This is the first recipe I have taken major creative licence with. I’d just like to be upfront about that.
Paul and Mary wanted me to make 25 mini pizzas with onion and blue cheese.
I made 24 mini pizzas, 18 of which are tarte flambée, six of which are enchilada-sauced.
Like I said, I went off book.
The actual bread part of this bread recipe, though, was followed to a T. But if I’m being completely honest with you, I don’t love onions. I don’t even really like them. I tolerate them when I have to and set them on the side of my plate when I’m able to. So for me to make 25 mini onion pizzas with blue cheese (of all cheeses) seemed like such a waste! Especially when a French co-worker recently described to me a tarte flambée.
Hailing from Alsace, this French twist on a pizza pie is apparently delicious: it’s made with crème fraîche (with a hint of nutmeg), Emmental cheese and lardons (thinly sliced bacon). She assured me they were to die for and when I later googled, I wondered if I’d had one in my German travels under another name: flammenkeuche.
I’d wanted to put this recipe into action the first chance I got, so when I was feeling hungry for pizza and remembered there was a pizzette recipe in this book, it seemed like kismet.
And, bucking tradition once again, I’m going to front-end this recipe with the final judgment:
The tarte flambée was so delicious I reacted out loud even though I live alone and am well aware of the narcissism of an audible reaction to my own cooking.
Similar to last time, I should note, this wasn’t a blog-as-I-bake situation. It was a bake-because-I’m-hungry-for-dinner-and-blog-later situation.
So here’s what I remember.
I wanted to take a photo of my new baking ingredient organization system. Now I can tell apart my flours thanks to little typewritten labels. Cute, right? That has nothing to do with the baking, but I am proud of it therefore it’s being mentioned.
Now pizza dough is usually fairly basic. I have a couple go-to recipes to make in a rush. This one, however, had a new element: “herbes de provence.” Fancy, right? I thought so too. Martha Stewart tells me it’s a combination of thyme, oregano, marjoram, savoury, rosemary and, if you want, lavender, but since I only have three of those on hand, I went with moitiés herbes de provence.
Do you love my painter’s-tape-and-Sharpie labelling system? Less cute than the typewritten ones, I admit.
As I’ve said before, I love a good kneading session. However, this time I decided to be lazy and use the dough hook on my KitchenAid. I just wasn’t feeling it and I’d never properly given this dough hook a chance, so I decided to let it have its time in the spotlight.
Overall it did pretty well. I did have to hold the bowl and machine down when things started getting a little crazy, but it turned out smooth, so I consider that a success.
It was time, then, to let it rise for an hour as I went out and grabbed ingredients for the tarte flambée.
What was missing, you may ask? Crème fraîche and Emmental cheese, bien sur.
The last time I had Emmental cheese was in Paris. An entire pack cost one euro.
*cries at the memory of how inexpensive delicious cheese is over there*
Off to the grocery store I went to find sour cream, but alas! There was no Emmental in sight. Not in the really fancy cheese section, nor in the mid-range cheese section. Not even the cheapest cheese section! (Yes, my local grocery store has cheese in three different places. They’re not the most organized.)
But then, as I was about to give up and use the Kraft mozza in my fridge, I found a mixed bag of Italiano cheese: provolone, pizza mozzarella, romano and—you guessed it—Emmental.
It was the closest thing to pure Emmental I could find and it was on sale. Done and done.
Even though I didn’t have lardons, a recipe on Thekitchn.com told me that you can just use bacon and slice it thinly. They also suggest a vegetarian version with a smokey gouda. And what do you know but the bacon I have in my freezer is double-smoked. Smokey flavours? Check!
Home I drove, ready to see how puffed up my dough had gotten:
Not too shabby, right?
Time to measure out the full weight of the dough and divide by 25. My rounded-up calculation is what led me to having 24 pizzettes, but it’s a nice round number, so I won’t complain.
Then came the part where I got confused. Paulo and Mar-Bear want me to use baking paper but didn’t want me to put the lined baking sheet in the oven—what?—oh to warm up the pan—okay—and make sure it cooks from the bottom to the top or something—sure.
So I had to form the pizzettes on the paper, then slide it onto the hot baking sheet, then hope for the best.
And as you can see, the best was accomplished:
As I waited to get through four rounds of these things, I decided to sneak a bite before officially having it for dinner. That’s when the audible reaction ensued. Which was closely followed by another bite. And then several more:
They’re mini so they barely count, right? Same logic we all use for mini cupcakes.
After my three batches of tarte flambée / flammenkeuche turned out so beautifully, I put the last batch of enchilada ones in.
Why did I have enchilada ones, do you ask? Because I recently made a spaghetti squash chicken enchilada recipe and had leftover homemade enchilada sauce. Better to use it up, right?
In case you’re wondering, the enchilada one is also delicious, This is a really good pizza dough recipe. It has definitely replaced my go-to. Merci herbes de provence! Merci beaucoup Paul et Marie!
Je suis désolé, mes amis de travail! I’ve decided to freeze these for future lunches instead of sharing them.