Sunday, January 17, 2010

Italian Flat Bread Recipe with Garlic

Whether is flat bread, focaccia, tomato pizza, panini, here is the one dough that does it all.

If you have any of these left after you make them (which is so unusual), they are a great basic dough, for what is called focaccia. This flat bread with a garlic butter flavor, is so delicious, you will need to double the recipe to have any left for a focaccia recipe. We use it for sandwiches, pizza's, panini's, focaccia. The sky's the limit. The soft delicious dough is great baked, grilled or fried! You decide.

Amazingly enough after all these years, its easier than ever to make them with so many variations, its always a good choice to make anytime.

Using a basic counter top grill will make this Italian Flat Bread easy to make in no time at all. Just butter the grill grids and your on your way to a perfect tasting Italian Flat Bread.

I have stuffed these with various fillings as well, chicken caesar melts, chicken parmesan, meatballs and mozzarella, tuna melts, turkey melts, ham and cheese, buffalo chicken, any sandwich filling you like goes with this bread, the suggestions can be endless.

The butter on both sides gives this a crisp delicate bread a perfect flavor.

Just a small handful of dough stretched out to make rounds is enough to make this puff up perfectly for any filling.

Using wax paper to make these and letting them rest for around 15 minutes makes them easier to handle, and all ready to be placed on the grill.

Its ok if you have something to do and let this rise all day. Keep a very wet towel over the top, with a cover or lid from your largest fry pan.

The ingredients are simple and you can make this low fat by adding skim milk and low fat ricotta or low fat cottage cheese.

4 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm skim milk (I microwave it for 25 seconds)
1 cup Ricotta or Cottage Cheese (low fat used in this recipe)
2 tsp sugar
1 clove of fresh garlic minced and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder ( use 1 1/2 teaspoons if you omit fresh) leave out this step if you want plain tasting bread.

1 stick butter this is for grilling

Dissolve sugar in warm milk and add yeast. Using a mixer beat blend flour, salt, add garlic.
Pour in the milk and Ricotta and using dough hook beat till smooth and elastic
Form into a ball, return to bowl and cover with a wet towel and large saucepan lid, cover for 2-3 hours (or until doubled). When ready, rip off a handful of dough and using wax paper makes round around 1/8 inch thick. Use your inside counter top grill or outside grill to cook, I use an electric counter top, it works great and evenly browns on both sides. To bake in the oven, I recommend purchasing a gridded grill to use as a baking grill in the oven , place on a buttered grill gridded pan and bake at 400°F, Bake until browned and crispy looking on both sides flip and cook till browned.
If making foccacia, first brush top with butter and olive oil, add rosemary, minced garlic, dried oregano, parsley, basil, black pepper, grating cheese, and mozzarella..drizzle olive oil over the top and bake till cheese is melted.
Pizza's are basic, add sauce your favorite toppings and mozzarella. I use two of these to make a panini's, just fill with meat and cheese melt some butter in a fry pan and weigh it down with a heavy skillet, flip when crisp on one side and cheese is starting to melt, brown the other side as well.
Best eaten the same day, if any leftover bag the flat bread and freeze them. Use as needed. Also, they are great toasted.

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