Aged Cheddar, Pancetta, Apple and Arugula Flatbread
This is a delicious appetizer for entertaining, or a great snack to accompany a pre-dinner glass of wine. Note that the flatbread recipe makes 4 flatbreads. Extra flatbreads can be wrapped and frozen. (Flatbreads make a great, quick pizza base, as well!) The topping ingredient amounts are for one flatbread. Double/triple as necessary. Bacon can be substituted for the pancetta. Pear would also be a nice substitute for the apple.
Flatbread Dough: (makes four 5x14-inch flatbreads)
2 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
1Tbsp.dry active or instant yeast
Toppings: (for one 5x14-inch flatbread - increase as necessary)
1cupgrated or crumbled aged white cheddar
1/4cupcooked pancetta or bacondiced
1/4 - 1/3largeapplecored and very thinly sliced (no need to peel)
1handfulfresh baby arugula
In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the flour and salt. In a two-cup glass measure, combine warm water, yeast and honey. Let stand 5-10 minutes.
Add proofed yeast mixture and olive oil to bowl with flour and salt. Stir into a smooth dough, adding a few more tablespoons of flour, if necessary to make a smooth, moist (but not sticky) dough. Place into a greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Pre-heat oven to 400° F. with racks in upper third and lower third of oven. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove risen dough to a well-floured surface. Cut dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Your flatbread can be any size or shape. If making oblong ones, just be sure they aren't longer than the length of your baking sheet, so it doesn't hang over the edge. Somewhere around 5-inches wide to 14-inches long works well. Place two flatbreads side-by-side onto each baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature for 10 - 15 minutes to rest.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 5 minutes, then switch baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. *If you have some large bubbles, poke them several times with the point of a sharp knife. Bake another 5-7 minutes, until firm and starting to turn golden in spots. *Don't over-brown if you intend to re-bake flatbreads with toppings later on, to avoid over-browning when you bake the second time with toppings.
Remove flatbreads to a cooling rack to cool. (If making cheddar-apple flatbreads immediately, leave oven on and set to 400° and keep baking sheets with parchment handy to re-use)
Once flatbread have cooled a bit, top with cheddar and cooked pancetta/bacon. A little freshly ground black pepper, is nice here. Arrange thinly sliced apples overtop. Return to parchment-lined baking sheet and pop back in to the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden and apples have softened. Allow to cool slightly, then top with fresh arugula. Cut into triangles for serving.
Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!