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12 August 2008 @ 07:15 am
Herb flatbread for last night  
From Mario Batali's Italian Grill, with my notes and modifications added

3 1/4 all-purpose flower (I've used 1 cup whole wheat, the rest AP), plus extra for dusting (whole wheat)
2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (=1 packet. I've actually had better luck with 2 tsp active dry yeast)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage (or rosemary, or mint, or ...)
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup dry white wine, at room temperature (beer works well)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and sage and mix well. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the warm water, wine, and olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until the mixture is too stiff too stir, then mix with your hands in the bowl until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn the dough out. Knead gently, dusting the work surface lightly with more flour as necessary, for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and only slightly sticky.

Oil a large clean bowl (I usually just quickly clean and oil the mixing bowl used above), add the dough, and turn to coa wih oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, set in a warm part of he kitchen, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Gently punch down the dough, turn out onto a cutting board or work surface, and cut into 10 pieces. Roll each piece under your palm into a ball, and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes (the dough will not double in size).

Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill (or start heating a griddle).

On a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin or your hands, roll or press each ball into a 6-inch round. Place the rounds on the hottest par of the grill (or griddle), in batches, and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown on the first side (bubbles larger than your thumb on the top are a good sign. My grill runs hot and has crap-all for temperature control, so I usually reach this point in 30-45 seconds.). Turn and cook until the second side is spotted with brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes (again, much faster for me. If it had a lot of "bubbles" on the first side, the whole bread sometimes puffs up to a single bubble in this step). Transfer to a large platter and let rest.