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Focaccia Recipe: Italian Flatbread

Most cultures have a form of flatbread -- a leavened dough that is baked for a shorter period of time than a traditional hearth loaf or even a focaccia. They are a pleasing addition to any meal, and can be cooked in a pizza hot oven that you are using to cook other foods -- which can be too hot for a hearth loaf or focaccia. Unlike a focaccia, a flatbread is cooked directly on the oven cooking hearth.

We often see families in restaurants enjoying flatbread topped with olive oil as an appetizer before a traditional Italian meal. Sometimes, after chatting about ovens with a restaurant owner or pizzaiolo, we have been sent a flatbread with compliments -- and to show the pizzaiolo's skill.

By making your own lavash crackers, you can enjoy the pleasure of a salty cracker, with having to worry about the trans-fats that make up virtually every commercial cracker.

Basic Flatbread Dough Recipe
1 1/2 cups water
4 TBS olive oil
4 cups bread flour (read our flour page for more)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry active yeast

Using a bread machine, add the water and olive oil, then cover the liquid with flour . Add the salt (half each in two corners), then make small well in the middle of the flour and add the yeast. Start the dough cycle, which will last for roughly 90 minutes.

Divide you dough into four round balls, and let rest for an hour.

Toss as you would a pizza, cover with olive oil, a splash of juice from your peeled tomatoes (if you have it), a dash of oregano and perhaps a little salt.

Cook for two minutes.