[Note: These crackers got some fresh photos in 2019 because the 2008 ones were awful.]
It took me until I was on some interminable wait on the phone last week with hold music so awful, they had to have done it on purpose, to finally get to flipping through the July 2008 Gourmet magazine. And if there were ever a spread that could lift you from your “love lifts us up where we belong” drudgery, it would be that gorgeous herb-focused spread near the back of the issue. (Like I said, it was a long hold time.)
I immediately had to make it. All of it. And I can see I am not the only one. But to start, let’s talk about this recipe, something I think everyone in the entire world should have in their repertoire: Flatbread.
More cracker than bread, this stuff is dreamy. It comes together in about 15 seconds flat, bakes in about 10 minutes and if you don’t live in our apartment, will hopefully last a bit longer. It’s the perfect thing to scoop any summer salad or vegetable dish, including the one I’ll tell you about tomorrow (tease!). I also think it could be a great hostess gift, for all of you angling for invites to beach houses this Labor Day weekend. If you arrived at mine with this, a wedge of cheese and a bottle of wine, I’d never let you leave.
If only I actually had a beach house. I’ll get right on that.
Crisp Rosemary Flatbread
- 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil plus more for brushing
- Flaky sea salt such as Maldon
Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a large, wide bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Use your hands to gently knead dough inside the bowl 4 or 5 times, until it comes together in a semi-smooth ball.
Divide dough into 3 large or 6 smaller pieces and roll out one piece at a time on an unfloured counter, to about 10-inch (for larger pieces of dough) or 7-inch rounds (smaller pieces) — shape can be rustic; dough should be thin. Lift flatbread onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. I can sometimes squeeze 6 small flatbreads on a half-sheet pan; sometimes I need to bake 1 to 2 in a second batch.
Lightly brush tops with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top (if using), pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating flatbreads if needed on the pan for even color. Let cool then break into pieces.
Do ahead: Flatbread can be made up to 4 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.