With my recent travels to the beautiful part of Europe from which the Flammkuchen originates, how could I not try it? I LOVED it…love pizza anyhoo, and whilst not strictly pizza, they certainly attended the same culinary school and it was so tasty and soooo easy! Sometimes called Tart Flambée, it is not flambéed as such, but literally translated, means cooked in flames….no flames in my oven, but if you have a woodfired oven, please do it. It will be amazing!
I have also recently discovered the finer differences between dried yeast and its much superior counterpart, fresh yeast! Please seek out fresh yeast and give it a try at least. The beauty of using fresh yeast with a Thermomix is that you can warm it up to get it bubbling and all happy! In Australia fresh yeast is available at good European delicatessens (and possibly some bad ones!) but more easily found at a good health food shop.
This is my take on Flammkuchen; hopefully the traditionalists out there will not be offended.
Now my little attempt at greenery was more than a styling idea. I found in Germany and Switzerland, that a lot of what they eat in one meal is all white; white potato, with white cheese, or white pasta, or white asparagus, with white sauce, etc and the Flammkuchen looked a little, well, white! So rocket not only added colour, but some fresh flavour, and texture, as well as being chock full of Vitamins C and K, with a lot of iron thrown in for good measure! The Swiss often add beautiful salads to their meals, but they are served separately, so what you see on one plate is all nearly white! I am confident the Germans do the same salad thing, but I was not there long enough to notice…looks like I will have to go back, just to check my facts! Anyway, may I present; Flammkuchen…with a little Aussie tweak.
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- 300 Grams water
- 1 Teaspoon raw caster sugar BUY
- 30 Grams fresh yeast
- 20 Grams Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) BUY
- 500 Grams bakers or strong flour
- 1 Pinch pink salt flakes BUY
- 100 Grams Swiss cheese, cubed
- 200 Grams Creme Fraiche (homemade) Recipe
- 100 Grams thick cream (I used double cream)
- some freshly grated nutmeg
- pink salt flakes to taste BUY
- black pepper freshly cracked, to taste
- 200 Grams speck or ham, roughly chopped
- 1 Red onion to taste, thinly sliced (approx 1 onion for 4 Flammkuchen)
- Good Handfuls rocket leaves per flammkuchen
Place water, sugar, yeast and EVOO into the Thermomix bowl and blend 6 sec/speed 6. Warm 2 min/37ºC/speed 2.
Add flour and salt and knead 3 min/Interval.
Turn out onto floured bread mat and punch into a tight ball, wrap and allow to prove for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 250ºC plus on a grill fan function if you have it. If you have a pizza stone, also heat at this point, on the lowest shelf in the oven.
Place cheese into the Thermomix bowl and mill 8 sec/speed 8. Remove from bowl and set aside.
Place crème fraîche, cream and seasonings into the Thermomix bowl and mix 5 sec/speed 6.
Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each out into large thin rounds, or whatever shape they end up, rustic is nice!
Spread each with the crème fraîche mix, top with speck or ham, red onion and grated cheese. Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes or until base is crispy and top is well cooked. Remove from oven and serve immediately with the fresh rocket leaves.
Feel free to add in sliced mushrooms, other cheeses, sliced pear with camembert is also traditional. Less is more, don't overdo the toppings or the dough will not hold up under the weight.