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 Crust: Homemade Bread the French Way by Marie-Laure Fréchet (£30, Flammarion, 2021).
Serves 2 (total preparation and cooking time: 3 hours)
Pizza dough (250g)
2 tsp salt
500g bread flour (T65)
10g fresh yeast, or 100g refreshed levain + 5g fresh yeast
50g extra-virgin olive oil
3 yellow onions
150g smoked bacon
100g fromage blanc
100g crème fraîche
Salt and freshly ground pepper
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.
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.
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