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Chevre with Herbs de Provence on Flatbread with Lavender Honey
Mary Karlin, Elements of Taste

8 oz           fresh chevre
2 Tbsp       herbs de Provence
1/4 cup      plain honey
1/4 tsp       lavender powder*
                 Plain Baked Flatbread (recipe below)

Roll softened chevre into a log shape then roll in herbs de Provence. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and refrigerate until firm.

Meanwhile, slightly warm honey in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove. Stir in lavender powder. Set aside.

When ready to serve, slice cheese into rounds and place one round on each piece of flatbread. Drizzle with lavender honey and serve.

*Whole Spice sells fantastic lavender powder. A little goes a long ways.

Basic Plain Baked Flatbread
Makes 6 small flatbreads

Flatbreads are really fun and easy to make. This is my favorite basic dough with lots of flavor. This recipe is the easiest one to make since you basically mix all the ingredients together almost at one time then set aside to develop and rise. That’s simple enough! You can replace ¼ cup of the all purpose flour with whole wheat or rye flour for additional flavor. When doing so, you may need a bit more water.

1 Tbsp            honey
1½ cups         warm water, or more as needed
2 tsp               active dry yeast
4 cups            unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tsp            kosher salt
2 Tbsp            olive oil

Preheat conventional or wood-fired oven to 500 degrees.

Dissolve the honey in the 1 ½ cups of warm water. Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, mix the yeast, flour and salt on low speed for 2 minutes, with the mixer running gradually add in the honey-water mixture and drizzle in the olive oil. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes, and then return to low speed for another 2 minutes to start the creation of gluten which will add structure to the final dough. Add up to 1/3 cup more water as needed to make a dough that pulls away from the walls of the mixer bowl and is smooth yet slightly tacky to the touch. (The ambient humidity will affect how much water is needed.) Let dough rest in the mixer bowl for 5 minutes then turn the mixer on medium-high speed for another 3 minutes, vigorously slapping the dough against the sides of the bowl, creating more gluten and structure to the dough.

On a lightly floured board, form the dough into a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ hours.

*For additional flavor, put the dough in a sealed container and let it bulk ferment overnight in the refrigerator. Allow dough to come to room temperature (about one hour) before gently folding the dough and forming into a ball.

Using a plastic bowl scraper, reach down to the bottom of the bowl and gently stretch and fold the dough onto itself 4 times then empty the bowl onto a lightly floured board, form into a ball and cut into 6 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball by gently stretching and tucking the dough to form a ‘belly button’ on the bottom. Gently roll the ball in the palm of your hand or on the floured board then set each ball, belly button side down, on a well-floured baking sheet and lightly brush or spray each top with olive oil. Cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for at least 1 hour, until doubled in size. Refrigerate if not using within 1 hour or place each ball of dough in an oiled self-sealing plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. Allow refrigerated dough to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using. Thaw frozen dough in the bag at room temperature until dough warms up and has risen to almost twice its size.

Shape into 6 flatbreads and bake on a preheated baking stone in a conventional oven or on the floor of a wood-fired oven until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven and brush edges of the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with fine sea salt. Cut into desired portions and top each piece with fresh chevre and maybe some dressed baby greens. Serve immediately.


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