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Grilled Cumin Flatbread with Fresh Cheese & Tomato-Ginger Chutney
Mary Karlin, Elements of Taste

Makes 6 rustic flatbreads

Flatbreads are a staple food in most cultures and cuisines around the world. They are made in all shapes and sizes, from a variety of flours, leavened and unleavened, topped and plain. This recipe is a very basic one that you can easily adjust to your flavor or cuisine preferences. You can change the cumin to fennel seed or rosemary, or adjust the flour to include a bit of whole wheat. I think flatbreads taste the best when grilled and a bit charred. Grilled over hardwood charcoal or aromatic hardwood, they are a fantastic backdrop for tasty toppings such as fresh cheeses or cultured cottage cheese. If you don’t have a grill, invest in a cast iron stovetop griddle-grill pan to cook the flatbreads (and many other items) on the ribbed side, stovetop. Add a tapenade or chutney, serve with a great salad and you’ve got a great lunch.

4 cups            flour
1½ cups         water (approx)
2 tsp              dry active yeast
2 tsp              kosher salt
1 tsp              cumin seed
¼ cup            olive oil for brushing pizza
                     coarse sea salt for dusting
                     canola oil for brushing grill grate

Combine all the dry ingredients in a stand mixer and mix on low speed for 2 minutes, then slowly add the water and mix at a slightly higher speed for 5 minutes and then slow speed for another 2 minutes to start the creation of gluten. Cover the dough and let it rise for 2 hours or until double in size. Punch it down then form into one large ball, then cut into 6 equal pieces. Shape the individual balls by gently stretching and tucking under, then rolling the ball to keep the ‘belly button’ on the bottom. Set on a floured sheet pan to rest for at least an hour. Lightly brush the tops of the balls with olive oil. Cover with a damp towel or cover with plastic wrap to prevent the outside of the ball from drying out.

Heat your grill to 450-500 degrees or stovetop grill pan on high heat. Lightly brush the grate or grill pan with canola oil just before grilling.

When ready to create the flatbreads, flour a wood peel, stretch and shape each dough ball on the peel into about an 8-10 inch round or oblong shape. Brush with olive oil, being careful NOT to get oil on the peel. Lightly dust the edges with coarse sea salt. Repeat the process with the other dough balls. Two-three flatbreads can be on the grill at the same time.

Take the flatbreads to the grill and quickly flip over, placing them oiled side down on the grill. Close the lid of the grill or if using the stovetop method, place an inverted skillet over each one to act as a lid. When the dough puffs up and there are good grill marks on the dough, lightly brush the top and flip over to grill that side. Move to a cooler spot on the grate to finish cooking.
Remove from the grill, place on a cutting board and cut into servings. Serve with Crème Fraiche Cottage Cheese ( page xx) or other fresh cheese and top with Indian-spiced Tomato-Ginger Chutney.

Indian-spiced Tomato-Ginger Chutney
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup              golden or mixed cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1                    roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves          blanched garlic, thinly sliced into strips
¼ cup             olive oil
3 Tbsp            golden raisins, soaked in hot water, plumped and drained
1 Tbsp            minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp            red wine vinegar
                      zest from one orange
                      juice of one orange
1 tsp               cumin seed
¼ tsp              fennel seed
½ tsp              turmeric
¼ tsp              ground cinnamon
½ tsp              kosher salt
¼ tsp              fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to low boil over medium heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Take off heat, cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight for flavors to come together. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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