Joy the Baker

Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread

June 8, 2011

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Am I the only jerk that still orders a medium coffee at Starbucks?

What am I supposed to say?… grande.  When it comes down to order time, I always choke.  I feel like I’ll sound like a complete tool ordering a grande… but now I realize that I sound more like a tool ordering a medium.  I dunno…. it’s just coffee!  Can you just give me coffee?

I was at a Starbucks this weekend, saying grande over and over in my head… I was focused.  I was on my A-game.  Then… I overheard the lady in front of me order some sort of half caf/nonfat/extra foam/iced/capp…. with less than half a pump of chocolate.

I was totally thrown off my game.  Why would anyone order an iced cappuccino?  With extra foam?  What does that even look like?  And I don’t think the chocolate croissant you just ordered is doing any favors to your nonfat iced creation.  I’m so confused.  What are you doing?  And Lord!  How much did that handbag cost you!?  And does anyone really say handbag anymore… or is that like saying pocketbook!?  I am old.

…. and then, when my turn came, I ordered a medium…. when all I was trying to do was be a normal person and order a grande.

… and then I went home and made strawberry bread… and that felt right.  Then people came over and Whitney brought wine… and it felt even righter (more right, duh).

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This bread is like a fluffy flatbread.  Is that a thing?  It’s like focaccia.  That’s definitely a thing.

Let me walk you through this bread…. because I made it and I want you to make it too!

This bread has three rises.  Don’t let that deter you.  Three rises, but no mixer… does that make things better?

The first rise is yeast, warm water, and a cup of flour.  It’s left for an hour to get foamy, frothy, and alive with yeast.

After the first rise, more flour is added… that’s what’s pictured above.

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After the first rise, more flour, oil, salt, and sugar are added to the dough.  It’s almost ready for the second rise!

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But first we add orange zest… because it’s fragrant and delicious.

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A little kneading, and the dough is ready for the second rise!

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After the second rise, the dough is stretched and rolled out, and placed in a sheet pan.

Let is rise for a short time more and top with olive oil, sliced strawberries, and coarse sea salt.

Oh man.  So pretty, right!?

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After the bread is baked, it’s topped with goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and fresh mint.  Look how fancypants this is!  And it’s really not that hard!

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The best part is serving it to friends.  They’ll freak.  I promise.

This bread is somewhere in between sweet and savory.  It’s neither and both.  It’s an enigma.  The dough itself is only slightly sweet, but the added orange zest makes it seem just a touch sweeter.  The goat cheese, mint, and strawberries also push this bread to the sweet end of the spectrum… but it’s certainly not very desserty.

I served this bread for brunch with quiche and salad.  Win.

Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread with goat cheese and fresh mint

makes 12 squares

recipe adapted from LA Times

Print this Recipe!

2 packages (about 5 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)

3 cups of flour, divided into 1 cup increments

3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup thinly sliced strawberries

coarse sea salt for topping

1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

good quality balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

1 tablespoon fresh mint, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.  Stir to dissolve.  I use a fork so I can mash and stir any yeast clumps.  Add 1 cup flour and blend together until smooth.  Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

After the mixture has risen, remove the covering and stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sugar, and orange zest.  Add one cup of flour and stir to blend.  Add the remaining cup of flour and salt and work together into a dough.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  If the dough is too sticky, add up to 1/3 cup more flour and knead.  Dough will be slightly sticky, and that’s alright.

Clean out the large bowl and coat with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Place dough in the bowl, and flip it over so that it’s entirely coated in oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and knead for just a minute, before pulling and stretching the dough into a 16×9-inch rectangle.  I used a rolling pin to help me to this.  Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise for 30 minutes.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

When dough has risen, use your fingers to make random indentations in the puffed dough.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Top with sliced strawberries, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Bake bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden, crisp and baked through.  I rotated the pan once, halfway through baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from the baking pan, slice into squares with a pizza cutter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, goat cheese, and fresh mint.

Serve.

This bread is best served within 2 days of baking.

 


281 Comments Add A Comment

  • Starbucks and other coffee shindigs have really gone crazy! There should be a coffee shop that is just that…coffee. You can add cream or sugar (maybe some agave or whatever) but thats it. Just Joe or something silly like that. Anyway, I love the bread, will have to try it as I will have a boat load of strawberries come thursday – going strawberry picking! Have a great day!

  • ” The dough itself is only slightly sweet, but the added orange zest makes it seem just a touch sweeter. “–

    Good info. I am wayyyy more a sweet girl than savory. And really, strawberries IN bread is beautiful!

    I love your Starbucks diatribe. You must live where I live in San Diego :) No, I know you’re farther north than me by a bit, but same type of people. I admit, over the years, on the RARE occasions I go to Starbuks (see I am uber cheap and brew my own coffee at home, novel concept) but I have turned into one of those misto more pumps than usual, extra hot, extra foam type girls :)

  • Let me tell you, as a person who works at an independently owned coffee shop where our sizes are small (12oz) or large (16oz – because honestly, who really needs anything larger than that?)…. there’s nothing more aggravating than when a person walks in and uses starbucks lingo on us (ok, so I can think of plenty of things that are more aggravating, but lets keep it at that for the sake of this comment). “Can I get a grande latte?” “No, but I’d be happy to make you a large latte!” ….

    Also, there is no such thing as an iced cappuccino. It just… doesn’t exist. That lady is crazy, and it’s even crazier that Starbucks would try to fool people into thinking they can even have such a thing. That is all.

    Oh! And also, it’d be terribly silly of me not to mention how delicious that bread looks! Strawberries are in at the farmers market these days… I may just have to go buy a few more just so I can get in on some of this doughy goodness.

  • I love love love this Focaccia (is how we call it in Italy!) with strawberry and goat cheese! Looks great and with friends will be tastier!
    ps
    I love your podcasts!

  • I love your table setting. Your strawberry flat bread looks AWESOME! The color combination of the ingredients make it looks like a piece of art. I am so wanna make this.

  • No more words to describe that strawberry flatbread, it got me that bad, that I had to leave my first comment in your blog ;-)
    Love it, love it, love it!

  • I go back and forth between grande and medium so you aren’t alone:-)

  • You’re a genius (is that how it’s spelt?) and I want to be your friend! ;)
    The light in the first picture is amazing! How did you get that?

  • Well, how much coffee is one grande anyway? Half a litre? And how many calories? So why would anyone order so much coffee… a medium sounds just right to me. Your bread looks great, and your table too, so stylish!

  • This sounds very good! I’m totally into bread these days and strawberries are into season here, so I will give it a try next weekend, when I have fresh strawberries again.
    For my luck I do not like coffee, so starbucks isn’t an option. However if I eventually get lost in one, the prices ( in Germany) get me out there asap.

  • Haha! I had to chuckle because my mom always orders medium also! Nothing wrong with that! Your table setting is as gorgeous as this strawberry flatbread!

  • Oh my god, this looks amazing. My mouth is actually watering.

  • Oh yummmm-my Joy! And why is it food tastes so much better eaten outside with friends? It’s like these are added, magic ingredients!

  • Oh, yeah, I totally get what you mean… I just got a keepcup to keep it simple. Small, please! Although some places it’s called regular…mmm strawberries on flatbread. In summer, I will probably make this. For now, I will huddle over my soup and admire your header.

  • you are on an awesome strawberry kick! also.. the other day i was getting a coffee at mcdonalds.. and i saw this frappacino thingy so i ordered it and called it the mocha frappachino and the lady said you mean the mocha frape’ .. ?

    What is this world coming to??!

    xox

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