Bread. One of the most fundamental yet soul satisfying foods known to man. Then why is it so darn intimidating?
Bread baking isn't something I do very often. It's not for the want of it, honestly who wouldn't want the warm scent of freshly-baked bread wafting through the house? It's the time it takes, the kneading and proofing and, quite frankly, the fear of failure. Bread baking is kind of scary isn't it? It only requires the most basic of ingredients: yeast, water, flour and salt, yet it can be so very fickle.
This flatbread is the perfect preamble to the wide world of bread baking. The method, ingredients and all around experience is simple and the results spectacular. It can be adapted to taste with the addition of chopped herbs or flavored olive oil and the final result is fabulous sandwiched with a few slices of cured meat. Nonetheless, I think it's best alone, perhaps with an extra drizzle of olive oil, allowing you to relish in the crunch of flaky sea salt permeating every bite.
Flatbread with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
makes one sheetpan
1 1/4 cup warm water 1 1/4 teaspoon yeast 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 1/4 cups bread flour 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp maldon salt
In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Add the flours and kosher salt and mix with a dough hook on medium speed for 10 minutes until the dough is compact and smooth. Remove from the mixing bowl and knead on a lightly-floured counter top for a few minutes and shape into a ball. Transfer the ball into an oiled bowl, cover and rest for 1 1/2 hours in a warm spot. Place the dough ball on a lightly oiled sheet pan and spread dough to the ends, drizzle lightly with oil and cover loosely. Rest for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F, sprinkle the dough with flaky sea salt.
Bake 25 minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned. Cut into desired shapes and sizes. Serve warm or at room temperature.