Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.
Published on August 4th, 2011
by Clarabella

Thyme, Sea Salt and Parmesan Flatbreads

If any of you have a blog (if there is anyone actually reading this) you might wonder if anyone reads the humble words you type. You may contemplate whether the thoughts and words jumbled together in your mind and hopefully somewhat eloquently put down in black and white on the screen, are ever seen by any eyes but your own. I wonder that. I wonder whether even my own mother reads my blog. Maybe now I’ll find out. Or not. Interesting experiment. It takes time to read someones blog. There are a few that I follow. Some daily and some weekly. Some only when I am on the hunt for specific information, and some I come across accidentally. But to have one that you read all of, all the time. Thats not so common. Especially of the blog that are a bit more wordy than others. The funny, anecdotal, short-and-sweet ones are easier reading. Mine’s not like that. I’m not funny. Not funny haha at least. But I like to believe I am intelligible at least, and perhaps contrary to my mother’s belief, I am reasonably clever. Or intelligent rather. I don’t like the word clever. It has negative connotations for me fore some reason. I have word bias. I am a word snob.

Today I came across the word evanescent in a quote. It is a word that I have to confess I know only from the band name. I had never heard it used in a sentence before. So I looked it up. It means: vanishing, fading away, fleeting. I like it. Its a good word. The quote I discovered it in was by Julia Child, an intelligent, educated lady who was not afraid to speak her mind. She said: “Noncooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.” I once spent 2 days making a twice cooked brisket. It was sublime, and worth every second. I once spent 3 days making tiramisu, and did not think that a single second of my life had been wasted. Is that not why people create? For the enjoyment that the result brings, to themselves and to others? From the humble home cook who makes extra effort in the evening meal, to the worlds greatest chef; from the child who finger paints a portrait of the family pet, to the next picasso; we spend our time in the creation of great things because they are worth it for the pleasure they give. Whether it be pleasure for one meal time or pleasure for a lifetime. Giving joy to others is the reward. The reason.

Deep post today, I know. Sorry. If you are bored feel free to scroll down or come back on a lighter day. Speaking of light, these flatbreads are light. They are light, and tasty and so absurdly easy and quick to make. You can honestly pull them together in like 10 minutes at lunchtime and be thought to be a culinary wizard/witch when you prance from the kitchen with a board piled high with warm breads sprinkled with sea salt and giving off the enticing aroma of thyme and honey in perfect harmony. OK, so you don’t have to prance, you can just walk like a normal person, but my imagination likes a bit of drama so I’m going to carry on with the prancing image if thats ok.

So they are called flatbreads but are really more like crackers in their crunch, and they are made with baking powder not yeast, so I don’t know if they can be classed a bread officially, but whatever they technically are, they are lovely. The olive oily dough rolls out super thin and bakes up in no time (especially if you have a pizza stone in the oven to cook it on – pizza stone really rocks). A sprinkle of parmesan, thyme, salt, pepper and honey. And you’re good to go. Stay. Stay and eat. You won’t be able to leave them alone until they’re all gone, I promise. Good thing I didn’t make 2 batches.



Thyme, Sea Salt and Parmesan Flatbreads
From the wonderful Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 16 flatbreads

What you will need:
1 3/4 cups (7 3/4 ounces or 220 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (118 ml) water
1/3 cup (79 ml) olive oil
2/3 to 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces or 85 grams) grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 to 1/2 cup (79 to 118 ml) honey
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Flaky sea salt

What to do:
Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet or pizza stone on a middle rack.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times. It will feel quite oily.

Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll out 1 piece at on a sheet of baking parchment into a longish irregular rustic shape; mine were about 12?x6?. The dough should be rolled thin and it be crazy oily and you’ll think I’ve lost my mind suggesting that it will make anything but a mess, but you’ll see in a few minutes how perfectly ungreasy it bakes up, promise.

Slide rolled out dough and parchment paper together onto the preheated baking sheet or stone, and bake about 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Leaving the oven on, remove tray from oven and quickly sprinkle with 1/4 of grated cheese. Bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until browned at edges and in thinner spots. Remove flatbreads from oven a final time, quickly drizzle each with honey (about a tablespoon per flatbread), sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with thyme leaves. Cut each cracker width-wise into 4 sections (about 3?x6? each) with a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Serve warm.





4 Responses to “Thyme, Sea Salt and Parmesan Flatbreads”
  1. Dave B. says

    You can add one to your reader list (and it appears I’ve beaten your mother to the punch ;)).

    No to say that cooking is a waste of time, far from it, but your post reminds me of a quote from Bertrand Russell; ‘The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time’. And if you can enjoy the time spent cooking and then have a tasty treat at the end as well, that’s certainly something. I have yet to delve into dishes that require more than one day, however!

    • fabulous, there is a person who reads my blog 🙂 thank you so much for stopping by, and for leaving a comment. I do appreciate it!

  2. These look fantastic! I saw them over at Deb’s blog a few weeks ago, and I was instantly intrigued with those beautiful flat breads.