Wednesday 12 June 2013

Simple Dough Recipe

Perfect for mini garlic and herb flatbread or an Alsace-style tarte. Or even pizza!


I have a tried and tested pizza base recipe I use already, one from Phil Vickery, but this dough recipe is by Alice Hart and is featured in the cooking section of July’s Homes ad Gardens. I thought I’d give it a go as the things she made with it looked delicious. It was really easy to make, then the point was to rest it in the fridge for 1-3 days to prove slowly.

Those who know me will also know how impatient I am, so for the first batch, I couldn't wait that long. I split the recipe and used half wholemeal flour for one batch to make pizzas for my little one. I proved this as usual, rather than the 3 days, and they turned out perfectly. For the second half of the dough I stuck to the white flour recipe, leaving some in the fridge, and using some immediately to make the Garlic and Herb flatbread. Again, this I left to prove as usual in a warm place for about an hour, then followed the recipe to add dimples, drizzle with olive oil infused with garlic and rosemary and cooked.

One of the tips given was rather than put the oven to, maybe 200, just whack it up to full. And also to place the dough on the base of the oven to bake. This is the thing that seems to have made it perfect. The mini flatbread turned out brilliantly, (although with the second lot of ‘proved’ dough, wasn’t exactly flat, more of a focaccia!) as did the the pizza. As for the tarte, well I used red onions but that, for once, was my only change.


Here’s the DOUGH recipe…makes 6 ‘rounds’ for 6 pizzas.

650g strong white flour

2 tsp sea salt flakes

1 heaped teaspoon instant yeast (7g packet)

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

440ml cold water

Combine the dry ingredients, add the wet then knead for ten minutes on an oiled work surface.

split into 6, then place each inside an oiled freezer bag, securing the top, and pop into the fridge for 1-3 days to prove slowly.

Use as required.

At this stage, you can freeze the dough for up to 6 months and defrost overnight in the fridge .

Leave at room temperature for a couple of hours before using.



Divide the dough into small rounds, flatten, then leave to prove. This is where Alice and I differ. She suggests you top them before proving, whereas I think that after proving retains more of the oil. So, up to you really. To make the oil, simply use a pestle and mortar to squish as much garlic, salt flakes and rosemary and thyme as you fancy, then add extra virgin olive oil. Leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Use your finger to make dimples in the dough, pour over the oil, then bake on the oven floor for about 15 minutes.




I’m not really sure where the ‘flambee’ part of this recipe comes in…maybe you could add some white wine to the onions and lardons and set it alight? As it is, it’s another really simple idea. Flatten the dough into a circle onto a non-stick sheet. Or put into an oiled tarte tin. Smooth a few tablespoons of crème fraiche over it, then top with softened (but not browned) onions and fried-off crispy lardons. Sprinkle some thyme leaves over the top and bake for at least 15 minutes on the oven floor.


I used red onions, which is why looks a little on the burnt side!I also covered the top after 15 minutes and left in for another 10 as the middle of the base wasn’t quite cooked through.

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