This is a lovely alternative to pizza and also much quicker. It is a speciality from the French area called Alsace, where you can find it with all sorts of toppings, savoury or sweet. The traditional topping is bacon and onions, and some of the sweet Flammkuchen, which contain mostly fruit, are actually flambéed with Calvados; I suppose that is where the name comes from. The prep is very easy and to make the dough is actually easier than making a pizza dough (I’ve heard that some people are not very successful with those…).
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes (plus 20 minutes baking time on 200-220°C)
Number of servings (yield): 4 (2 baking trays)
- 300g plain flour
- 250ml cold water
- 3 tbsp oil (rapeseed or any other vegetable oil as long as it is not strong in flavour)
- A pinch of ordinary salt
- ⅓ – ½ butternut squash, depends on the size (tastes best but you can use any other pumpkin)
- 1 large onion
- 2 gloves of garlic
- 2 stalks of spring onion
- 200g crème fraiche (you can use ordinary sour crème as well)
- A sprinkle of grated Gruyère cheese (tastes best but you can use any cheese you like)
- A pinch of coarse sea salt
- A pinch of freshly ground pepper
- Mix the flour, water, salt and oil and knead into a smooth dough. That happens fairly quickly and the dough must not be sticky or too dry. If sticky then add a bit of flour, if too dry and/or crumbly then add a drop of water or oil. The dough can be made hours in advance as long as it is being wrapped in cling film it’ll stay nice and smooth.
- Half the dough and roll out each half into a thin roundish disc of the size of your baking tray. It must not be thicker than 5mm, ideally 3-4mm if you can.
- Place the dough on the baking trays (ideally on baking paper).
- Now for the toppings: Peel the squash and take out the seeds, peel the onion and cut both (or better use a slicer) into very thin slices. Peel the garlic and either chop roughly or cut thin slices. Cut the spring onion into small pieces.
- Now spread the crème fraiche thinly over the rolled out dough (again not too thick, not too thin), sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Then add the garlic, onions and pumpkin slices and top with a sprinkle of spring onions. Top it with some grated cheese but not as thick as on a pizza, really just a few specs here and there. That’s why Gruyère cheese tastes best as it is not a thick cover.
The oven needs to be pre-heated and as the dough as well as the toppings are all pretty thin it should not take more than 20-30 minutes until the Flammkuchen is baked. However it depends on your oven as well; if the edges start to brown and the toppings have some nicely browned specs then it is. You can also check it underneath whilst lifting it up a little to see if the dough is slightly browned underneath.