1 cup water, warm to the touch (110 to 115 degrees)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Roasted Eggplant Slices:
Hands on: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
1 large eggplant, sliced very thin (about 1/8 inch thick)
Olive oil in a spray bottle
Freshly ground black pepper
For Flatbread Dough:
In a measuring cup, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Set aside until yeast is bubbly,about 5 minutes. Stir in olive oil. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, salt and pepper. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured board or other work surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes — adding more flour just when the doughsticks to your hands or work surface — until the dough is smooth.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let set in a warm, draft-free place until it’s doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and then divide it into 4 equal pieces. Knead each doughpiece on a lightly floured work surface for 1 minute into a tight ball. Set dough balls on an oiled tray and refrigerate, covered, for 20 minutes or longer. (Dough can be made up to 1 day in advance. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.)
Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, press a ball of Flatbread Dough into a disc, then roll it in a thin circle about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured wooden pizza paddle.
Spritz the dough with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with some cooked minced garlic(or roasted garlic paste). Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Add 3 to 4 eggplant slices, then 6 or 7 torn fresh basil leaves. Add 2 to 3 tomato slices. Top with 2tablespoons crumbled blue cheese and a few twists of black pepper.
Spritz with a little more olive oil, then gently slide the dough off the wooden paddle andonto the pizza stone. Bake 4 to 6 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden brown. Remove flatbread with the paddle onto a cutting surface and slice. Repeat the process with the remaining three flatbread discs.
For Roasted Eggplant Slices:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak the eggplant slices in cold water for 5 minutes. Drainand pat dry with paper towels. Spritz 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Arrange slices in a single layer on the sheets, and then spritz them with more oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool and reserve for use.
If you prepare the dough and eggplant in advance and arrange all your other ingredients before starting, you can assemble each of these flatbreads in about 2 minutes, plus 4 to 6 minutes baking time. Seasons 52 chef Clifford Pleau suggests experimenting with other ingredients, including fresh herbs and shredded cooked chicken.
Pleau suggests trying this dish once or twice to get the hang of it, then inviting some friends to cook with you. "Have everyone bring two or three ingredients, " he said. "And then they make their own flatbreads as a conversation piece."
Two tips from Pleau: When it comes to toppings, less is more — don’t lay them on too thick. And get yourself a pizza stone and a wooden pizza paddle in order to handle andcook the thin crust properly.
Flatbread dough: Per serving: 156 calories (percent of calories from fat, 16), 5 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 268 milligrams sodium.