Creative Culinary and Cake Duchess, links up recipes along a common theme each month. My comfort with yeast dough is increasing with each baking challenge. Come bake with us!
My contribution for November is flatbread with pears, caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese. I tasted a similar dish as a restaurant appetizer some time ago. It was a shared dish among friends and I know I ate more than my fair share! That particular dish used blue cheese, a taste which a few friends found too strong for their liking, so I switched it up this time and used Gruyere. I associate Gruyere with French onion soup—one of my favorite soups—so I knew the onions and cheese would pair well. And what about those pears? I tried them two ways: first I cooked them in a saucepan as recommended in this recipe but I found the mushy texture wasn’t the ideal topping for this flatbread. The pears and the onions were too similar. My second try was more successful. I thinly sliced the pears and arranged them on top of the onions, cheese and dough then baked the flatbread. Top the hot flatbread with arugula and a few dried cranberries and you have a beautiful appetizer, if not a meal.
Thanks to Barb and Lora for hosting this baking fun. Be sure to click through here to see the rest of the November recipes.
Dough recipe from the Seattle Times and the topping is adapted from the same recipe.
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup skim milk
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 pears, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 ounces freshly grated Gruyere cheese
1. Sponge: In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand a few minutes then stir in 1/4 cup all purpose flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 40 minutes.
2. Stir the milk into the sponge in a large mixing bowl. Add the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt. Now combine this flour mixture with the sponge and stir well.
3. On a lightly floured workspace, knead the dough for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Coat the dough lightly with baking spray and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 45 to 60 minutes.
4. Topping: Heat the oil in a skillet, add the onions and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add brown sugar and vinegar then cook another 10 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. I also preheat a baking stone or baking tray at this time. Roll the dough into a rectangle or into a few smaller circles if you prefer individual servings. Spread the thyme on the dough, then the cheese, onions and finally the pears. Place the flatbread dough on parchment then on the preheated baking tray (check your box of parchment first to make sure it can withstand heat up to 500 degrees). Bake for 12-15 minutes. Top immediately with arugula and dried cranberries.