Frequently, when I’m hosting a party or bringing food to a party, I face a big road block. Basically, I want to make something delicious, but I also want to talk to people, relax, and enjoy my night. That last thing I want is to spend my entire night huddled in the kitchen while everyone else is having a blast.
That’s a quick way to learning how to resent cooking.
Making flatbreads (or essentially mini-pizzas) for a party is probably going to win over many friends, but you have to be careful or you’ll find yourself over the stove all night long.
For example, if you wanted to make these asparagus flatbreads, your party crew will love you, but you might not see them for a while because those are best served right out of the oven.
But, the flatbreads in this post are awesome because you can make all the breads in advance and then all you have to do is slice and serve them!
Perfect party food!
To make Flatbreads:
1) Stir together dry ingredients in a medium bowl and then stir in wet ingredients. STir together until the ingredients are in a small ball. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes in the bowl until the dough is soft and springy. If it is dry or flaky, add a bit more water. If it's very sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon.
2) Lightly oil a bowl and transfer dough to the bowl. Cover lightly and let rise for about 90 minutes until the dough at least doubles in size.
3) After rise, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Punch down dough and split into four (about 4 oz.) smaller flatbreads.
2) On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a large oval and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3) Top flatbread with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
4) Poke flatbreads with a fork and bake flatbreads for about 14 minutes at 400 degrees F until dough is golden brown.
5) Remove from oven and either top immediately or let cool and serve flatbreads at room temperature.
To make a flatbread, smear with fig jam and top with arugula, prosciutto, crumbled blue cheese and a drizzle of honey. Chop it up and serve it!
Making the Dough
This isn’t a particularly hard dough to make. I don’t even use a mixer for it. Just stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and add the oil and water.
Use your hand to knead the dough in the bowl and add more water if the dough is really dry or a sprinkle of extra flour if the dough is very wet.
Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes until it’s very soft and passes the windowpane test (bottom right), or in other words, you should be able to stretch the dough until you can see through it.
Once the dough has been kneaded for about 5-6 minutes, toss it in a bowl with a drizzle of oil and let it rise for about 2 hours.
It should more than double in size. See?
If you were making the flatbreads fresh for your party, you would want to stop here, but we are going to go ahead and bake all of them now!
I like to portion out my dough so all my flatbreads are the same size, but you can eyeball it also. I shot for about 4 oz. flatbreads.
Baking the Flatbreads
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface until it’s very thin and then transfer it to a baking sheet. Drizzle the flatbread with olive oil, sprinkle it lightly with coarse salt, and poke the flatbread with a fork a few times. The fork poking will make sure it doesn’t get too puffy while it bakes.
Bake this sucker for about 14 minutes at 400 degrees, but check on them around 12 minutes. It should get nice and golden browned around the edges.
If you are making these in advance, you can just bake all of the flatbreads right now. When they are done, let the flatbreads cool at room temperature. Don’t wrap or cover them or they will get soggy from condensation.
When you’re ready to serve these bad boys, you’ll need some toppings.
This is one of my favorite topping line-ups for flatbreads.
The best part about this topping lineup is that none of it requires any heat at all, but it’s all still pretty fancy.
Smear a bit of fig jam on your flatbread, top it with arugula, prosciutto, and blue cheese and you’re on your way. Each of these will take just a minute or two at the party.
A drizzle of honey never hurts.
My favorite part about these, besides the flavors, is how thin and crispy the flatbreads are.
Check out that thin crust!
I made these for a New Years party that Betsy and I went to and they worked great. When the plate was empty, I would just run into the kitchen, top a few flatbreads, chop them up, and get back to the party.
The one thing I would warn about these is that they are best within a day of making them. If you keep them for longer than they, the flatbreads will dry out too much and you’ll basically be left with huge crackers.