A simple dinner, no meat, just comfort food is what is on my mind for dinner. A little yeast Bulema/ Pizza dough, some heirloom tomatoes, miniature buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil were calling me from the refrigerator. I opened the refrigerator and the light of inspiration spilled out giving me an idea.
There were partially baked flatbreads of dough in the freezer in a plastic bag, nestled among the whole chickens and bags of grape vine leaves from my garden. One of my ongoing projects is to see if freezing leaves softens them enough to roll up for yaprakes(stuffed vine leaves) versus blanching them or using brined leaves from a jar. But I digress. The heirloom tomatoes were voluptuous with their extra curves and mottled red and yellow coloring on the second shelf of the refrigerator. Two whole containers of one inch round fresh, soft mozzarella balls lay untouched from Father’s day,but still good in the door shelf, and a bouquet of fresh basil in a jar of water rounded out the ingredients. I had dinner ready in a few moments and it was oh so satisfying. In the future I think I will keep partially baked flatbreads ready to top anytime in the freezer on a regular basis.
Serves 6 to 8
3/ 4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/ 2 teaspoon sugar
1/ 2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/ 2 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups better for bread flour
1/ 4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Flour for dusting
1/ 4 cup grated Parmigano Reggiano
4 large heirloom tomatoes
2 containers of buffalo mozzarella balls
Freshly Ground Pepper
1 large bunch of fresh basil, chiffonade (cut in ribbons)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
In a two cup glass measure, combine yeast, sugar, salt, oil. Add 2 cups of warm water and stir. Place flour in a large mixing bowl or bowl of a food processor. After the yeast and water mixture begins to foam (about 8 to 10 minutes), add the yeast water to flour and process for 60 seconds. If mixing by hand mix and then kneed until dough is smooth and elastic.
Divide dough into 2 round balls, flattened into discs and set them in flour dusted prepared baking sheet. Loosely cover dough with a tea towel and set dough aside to rise for about 2 to 3 hours in a cozy place. If you live in a dry climate you may want to cover dough with a loose piece of plastic wrap first.
When dough has risen for about two hours, punch it down and divide each ball into 3 to 4 pieces each. Roll each piece in your palms to make a smooth ball and set them in a prepared rimmed baking sheet coated with oil. Cover dough with a tea towel and let dough rise a second time for one hour.
Heat oven to 400° F. Working on a wood or stone work surface, gently roll out each ball of dough into an oval or circle about 8 by 4 inches or 6 inches in diameter. Place flatbread on baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, 3 flatbreads per sheet. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and place in oven. Bake only partway until dough is just turning golden about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. At this point you can top and bake again or cool and freeze in airtight bags.
Slice heirloom tomatoes in half and then, in slices, spread slices on top of flatbread. Cut mozzarella balls in half and scatter around tops of flatbread. Season with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil if you prefer. Sprinkle some basil on top but reserve half of the basil to garnish flatbread after it comes out of oven.