LC Dust Off That Pasta Machine Note
Go on. Dust off that pasta machine. This crisp, crunchy, cheesy crackers are a phenomenal use for it. Now, if only we could think of a way to put our stationary cycle to use in making doughnuts….
Crispy Parmigiano Flatbread
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 2 H, 30 M
- Makes 16 large pieces
Combine the yeast and warm water in a small bowl and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olive oil.
Put the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook or in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix on low speed or with your hands until the water is absorbed and a shaggy dough is formed. Knead the dough on a lightly floured board until the dough is uniform and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape them into balls. Dust the balls with flour and place them on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. (The dough can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Have ready 2 nonstick baking sheets or slick two regular baking sheets with olive oil.
Working with 1 dough ball at a time (cover the remaining dough with a moist kitchen towel until ready to use), dust the ball with flour and flatten it with your hand. Cut the dough in half and roll half the dough through a pasta machine with the rollers set midway apart. Dust the dough with flour if it becomes sticky. Decrease the space between the rollers one setting at a time until you have reached the last setting and the dough is a smooth, thin sheet. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half on an angle into large pieces so that 2 will fit on a cookie sheet. The pieces should each be approximately 4 inches wide and 12 inches long. Roll and cut the remaining half in the same manner as the first.
Place the rolled dough on the baking sheets. Brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with about a quarter of the cheese, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls, rolling and baking until all the dough is used.
Recipe Testers' Tips
This is very easy and tasty. I made some flatbreads with the cheese as described in the recipe, but I also made some without, instead using sea salt, smoked sea salt, or finely chopped rosemary. The rosemary version was my favorite! But the cracker itself is light and a great base for many additions. This recipe makes a ton of crackers; everyone at work loved them.
This dough was simple to put together and handled beautifully. Since it didn’t require much kneading, I didn’t bother with the mixer and made it by hand. The dough pieces got too long to roll easily at about setting 3 on my pasta machine so I cut them in half. After baking the first couple of sheets as directed, I substituted some sea salt for the cheese and sprinkled on chopped fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme) halfway through the baking for a neighbor who can’t have dairy. Everyone loved both versions. Crispy, salty, flavorful, more interesting than crackers, these flatbreads were just right with a glass of wine on the patio.
I found this flatbread completely addictive. It comes out of the oven crisp like a very thin cracker, and the saltiness of the parmesan makes it wonderful for munching. The dough is very simple to make and has a nice texture to work with. Once I figured out the trick to putting it through the pasta machine (plenty of flour!), it was a lot of fun to make, too.
This is a winner! Really crispy, I love the flavor of the bread and will make this for appetizers as well as just to munch on myself. I did share the flatbread with my son, Kyle, he ate the remaining 15 pieces while watching the football game and wanted more.