Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Caramelized Carrot, Fennel, Potato Flammkuchen with Dill Crust

A German pizza (Flammkuchen) for Easter sounds like a crazy,  culturally confused holiday dish. I assure you, the only think a bit crazy about this recipe, (aside from the whimsical potato bunnies) is its crazy good flavor. 

Caramelized vegetables add great flavor to any recipe. I especially love them on Flammkuchen. 

Since I can't just leave any classic recipe alone, my new idea is to experiment adding flavors to flammkuchen dough. Chopped fresh dill was added to the crust dough to amp up the flavor. 

This tasty and fun recipe has something for kids of all ages. Adults will love the sophisticated caramelized carrot and fennel topping and what kid could resist bunny shaped potatoes? If fennel is too strange for you or your child's palate, substitute sweet onions.
Caramelized Carrot, Fennel, Potato Flammkuchen with Dill Crust
Prep Time: 25 minutes 
Bake Time: 45 minutes 
Rise time: 45 minutes 
Yield: Serves 4 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pinches plus 1 teaspoon of white granulated sugar
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1+1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1+1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup schmand* (recipe below)
  • 8 oz of hard cheese, like swiss, Emmentaler or gruyere 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and one pinch of white granulated sugar. 
  • Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. 
  • Dissolve the yeast in the water. 
  • Add the water to the well and 3 tablespoons of the canola oil.
  • Knead everything into a smooth dough. Knead in the fresh dill 
  • Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes. 
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water with a pinch of sugar until just soft. 
  • You should be able to run a fork through them but you don't want them mushy. 
  • Drain the potatoes and when they are cool enough to handle, cut them into thin slices, lengthwise. Use a rabbit shaped cookie cutter to create rabbit shapes. Set the potato rabbits aside in a bowl of cold water. 
  • Heat the remaining two tablespoons of canola oil, the tablespoon of unsalted butter. 
  • Add the chopped onions and fennel to the pan. Stir to coat with the oil and then stir occasionally. When the onions and fennel become transparent sprinkle the teaspoon of white granulated sugar over and cook until caramelized. 
  • Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan. 
  • Add the shredded carrots and cook until soft. 
  • Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 
  • Remove from heat and set aside. 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut in half.
  • Divide the dough into 4  equal parts (use a kitchen scale) and roll out each out into an oval or egg shape. 
  • Whisk together the Schmand and the creme fraiche. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 
  • Spread the mixture out on each dough bed, leaving a 1/2 inch frame. around the edges. Grate the cheese over the top of the cream on each flammkuchen. 
  • Arrange the caramelized fennel and carrots on top of the creamy mixture. Arrange the reserved rabbit shaped potatoes over the vegetables. Use a pastry brush to coat the potato rabbits with olive oil. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the top. 
  • Place the flammkuchen in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. 
To make Schmand:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 16 oz cottage cheese (4% fat) 
Place the cottage cheese and cream cheese in a food processor or blender and process until combined. The mixture should be completely smooth.

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