Rustic Tuscany Flatbread

Rustic Tuscany Flatbread
What is it about fresh, warm, home-baked bread that is so comforting? This Italian flatbread recipe is surprisingly easy to make, and its delicate flavor goes with almost everything. It cooks up so fast; you’ll want to make this for dinner a couple times a week.

3 cups organic flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. dried rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup ice-cold water
Extra kosher salt for sprinkling
Extra olive oil for brushing

Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, and use a fork to gently blend them. Make a well in the center, and pour the oil and water into it. Mix gently until completely blended. If necessary, add a teaspoon or two of cold water; then knead with your hands until dough is smooth.

Pull out a wad of dough about 2 1/2 inches across – slightly larger than an egg or a ping-pong ball. Place onto a lightly floured surface and spread with your fingers into a flat disk about 8 inches across. The top will be uneven.

Heat a large nonstick frypan over medium-high heat. (We used one of those grill pans with the ridges in the bottom, which gave the bread in our photo the sear marks.) When pan is hot, brush the flat dough disk with olive oil and place oiled side down in the pan. Heat for about 2 minutes until a few brown spots appear on the bottom. Brush top with olive oil, flip bread over, and cook another 2 minutes. Slide out of pan onto a plate with paper towels on it, and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Serve while warm.

What do you all think about maybe adding some flecks of sun-dried tomatoes to this recipe…or pine nuts? I also think this bread might be delicious with a homemade veggie burger.

roasted rosemary potatoes

Here’s a fast, easy side dish. We added some leftover bell peppers to provide nice color, but you can omit them and use only potatoes if you prefer. The fresh rosemary smells divine.

4 Tbs. good-quality olive oil
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary
Sea salt crystals (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine olive oil, vegetables, rosemary, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Toss until veggies are coated with oil and salt.

2. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread vegetables evenly over foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are desired consistency.

rosemary focaccia bread

If you’ve never made homemade bread, this is a good introductory recipe. It’s easy! The dough needs time to rise, so save this recipe for a leisurely afternoon. Use fresh rosemary for the best (and most fragrant!) results.

4 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package (.25 ounce) active dried yeast
2 tsp. salt
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Additional olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt for sprinkling
Extra sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnishing

1. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil, rosemary, and garlic until aromatic. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together water, active dried yeast, and salt. Add olive oil, rosemary, and garlic and stir. Add 4 cups of flour and stir until combined. Knead the dough in the mixing bowl with your fingers for about 3 minutes. Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough is soft, not sticky. If it’s still sticky, knead in extra flour until the dough is soft.

2. Cover bowl tightly and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour. (I like to preheat the oven on the warm setting, turn the oven off, and let the dough rise in the oven with the door slightly open). Gently poke the dough with your finger. If your finger imprint remains, it’s ready.

3. Brush oil on a 10″ x 12″ rectangular baking pan. With oiled fingers, stretch the dough evenly over the baking pan. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 400°. Brush top of dough with olive oil and decorate with rosemary sprigs. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.