Eggplant and Goat Cheese Flatbread
This Eggplant and Goat Cheese Flatbread is quickly becoming one of my favorite recipes!
It’s safe to say that I love bread.
Regardless of how it arrives on my plate, or in my hand, as long as it makes its way to my mouth.
I love it!
Bread is a miracle to behold.
Flour, water, yeast and maybe some salt, and your creation comes alive.
No longer lifeless ingredients, but a whole new living breathing thing far greater than all of its sum parts!
That may sound extreme but I find bread a fascinating food, and one that I find hard to resist.
I am talking real bread of course, not that fluffy, air filled spongy stuff on supermarket shelves.
The other exciting thing about bread, is the variety that is endless.
Never a thing to get bored of, there is always a new method or technique to try.
Flatbread is one of the best delivery systems for my favorite foods.
What is Flatbread?
Flatbread is a type of bread and at its most barebones is made from flour, water, and salt.
The dough of a flatbread is unleavened which means it is made without yeast or other leavening agent.
Due to not having any yeast or leavening agents flatbread does not rise like a typical bread would.
Instead is more similar to a cracker texture.
Flatbread is traditionally cooked in a large brick oven until it is crispy.
Thankfully you can still make a great flatbread at home using your standard oven.
Flatbread originated in Egypt but many different cultures have their own variations which we all know.
In Afghanistan they have naan bread.
In Mexican culture, they have tortillas.
Whatever variation of flatbread it definitely needs some great companion ingredients to bring it over the top.
One recommendation I have is Eggplant & Goats Cheese Flatbread which is a great elevation to your normal flatbread recipes.
I use a pretty straightforward bread recipe for this dough.
To which I add another of my favorites, eggplant.
Followed by caramelized onions spiced in sumac and cumin adding a certain zest, this flatbread is finished with crumbled goat cheese.
This savory pre dinner snack is wonderful with a nice glass of chilled sauvignon blanc.
How to Make Flatbread
To make flatbread you first combine flour, salt and yeast in a bowl.
Add the water and mix together until a dough is formed.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil and massage into the dough.
Cover and let rise until double in size.
Once doubled in size, knead the dough, cover again and leave to rise until it is doubled in size again.
After leaving it to rise you will then knead your dough one more time.
Now is time for the cutting of the dough, first flour a surface and place down your dough.
Then cut the dough in half and roll one out until it’s about 0.5cm thick.
Place the flatbread onto a baking tray with baking paper and bake in the oven until dough is cooked through.
Feel free to add olive oil with herbs and spices before baking if your looking for a more flavourful flatbread.
If you are going to just be making a plain flatbread however then the method I have laid out for you above will be perfect.
Sumac is a bush that is native to the Middle East.
It produces bright red berries that are dried and crushed to create this spice.
Deep red, and lemony in flavor sumac is used in a lot of dishes in Middle Eastern cooking.
Even ground into most za’atar recipes sumac gives it depth of flavor.
Adding a complex sour flavor I particularly like the combination of sumac and eggplant.
A fond memory I have as a kid is stuffing a pita bread with eggplant cooked in olive oil.
Them I would sprinkle it with salt and sumac.
Yum! A very delicious way to eat eggplant.
Eggplant and Goat Cheese Flatbread
- In a bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast. Add the water and mix together until a dough is formed.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil and massage into the dough. Cover and let rise until double in size.
- Once doubled in size, knead the dough, cover again and leave to rise until it is doubled in size.
- Cut an onion in half and then into slices. Pull the slices apart.
- Slice the eggplant into 2cm thick pieces. Stack a few rounds of eggplant at a time and slice them into 3 vertically, and then horizontally - to create diced cubes.
- In a pan, add ¼ cup of olive oil with the eggplant and fry until golden.
- In a frying pan, add ¼ cup of olive oil with the onion, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp sumac and ½ tsp cumin. Fry until golden.
- Dice the goat cheese into 2cm thick chunks.
- Once the dough has doubled in size again, knead your dough one more time.
- Flour a surface and place your dough. Cut the dough in half and roll one out until it's about ½cm thick.
- Place this onto a baking tray with baking paper. Add your onions onto the dough, the eggplant and the goat cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 500°F (260°C) until brown on top and the dough is cooked.