason) shredded cheese is equivalent to rubber to me. You want that white, stringy, non-greasy cheese on your pizza, not opaque, rubbery, chewy cheese.
Tip #5: Blind bake your crust before putting toppings on.
Tip #6: Use the highest temperature possible for the oven. Most ovens only go up to 500 degrees F. And let the oven properly preheat; don’t just throw your pizza in there once the oven claims it’s at that temperature; you need the pan or stone to be heated all the way through.
Tip #7: Bake your pizza at 500 degrees F just until the crust starts to turn light brown. Once at that stage, blast it with the broiler at 500 degrees F again. It gets the cheese bubbling; there has been one too many times in my practicing of pizza making where the crust is dark brown and the cheese in the center is just barely melted. No good.
Tip #8: Let your pizza cool before cutting it. Sounds basic but let the cheese set before diving in and having a soupy mess on your table.
Tip #9: As you can see, my pizzas are on top of parchment paper. This is because although I normally like to put the pizza directly on the pizza pan, not having a pizza peel puts me at a disadvantage. So I place parchment on a large cutting board, put the toppings on, and just slide the whole thing onto the pan. Trust me, I’ve had incidents where I dropped the entire pizza because I was trying to balance it on two spatulas.
Here are the toppings I used for three different pizzbreads (this name is really sticking). Please refer to my previous foccacia and pizza recipe for proper instructions for dough making and pizza assembling. I mean, pizzbread (https://kimchiandkogi.com/2014/07/20/rosemary-focaccia/ and https://kimchiandkogi.com/2014/07/28/margherita-pizza/)
Thinly sliced shallots
Thinly sliced sweet pepper
Diced cooked chicken
Barbeque sauce of your choice
My favorite was #2; it was just completely addicting. Enjoy!