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Flammkuchen with white asparagus and pancetta

By May 11, 2015 , , , , ,

I've had a slight obsession with flammkuchen recently, no idea why, but I like the idea of something that is a slight variation from a pizza. Pizza without the tomato sauce. I liked the idea of combining the sweetness of roasted asparagus with a tart creme fraiche sauce and saltiness of bacon. Some of you may know flammkuchen as Tarte Flambee which is an Alsace dish.

If you fancy making this dish more often or like to make pizzas often then I would suggest you invest in a pizza stone and a peel (this is the large paddle object used to transfer the pizza in and out of the oven). They will make your life a lot easier. Don't skimp on a very cheap stone as they are prone to cracking and you'll spend more replacing them continually.

Asparagus Flammkuchen

4 Asparagus spears peeled and halved

70g pancetta diced or slices of bacon diced
Half a red onion thinly sliced
 50 ml Creme fraiche whisked to loosen it up, seasoned with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of dijon mustard

For the dough
300g 00 or strong bread flour
7g dried yeast
175ml - 200ml warm water
10g salt

If you have a pizza stone then place it in the oven and pre-heat at whatever the maximum temperature is for your oven
If you don't have a stone then ensure the oven is as hot as possible
Those of you cooking on the bbq, you are looking at 600celsuis and ensure your pizza stone has been put in the bbq in advance for that crispy base.

Start by making the dough, essentially this is a pizza base and you can get up to 2-3 flammkuchen bases out of this mix depending on how large you make them
Add the water to the dough, yeast and salt, mix until it forms a wet ball, you can do this either in a mixer or by hand.
Once the dough is mixed and has come together knead the dough for 5 minutes and then cover with cling film or a cloth and leave to rest in the bowl in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

For ease of transfer onto a baking sheet or pizza stone, I always roll the dough out on some baking paper.
To make the bases, take about a quarter or third of the dough and roll out till you get a reasonably flat base. It should not be thick as the base is meant to be crispy.
Next place the onions, pancetta/bacon and asparagus on the dough and drizzle with the crème fraiche.
Cook for 8-10 mins or until the base is crispy.

 I like to serve this with a nice glass of Alsace pinot gris.


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