Fig and Ricotta Cheese Flatbread

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Fig and Ricotta Cheese FlatbreadRecipe
James Carrier
Notes: You can make the dough through step 2 up to 1 day ahead; punch it down, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill. Let stand at room temperature about 1 hour before proceeding with shaping (step 4).
Makes 4 flatbreads; about 12 appetizer or 6 main-course servings

Ingredients

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1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
About 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
About 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 red onions (about 1 3/4 lb. total), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
About 1/4 teaspoon pepper
About 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
About 2 cups (1 carton, 15 oz.) ricotta cheese
1 pound firm-ripe figs, rinsed, stem ends trimmed, and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 3 oz.), optional
3 ounces arugula leaves (about 2 cups), rinsed and crisped

Preparation

1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (110°) water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Gradually mix in 3 1/2 cups flour until a soft dough forms.

2. If using a mixer, beat with a dough hook on high speed until dough no longer feels sticky and pulls cleanly from sides of bowl, 5 to 7 minutes. If dough is still sticky, beat in more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

If kneading by hand, scrape dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth, springy, and no longer sticky, 15 to 20 minutes; add flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 35 to 45 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir onions in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until very limp, 25 to 30 minutes. If onions start to burn or stick, reduce heat and stir in 1 tablespoon water. Add balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir until liquid is evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

4. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board; press gently to expel air. Divide into four equal pieces. Place pieces on floured board and cover with plastic wrap; let rest 10 minutes. Roll or stretch one piece at a time into a 13- by 7-inch oval about 1/16 inch thick. Place each oval on a cornmeal-dusted 12- by 15-inch rimless baking sheet; stretch dough, if needed, to reshape.

5. Arrange about 1/2 cup red onions evenly over each oval. Drop ricotta in 1/2-tablespoon portions over onions (about 12 on each oval); arrange figs, cut side up, around cheese. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons walnuts and 2 tablespoons blue cheese (if desired) evenly over each oval.

6. Bake in a 450° regular or convection oven until crust is well browned on top and bottom, 15 to 20 minutes (10 to 15 minutes in a convection oven). If baking two sheets in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Slide each flatbread onto a cutting board or plate. Mound arugula leaves equally on top; cut each oval in half lengthwise, then crosswise into eight slices. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional analysis per appetizer serving.

Created date

August 2004

Nutritional Information

Calories 347
Caloriesfromfat 34 %
Protein 12 g
Fat 13 g
Satfat 4.9 g
Carbohydrate 47 g
Fiber 3.9 g
Sodium 333 mg
Cholesterol 23 mg