Crisp rosemary flatbread
Photo: Danielle Smith
This recipe is inspired by a wonderful Sardinian flatbread known as carta musica, or sheet music, because it's almost impossibly thin. Perhaps it also has something to do with the musical crunch it makes when you eat it. Flatbread involves no leavening, no waiting, hardly any mixing and barely any ingredients. In its purest form, flatbread is ground grain, mixed with water and salt. Then there is the very popular addition of either butter or oil, for flavour and texture. To this base almost anything can be added: herbs, black pepper, sesame seeds, spice, even a pinch of curry powder. You can also finely grate a little parmesan cheese over the bread halfway through cooking. Rosemary, I find, works wonderfully with the olive oil. It's a simple addition that aligns the resulting bread with grilled vegetables, a cheese course, or straight up with a glass of white wine.
- 1 ¾ cups plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
- ½ cup water
- ? cup olive oil
- Extra sea salt flakes
- Makes about 16
Preheat oven to 210C with a baking tray in the middle rack.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre, add water and oil and gradually stir into flour until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a lightly floured work surface for a few minutes, about four or five times. The mixture will be quite oily and soft.
Divide dough into six pieces and, using a rolling pin, roll out one piece at a time on a sheet of baking paper into a longish irregular rustic shape; mine were about 18 centimetres x 10 centimetres. Sprinkle with a little salt and then slide rolled out dough and paper onto the preheated tray.
Bake for about eight to 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Cut or break the crispbread into two to three pieces and leave on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Tip: When it comes to rolling out, try to keep the dough thin and even, so the bread won't burn in parts and undercook in others. The shapes can be irregular but they should be so thin you can almost see through them.
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