Inspired by Gabriel Kreuther
Pairing: 2014 Chalk Hill North Slope Pinot Gris
Makes three flatbreads, roughly 6x12”
I’ve been told I have ancestry from that little corner of the world. When I was given our 2013 North Slope Pinot Gris (a delicious bottle of juice!), my first thought was, “this has got to be proper!” After a little head scratching, I found the Tarte Flambée, a simple flatbread from that region. Whether it was serendipity or psychic phenomenon, it made sense to me! I played with different crust recipes and dairy ratios... they all worked! My team and I ate a lot of flatbread that day.
In the few years I’ve been honored by being here at Chalk Hill Estate, our Pinot Gris has always been a marvelous treat. It plays very nicely on a stage with the creamy and smoky flavors featured here. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a brick oven, get the fire started and test the heat by baking one or three of these before you bake your bread or have your pizza party... otherwise, get your pizza stone as hot as you can! Don’t be afraid to char it a little. This is a rustic treat that will make you and your friends very happy. Just remember to have a couple bottles of the Pinot Gris on hand... one to drink while the oven is heating, and one to drink while you’re eating...
A quick note: other than following a recipe to make the crust, don’t be afraid of playing with the other ingredients. I promise you, nobody was measuring an eighth teaspoon of his or her Nutmeg 100 years ago!
1-¾ c AP Flour (plus extra for kneading)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1-½ tsp Kosher Salt, (plus more for seasoning the flatbreads to taste)
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for coating dough
2 ea. Egg Yolks
½ c Water
Bacon, about ½# per flatbread, see instructions below
Crème Fraiche (see below)
Fromage Blanc, if available (see below)
Nutmeg, freshly grated over the Tarte, light to moderate covering
Black or White Peppercorn, or both, light to moderate covering
Fresh Thyme, roughly chopped, roughly ¼-½ tsp per flatbread
Yellow Onion, roughly ¼ onion per flatbread, very thinly sliced
Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped, about ½ tsp per flatbread
Preheat oven and Baking Stone, as hot as you can. 500F or hotter.
In a medium bowl, mix together the first three ingredients, make a well in the center, and set aside. In a separate bowl, measure out the second three ingredients, whisk together, and pour into the first bowl. Using your hands, mix together until you have a dough coming together. It will be very sticky. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead, working in additional flour as needed, for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Cut into 3 equal portions, roll into balls, coat lightly with EVOO, cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator to rest, about 1 hour.
While dough is resting bring about 2 qts of water to a boil in a medium pot. While water is heating, slice bacon into ¼ inch ‘lardons.’ When water is boiling, add bacon, and cook until water returns to the boil. Strain out the bacon and allow to cool and dry slightly. Reserve the bacon broth for another use, or discard. In a medium sauté pan, over medium high heat, render bacon out until lightly browned, and slightly crisped. Remove to a tray lined with paper towels to drain. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together 1½ - 2 cups total of the Crème Fraiche and Fromage Blanc. If you don’t have Fromage Blanc, don’t worry. Just use straight Crème Fraiche. I liked a ratio of 1 cup CF to ½ cup FB. Season with Salt. Set aside.
When dough is ready, roll out. Add flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. I like to use cornmeal on the peel. A rectangle is the traditional shape, but I went with a more natural oval. Dough balls don’t like square corners! Repeat as needed.
Top each flatbread with the dairy, then Nutmeg, Thyme, Pepper, Onion, Salt, Lardon.
Bake on the stone until the crust is starting to char around the edges. If the top is a little pale, finish under the Broiler. Baking time will be dependent on each oven, taking from three to six minutes roughly per flatbread. If you have a Brick Oven, this might only take 2 minutes!
Sprinkle with Fresh Parsley.
Cut and serve while hot!