Flatbread for brunch is an easy proposition if you mix up the dough the night before and let it rise in the refrigerator all night. Serve these crisp flatbreads topped with soft-set eggs one at a time, straight from the oven, accompanied with a simple green salad or a side of fresh fruit.
Rustic Flatbread with Egg, Arugula and Pecorino
For the dough:
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) warm water (110°F/43°C)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 to 2 1/4 cups (10 to 11 1/2 oz./315 to 360 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. cornmeal
- 2/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
- 8 eggs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 cup (2 oz./60 g) baby arugula leaves
- 1 cup (2 oz./60 g) bite-size frisée pieces
1. To make the dough, in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olive oil. Gradually stir in 2 cups of the flour and the salt until a soft dough forms.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat the dough on high speed until it is soft and smooth and no longer feels sticky, beating in more flour 1 Tbs. at a time as needed to prevent sticking, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in volume, 35 to 45 minutes. Punch the dough down, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
3. About 2 hours before serving, bring the dough to room temperature (this will take 45 minutes to 1 hour).
4. Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C). Lightly oil two 12-by-15-inch (30-by-38-cm) baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal.
5. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and press gently to expel any air. Divide the dough in half. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll or stretch one portion of dough into a 13-by-7-inch (33-by-18-cm) oval about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and place on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and baking sheet. Brush each oval with 1/2 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkle each with half the cheese and bell pepper strips.
6. Bake the flatbreads for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and crack 4 eggs onto each oval. Sprinkle the eggs lightly with salt and pepper. Return the flatbreads to oven, switching the positions of the baking sheets, and bake until crusts are well browned, 5 to 8 minutes longer.
7. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 Tbs. olive oil with the vinegar. Add the arugula and frisée and toss to coat. Slide each flatbread onto a cutting board and pile the greens on top, dividing them evenly. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves 4 to 6.
Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Eat Well: New Ways to Enjoy Foods you Love, by Charity Ferreira