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From Seasons 52 restaurant in Atlanta. Chef Clifford Pleau, director of culinary development for Seasons 52 restaurants, was kind enough to develop a home version of this popular item. He said, "Actually, this recipe is pretty close to the recipe we use at Seasons 52. Ours has even less yeast, because we like it thin and flat, and we use a crisping agent because of the volume we use." The home version may bubble a bit on the pizza stone, but that only adds to its charm.
- 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 fresh ground black pepper
Roasted Eggplant Slices
- 1 large eggplant, sliced very thin (about 1/8 inch thick)
- olive oil in a spray bottle
- fresh ground black pepper
- extra-virgin olive oil (in spray bottle)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced and lightly sauteed (or roasted garlic paste)
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaf, torn and divided
- 2 plum tomatoes, sliced very thin and divided
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
- fresh ground black pepper
- FOR THE 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 dough sticks 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 dough piece 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.)
- FOR THE ROASTED EGGPLANT SLICES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak the eggplant slices in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and 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.
- TO ASSEMBLE THE FLATBREADS: 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 2 tablespoons 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 and onto 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.
- TIP 1: 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.
- TIP 2: 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 and cook the thin crust properly.