Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Garlic Flatbreads with Smoked 'Mozzarella' and Tomato Vinaigrette

These flatbreads are like little pizzas. You could serve bigger slices as a pizza dinner, or cut into smaller wedges and serve tapas-style for a crowd.

The crusts can be prepared in the afternoon ahead of time, so that you're not scrambling to make everything all at once late in the day. Spoon 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine with 1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees; its useful to a have a thermometer for accuracy) and one package of yeast (about 2 1/4 tsps). Let stand ten minutes.

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife), 1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 cup more warm water. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for ten minutes (punch down, fold in half, quarter-turn, repeat!), adding up to 1/4 cup more all-purpose flour as needed a little to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers.

Coat a large bowl with cooking spray and add the dough, turning to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a place free from drafts for one hour, until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down, then cover again and let rest for five minutes. Divide the dough in half, and, on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a nine-inch circle. Sprinkle a teaspoon of yellow cornmeal over a baking sheet (if your baking sheet isn't large enough to fit both 9-inch flatbreads, then sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of cornmeal on each of two baking sheets). Place the flatbreads on the baking sheet(s) and coat the tops lightly with cooking spray (I actually messed up and did the cooking spray after the garlic step below... but it didn't seem to make a difference).

Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves. Sprinkle evenly over the flatbreads, pressing into the dough slightly with your fingertips. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, until the dough is crisp, and the garlic begins to brown. Cool on wire racks.

When it gets close to serving time, make the topping: in a bowl, combine 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, a dash of black pepper, and one minced garlic clove. Add 3/4 cup halved red cherry tomatoes and 3/4 cup halved yellow cherry tomatoes; toss well to coat. Set aside.

Shred 1 cup of vegan mozzarella cheese (try the Mozzarella from Vegan Gourmet Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the 'cheese' over each flatbread, and broil for one minute until the mozzarella begins to melt.

Remove from oven. Top each flatbread with 3/4 cup of the cherry tomato mixture, and sprinkle each with 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil. If you divide each flatbread into 6 wedges, each wedge will be 140 calories.

Now enlist some help to do all the dishes!

red cherry tomatoes $2.99
yellow cherry tomatoes $3.00 (from the Farmer's Market!)
'mozzarella' $4.19
basil $2.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance