Sunday, July 11, 2010

No Knead Garlic Cheese Flatbread

I love to bake and when I saw this recipe on the King Arthur flour site, I had to try it. We love focaccia bread, and this seemed like a really similar kinda thing.

I'd had high hopes and as I sit here typing this, I wonder if the problem was with my technique. Maybe I didn't mix it well enough, or something, but it was not the moist, aromatic, flavor explosion I was hoping for, it was dry and just, well, bland. AND it totally stuck in the pan. Bad. It rose well, smelled awesome, but was a taste let-down.

I might try it again - it certainly was easy enough - just plan on kneading it.


  1. Even though this didn't work for you, it looks so good, I'm going to have to give it a chance in the next few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes. It's been a long time since I made bread from scratch.

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  3. (Deleted the previous comment because I made a huge error, and couldn't edit.)

    Reading the recipe, I don't think kneading it will help, other than mixing it more thoroughly. Kneading bread develops the gluten, which is what helps it rise. But you said it rose fine.

    It looks like they pretty much relied on the cheese to give it flavor, so the more flavorful the cheese, the more flavorful the bread. Plus a good, extra-virgin olive oil would give it more flavor. And, perhaps, tossing in some herbs that compliment the cheese you're using.

    It doesn't look like there's enough oil to prevent sticking. I think I'd try coating the pan with olive oil, including the sides, using a pastry brush, rather than depending on the oil spreading to cover the whole bottom in the oven.

    And the dryness, well, after I mixed it, I'd check the texture and see if it seems to need a bit more water. Flour can vary in it's ability to absorb water depending on how dry it is, the humidity of the day, etc. That's why most bread recipes call for a range of liquid. So, if the flour doesn't seem to be mixing in completely, I'd add a bit more water. If it seems a bit too moist, add flour.

    An amusing story: I read about a person whose grandmother used to stick her hand out the window to check the humidity before making pasta dough so she'd know how much water to use.

    Anyway, I hope my analysis helps a little the next time you make it. Good luck!

  4. Linda, the dough was lovely, smooth and springy and just luscious to handle, and I greased the heck out of the pan. I honestly don't know why it turned out so grainy when it was cooked.

  5. I just made this and I'm tasting it now. I like it. It's not particularly aromatic, but it is moist. Here's what I did:

    I don't know where you get pizza seasoning -- I've seen flavor packets in pizza kits (decades ago), but I looked in every grocery store I was in over the last week or two and didn't find any. Instead, I used oregano and basil. I missed that I was supposed to sprinkle it on top and had already mixed the seasoning in, so I sprinkled it on top, too.

    I don't know where you get "instant" yeast either, but I used Fleischman's rapid rising pizza yeast. One packet seemed to do the trick. The recipe says lukewarm water, but I let my water get to the hot level (depends upon how hot you have your hot water heater set, I imagine), and I think that helped with the activation.

    I used pepper jack cheese -- that gives plenty of bursts of flavor in the bread.

    The sticking to the pan? It's the cheese. I'm not sure how you "fix" the problem, but I wound up using my knife to "encourage" the bread to come out of the pan, and it came out pretty well. (I'd smeared the olive oil around the bottom and sides (not enough on the sides) with my fingers. I'd probably use more oil next time -- I don't think I had enough.)

    Oh! I don't have an electric mixer, so I just used the knife I used to level the flour on the measuring cup to stir. It worked amazingly well. (Yes, I have spoons, but I thought the knife blade was more like a mixer blade.)

    This was an easy recipe, and I'm pleased with the results.