Saturday, 9 November 2013

Hello from London and a Flammkuchen for the old days...

Well hello lovely people! It's been a while..A growing baby (yes, we have a tooth out already and my baby is almost 8 months old), another move from Germany to UK.

As much as I love London, I just can't forget my wonderful days in Germany and, in fact, I discovered that I was in love with that country for many reasons: I had wonderful time there, wonderful company, everything was done the German way, things were running smoothly, I had my baby boy there and I used to live in an amazing little town called Neustadt an der Weinstrasse which just seems to offer the perfect picture to put on a chocolate box...

I know I didn't get to write much about German food although I have promised to do so but that was just before I got pregnant, started hating food to begin with, then started watching what I was eating..Then I gave birth and it was another overwhelming experience but 24/7 sort of thing..My time was basically "high-jacked" as one of my friends told me..

The good news: baby is sleeping more hours than before and we moved about 10 weeks now so I can say that I'm settled.

I forgot to mention that my move to London came with an unpleasant surprise in the flat we rented. Everything seemed to be ok/manageable except that crazy oven that was 1/small. 2/ does not always go on 3/ If it goes on and you decide to turn it off then think your bake needs a couple of minutes IT WON'T GO ON again..anyway..It was some sort of a nightmare for somebody who needs to bake frequently...

The cooker/oven got replaced this week with another small version (to my standards) but at least seems to be working as we speak. I still can't get used to the gas marks and I'm not confident about the whole thing but It does not stop me from using it..Hoping for the best each time..so macaroons won't be in my schedule anytime soon.

I have loaaads of pictures and never got around posting any recipe since July, so the first that comes to my mind now is a German/Alsatian easy to make Flammkuchen.


Vegetarian Flammkuchen in Deidesheim (Christmas market 2012)
Flammkuchen or Flammekueche (depending whether it's in Germany or Alsace) which means "flame cake" or "Pie baked in the flames" is a bit like a flat thin pizza with white filling and a bit of garnishing that needs to bake in a hot oven and ideally a pizza oven. Then you have something to serve after 15  min between from start to finish, provided that you have a ready-made dough (which could be store-bought if you live in Germany or just made-ahead bread dough and chilled/ frozen). Like in many countries, pizzas can be found in the supermarket (sold frozen). In Germany, the flammkuchen won't be far..

There is the famous Alsatian flammkuchen which is garnished with lardons fumés (smoked bacon), onions and crème fraiche and there is the vegetarian version which differs from restaurant to another but not far off..


Vegetarian Flammkuchen in Neustadt an der Weistrasse (Marketplatz) with onions, green and red pepper and chilli pickles
The flammkuchen can be made with a pizza/bread dough which needs to be rolled paper thin OR with a dough that does not need yeast.

It can also be rolled, garnished and frozen. Just pop it into the oven, bake and serve. Easy homemade fast-food formula.

Another version of flammkuchen with more grated cheese, Thyme and mushrooms (In Marketplatz)

Ingredients
Makes 2
Prep: 45 min (with dough made from scratch)/ Baking: 8 to 12 min.

Dough without yeast
I sometimes use my pita dough which I keep handy in the fridge (we always need a pizza or a fresh pita any day of the week don't we?).
  • 200g of flour
  • 120 ml of water
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

Filling
  • 150g of creme fraiche, double cream or sour cream
  • 50 g of cream cheese (optional but nice)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Finely sliced mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions
  • Parsley for garnishing 

One of my homemade flammkuchen

Preparation

Dough

Knead all the ingredients together until the dough is not sticky but rather soft and smooth-ish. Cover with a film and set aside.

Filling

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions and peppers for about 4 to 5 min and then set aside. If using mushrooms, you don't need to pre-cook them,

Assembling and baking



Preheat the oven at the highest level for a good 15 min. 

Roll out dough very thin, smear the mixture of cream/cheese.

Distribute the vegetables on top and bake until the bottom is crispy and small patches of black appear on the top..

Serve with pickled chilli, a salad and enjoy the moment..





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