Recipe: Grilled Flatbread with Heirloom Tomatoes

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Grilled Flatbread with Heirloom Tomatoes

The flatbread crust is a version of Peter Reinhart`s grilled pizza dough. Tomatoes, sausage and cheese are topped on the raw dough and then grilled on a grill with a lid. The technique can be a little tricky but the smoky flavors and the unique crispness of the crust will blow you and your guests away.

Dough
Makes four, 4 wt. ounce dough balls
10 wt. ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (approximately 2 cups)
2 wt. ounces whole wheat flour (approximately ½ cup)
½ tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon instant yeast
½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾-1 cup room-temperature water (70°F)
additional extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
Heirloom Tomato Topping
2 tablespoons pure olive oil
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (approximately 1 pound)
½ pound firm aged sheep-milk cheese, shredded
6 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick (approximately 1 pound)
¼ pound salami sausage
2 tablespoons fresh herbs de Provence, roughly chopped or 1 tablespoon dried (equal parts savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano)
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To prepare the dough: In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. On medium-low speed, add the olive oil and enough water to form a course dough ball. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then mix again on medium-low speed for an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and tacky but not sticky. The dough should pass the windowpane test. As Peter Reinhart wrote, 'snip off a piece of dough from the larger ball and gently tugging and turning it, stretching it out until it forms a paper-thin, translucent membrane somewhere near the center. If the dough does not form this membrane, or windowpane, it probably needs another minute or two of mixing'
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Gently round each piece into a ball and brush or rub each ball with olive oil. Cover and let the dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

To prepare the topping and flatbread: Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion mixture is soft, translucent and golden brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
To prepare the flat bread, roll out each dough ball into an 8-inch round or 4-inch by 6-inch rectangle, ⅛-inch thick. Top each flatbread with a little of the shredded cheese. Top with the onion mixture, sliced tomatoes, sausage, herbs and additional cheese. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
To serve: Preheat a grill, with a lid, to medium-high heat. Make sure all the vent holes are open. Using a metal or wooden peel, carefully slide the dough onto the grill. Close the lid or cover the grill. It will take 3 to 6 minutes for the toppings to cook, the cheese to melt and the dough to develop numerous brown spots and slight charring.

Advance Preparation: The dough may be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Substitutions and Options: Look for a spicy, hard pork salami such as Sopressata, Salami Piccante or even the fennel infused Finocchiona.
You can bake the flat bread in a 500°F oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes instead of grilling. Use a pizza stone, if available.

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