French Recipe: Flammenküche

An Alsatian pizza, the flammekueche, lying on a board with a knife and an onion and bacon topping

The Flammenkueche is the perfect winter dish - Credit: Valérie Lhomme

The Alsatian take on a pizza is the perfect dinner for a chilly autumn evening. This flammenküche – known as a tarte flambée in French – comes with the traditional toppings of smoked bacon and tangy onions, but why not experiment? Add a handful of gruyère or sauté some garlicky mushrooms for extra pizzazz.  

Reprinted with kind permission from Upper CrustHomemade Bread the French Way by Marie-Laure Fréchet (£30, Flammarion, 2021). 

A book cover and Alsace

This dish from Upper Crust: Homemade Bread The French Way is inspired by Alsace - Credit: Valérie Lhomme

Serves 2 (total preparation and cooking time: 3 hours)

INGREDIENTS 

Pizza dough (250g) 

300g water 

2 tsp salt 

15g sugar 

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500g bread flour (T65) 

10g fresh yeast, or 100g refreshed levain + 5g fresh yeast 

50g extra-virgin olive oil 

Toppings 

3 yellow onions 

150g smoked bacon 

100g fromage blanc 

100g crème fraîche 

Salt and freshly ground pepper 

Ground nutmeg 


METHOD 

1. Prepare the pizza dough: Place the water, salt, sugar, flour, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes on speed 1, followed by 5–6 minutes on speed 2. Two minutes before the end of the kneading time, drizzle in the olive oil with the mixer running. Continue kneading until smooth. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 2 hours. Fold the dough once, after 1 hour (bulk fermentation*). 

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F (240°C/Gas Mark 8). Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, shape it into a ball, and let it rest for 20 minutes (resting*). 

3. Meanwhile, peel the onions and slice them very thinly. Cut the bacon into thin strips. If your onion and bacon slices are a little thick, you can sauté them together in a skillet for 5 minutes to soften and cook them a bit before adding them to the flammenküche. Let cool completely on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease before using. 

4. In a bowl, stir together the fromage blanc and crème fraîche until smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 

5. Place the dough on a baking sheet, either non-stick or lined with parchment paper. Using your fingertips or a rolling pin, press or roll the dough out into as thin a circle as possible. 

6. Spread the cheese mixture over the dough in an even layer, then scatter the onions and bacon over the cheese. 

7. Bake the flammenküche for 10 minutes, without letting it brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


TOP TIP!

If your onion and bacon slices are a little thick, you can sauté them together in a skillet for 5 minutes to soften and cook them a bit before adding them to the flammenküche. Let cool completely on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease before using.