Breakfast Recipes Savoury Bites

Wholewheat Flammkuchen

I really enjoyed our quick pre-Christmas winter trip to Strasbourg, France. The city is most famous for its amazing Christmas market, or to be more precise, several markets located in different parts of the city’s old town. With all the beautiful stalls full of handmade ornaments, traditional pottery, various gift ideas, regional hot white wine (yes, white!) and loads of baked goods, one can truly sink into the Holiday atmosphere and spirit. Plus the city is beautifully decorated and illuminated, which only adds to its charm.

Strasbourg is part of the Alsace region, which is historically known for its unique mixture of French and German influence that is predominantly visible in its culture and cuisine. Regional white wines, in particular Riesling and Pinot Blanc, are one of the hallmarks together with the local dishes such as choucroute garnie (sauerkraut with sausage, meat, charcuterie and potatoes), baeckeoffe (baked caserole dish) and flammkuchen (or tarte flambée).

So here you go; that’s the source of inspiration for today’s dish – flammkuchen (or tarte flambée). Some call it a German pizza because of its similar looks but to me it’s a rather far-fetched comparison. The base of that dish is a thin and simple wheat dough with some addition of olive oil and sometimes yeast, traditionally topped with fromage blanc (a type of a French cottage cheese, which is something in between sour cream and grainy cottage cheese), thin sliced onion and bacon, baked until crispy and lightly browned. Obviously there are different variations of toppings, including a selection of French cheeses, pumpkin, zucchini or asparagus. Flammkuchen is a great idea for weekend brunch and lunch as well as a party snack when you have some friends and family coming over.

I have decided to choose two non traditional versions on wholewheat crust with my beloved sweet potato, kale and smoked salmon with dill. Give it a try and I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

Recipe

Crust
150 g (1.25 cup) whole wheat flour
50 g (0.4 cup) all purpose flour
100 ml (a bit less than 0.5 cup) water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 teaspoon salt
Topings
3 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 large sweet potato, sliced thin*
1/2 small red onion, sliced very thin*
handful kale leaves, shreded
1 tablespoon olive oil

or
5 slices smoked salmon
1/3 small red onion, sliced very thin*
handful dill leaves, chopped*
drizzle lemon juice

Prep time

20 minutes

Baking time

15-20 minutes

Serves

2 medium size flammkuchen

Instructions

  • Combine flour, oil, salt and water (on the counter top or in the food processor). Start kneading and if the dough is too dry and doesn’t want to come together, gradually add more water until a smooth, springy and coherent dough is formed. The amount of water needed may exceed 100 ml as it all depends on the properties of the flour you’re using. So if you think more water is needed simply add it. When the dough is formed, cover it with a kitchen towel and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes.

  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper.

  • Prepare the toppings. If you’re making the sweet potato version, peel and slice the potatoes as thin as possible. Do the same with red onion. Shred the kale leaves and discard the hard stem. In a bowl drizzle the kale with olive oil and mix to cover all the leaves. If you’re making the salmon version, only the onion will need to be sliced at that stage.

  • Lightly dust the counter top with flour. Roll the dough to 1-2 mm (0.04-0.08 inches) thickness and using the rolling pin, transfer to the baking tray.

  • Evenly cover the surface of the dough with creme fraiche or sour cream, sprinkle with sliced onion, salt and pepper. If you’re making the sweet potato version add the slices of potatoes on top and brush them with a bit of olive oil. You will add the kale on top in the middle of baking, after around 10 minutes from putting the dough in the oven.

  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the dough turns a nice golden brown and crispy on the edges. Serve warm. If you’re making the salmon version: place the salmon pieces on the baked flammkuchen and sprinkle with dill.

*Baker’s Note: Flammkuchen is thin and bakes quickly (15-20 minutes, as noted above). That’s why the vegetables have to be sliced thin enough to properly bake in that amount of time, otherwise they will still be raw and tough. So the thinner the better!

**Baker’s Note: all the cup measurements refer to US cups.

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