Are you intimidated by baking bread? It's so much easier than it seems. This bread is particularly easy...not quite as easy as beer bread, but still very easy.
I've been reading Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. His book describes various ratios that you can use to make bread, cookies, pie, etc. The bread ratio is simple-- 5 parts flour to 3 parts water + 1 tablespoon yeast for every 1 pound of flour. Ratios work best when you use a scale to measure the parts, but armed with a scale you can easily double or even triple the recipe. Once you have the basic bread ratio down, you can play with it to add ingredients and make it more interesting.
Today, I decided to play with the ratio to create my own bread recipe. I wanted to make something that would go well with Italian food. I decided to make a flatbread and flavor it with rosemary and garlic. The bread only takes about 30 minutes of actual work plus some time for letting the dough rise. It's really easy and I think I ate half of it straight out of the oven.
Rosemary Garlic FlatbreadIngredients:
20 ounces of flour (~4 cups)
12 ounces of water (~1.5 cups)
2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of active/instant yeast
Garlic cloves (4-5)
Mix together flour, water, salt, olive oil and yeast. You can either mix this in a mixer or by hand. (I prefer mixing it by hand.) Once the ingredients come together, keep kneading it until the dough forms a translucent window when stretched (about 10 minutes).
Cover the dough with plastic and let it sit for 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Separate the dough in half and stretch it out to the desired size. I made 2 long pieces of flat bread. Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with olive oil, rosemary, and sea salt. Use a garlic press to crush the garlic cloves and spread evenly over the top of the dough.
Bake the bread for ~15 minutes at 400 degrees or until the top of the bread starts to lightly color.