... Sun-drenched spoils from last night's supper ... super crunched in the oven ... sublime ! ...
One of the very first posts that I made when I started The Spice Garden blog was this German take on a pizza. Flammekuchen is a pub snack that SB and I fell in love with when we lived in Hohensachsen. We would often share a round kuchen with friends at the Lokale in Weinheim. In fact, I was very homesick for Germany and my friends when I first posted the Flammekuchen recipe back in 2009. Since then, we've returned to visit Germany once. We were sure to return to all the old haunts with our friends, order more flammekuchen and other favorites, travel to new places, and yak about ways to get back on a more permanent basis (we need to win the lottery!). Wishes and dreams ... sigh.
Yesterday, I was thinking about The Spice Garden and all the really good food that I've made over the time that the blog has been in existence. I got to thinking that as a blogger, I rarely return to the old recipes. There always seems to be the 'next big thing' to be made or the next 'blogging challenge' to jump on board with or a new spin on the post themes. Then, I got to thinking that a failure to return and revisit some of the past recipes does them a disservice. Returning and rethinking recipes is the only way they are improved upon ... right? Anyway, I decided to go back and visit this recipe for flammekuchen.
The dough for a flammekuchen is very plain - flour, salt, water, yeast. No fats to soften the dough. It bakes up very crisp. To heighten the crispiness on the dough, I opted, this time around, to roll it out on parchment paper and then slide the kuchen onto a super hot baking stone. That burst of sudden heat made the entire bottom surface of the crust crisp right up immediately. The thin layer of dough gets an outer lip formed at the edge by rolling the edge back under itself all the way around. This assures that the sloppy cheese/yogurt/onion slather that forms the kuchen filling doesn't ooze all over the place. It's all about containment.
Now, about that cheese combo - when you make flammekuchen, you must mix the cheese and yogurt early in the day and let the cultures in the yogurt work on the ricotta cheese a bit. I mix the cheese slather in the morning and let it chill in the fridge all day.
I'm also VERY generous with the cheese slather. All the kuchens we had in Germany had just a thin layer of cheese and onions, but I am all about a more substantial chomp, so I load my recipe up. As you can see, I also love black pepper. There's a little sprinkle of nutmeg in there too, but it's all about the onions and pepper for me and you know that old rule about the chef's preferences, right?
The final topper on flammekuchen is Speck, fatty cubes of ham that get super crisped and patted well with paper towels to get the excess grease off them. Sprinkled atop, the Speck really marks this as a German dish. The kuchen is slid onto the pre-heated baking stone and placed in a 450 degree Farenheit oven for 15 minutes or so. And that's it! We had ours with a Caesar salad, big glasses of red wine, and memories of the Odenwald.
Here's the link to the original post and the recipe ... enjoy!
After you enjoy this take on German Flammekuchen, go browse your old recipe files, blog posts, family cook books, newspaper clippings, magazine slips and revisit some of your 'oldies but goodies' ! Returning to the good stuff you've made in the past on a more regular basis is such a good way of honoring the food and your growth as a cook! Just sayin' ...