Flammkuchen

by Wanjing

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First of all, I’m excited to say, that after almost 5 years I finally travel back to Europe again. Weeks ago when I stayed in southwest Germany, I noticed there was always something on the menu in restaurants I couldn’t ignore, which also made me want more after a while. It was the incredible glorious comforting crispy fresh made (+endless beautiful adj.): “Flammkuchen”! Flammkuchen means “flame cake” in English, which sounds a little bit unimaginable. It is said the original ones should be cooked only in wood-oven with real fire. Flammkuchen is made with very thin rolled out bread dough, which is covered with crème fraîche, sliced onions and bacons, or the sweet version with crème fraîche, sliced apple and cinnamon. I can just finish my salty Flammkuchen and get another sweet one as a dessert! Since there are rich varieties of dairy products in Europe, I would totally regret if I didn’t try them out, at least some of them such as crème fraîche. Basically crème fraîche is a soured cream containing fat at least 30%. I made some experiments several days ago when I didn’t find the crème fraîche in supermarket, so I used German Quark(kind of thicker Greek Yogurt) and a Portuguese fresh cheese, both contains about 20% fat. And it turned out to be very good! I would say try the cream cheese spread, which we can easily find in big supermarkets in China, as a replacement.

Ingredients: (serves 2-3)
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for the dough:
200g strong flour
120-130ml warm water
1 tspn oil
some salt (or sugar for the sweet version)

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for the topping:
150g crème fraîche (or another cream cheese as replacement)
thinly sliced onion and scallion
salt, ground black pepper and herbs
(and chopped bacon slices for meat-lovers )

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1. Mix the flour, water, oil and salt. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
2. Place the dough in a flour-dusted bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm place for half an hour until the dough loosen a bit.
3. Roll out the dough on a large flour-dusted board, until very thin. Spice the crème fraîche with salt and pepper, spread the mix evenly on the surface of the rolled out dough, add the onion and scallion on it. For sweet version: put some sugar in the crème fraîche and spread the mix on the surface, place the apple slices nicely on and sprinkle some cinnamon.
4. Put in the 220℃ pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes until you can see the beautiful brown crust.
5. Let the Flammkuchen cool down a little and use a scissor to cut it into pieces. Enjoy it while it’s warm, even great with a German Pilsner beer.

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