Flat-out fantastic: Oregano & Cracked Pepper Flatbread

This flatbread recipe is easy enough to overcome anyone's fear of baking.

click to enlarge Flat-out fantastic: Oregano & Cracked Pepper Flatbread - Katie Machol Simon
Katie Machol Simon
Flat-out fantastic: Oregano & Cracked Pepper Flatbread

click to enlarge Flat-out fantastic: Oregano & Cracked Pepper Flatbread - Katie Machol Simon
Katie Machol Simon
Flat-out fantastic: Oregano & Cracked Pepper Flatbread

I'll be honest with you. While I love to cook and play around with recipes, I'm not really gung ho about baking. I prefer to keep my measuring spoons and cups in a drawer and stick to mainly savory dishes that are, for the most part, prepared on the stove top. I blame it on my lack of patience for waiting on an oven timer or for dough to rise. Plus, if you're not exact with measuring the ingredients for most breads and pastries and mixing them precisely, you could royally mess them up.

Luckily, I've found a fantastic recipe for flatbread that is an absolute breeze to make and practically foolproof. It takes mere minutes to mix up — using ingredients you probably already have on-hand — and only 10 to 12 minutes to bake. The only special item that you may not already have is parchment paper, which is pretty essential (especially if you don't want to be scrubbing down your pans later).

Try out this easy olive oil flatbread this weekend and use it as a vehicle for hummus or dips, or even as the base for a flatbread pizza or sandwich. In fact, just double or triple the recipe and make a whole mess of it because it's deliciously addictive. Seriously, I may never buy crackers again after having found this gem of a recipe.

Enjoy!

Oregano and Cracked Pepper Olive Oil Flatbread

Makes 4-6 appetizer servings; adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Optional for topping: flaky or coarse sea salt, more chopped herbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and put a baking sheet tray on the middle rack. Prepare a work surface with a little flour dusted on it. (Tip: To save yourself a mess, tape plastic wrap to your counter where you'll be rolling out your dough.)

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, oregano and pepper until evenly combined. Make a well (hole) in the center of the mixture and pour the olive oil and water into the mixture. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir together the mixture using the folding method: stir around the edges of the mixture and bring it to the center. When the dough just starts to stick together, place the dough ball on your work surface. Knead the dough a few times — flatten the dough ball a bit and fold in the sides, then form another ball; flatten it again and fold in the top and bottom. Repeat this about 4 to 5 times.

Divide dough in half or into thirds. Place one dough ball on the floured area on your counter and put some plastic wrap on the piece(s) you're not working with yet. Dust a little flour on a rolling pin and roll out dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. (Tip: No rolling pin? Use a wine bottle.)

Place the rolled out dough on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle coarse salt and extra herbs on top (if using), pressing them down into the dough. Lightly brush the top with some extra olive oil, then gently lift the parchment and place it on the baking sheet tray that's in the preheated oven. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown in spots.

Transfer baked flatbread to a rack or another sheet tray to cool and discard parchment. Repeat this process with additional dough ball(s). When the flatbread is cooled, cut or break into pieces. Make up to two days ahead and store in an airtight container (like a large zip-loc bag) at room temperature for up to four days after baking.


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