This was a summer dinner party favorite growing up. My mother would throw this flatbread together like it was second nature to her. She would serve it up to a hungry group of guests after a day spent by the water. It also delicious for that transitional time; it’s like the end of summer with its’ malty, sweet and savory flavors. It has that warm sweetness that resembles the last of the summer days. It couldn’t be simpler and can be served in bite size pieces too as finger food.
For the dough:
2 1/2 teaspoons of instant yeast
3 tablespoons of lukewarm water + 1 1/4 cups of water
1 pinch of brown sugar or a teaspoon of honey
3 cups of all purposed flour
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
For the topping:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 medium sized sweet onions, sliced into 1/4” thick slices
a pinch of brown sugar
1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese ie. stilton or maytag blue
2 handfuls of arugula
In a medium sized bowl, add the yeast, sugar (or honey), and three tablespoons of honey. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Add the flour, salt, remaining water, and olive oil. Knead into a shapely ball for about 10 minutes by hand until it becomes satiny and elastic. It should have a nice spring to it when kneading. If using a dough hook with a mixer: 10 minutes. Let it rise for one hour. Once risen, at this point you can put in fridge to keep overnight if you like. If you are planning to bake it today, take it out and give it another good knead and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, on low-medium heat add the olive oil and once heated, add in the onions. Be sure not to crowd the onions as they will not caramelize and will take too long. A shallow sauce pan or dutch oven work great. You may even need two! Stir sparingly only a few turns. Add a pinch of sugar, let them caramelize for about 45 minutes until they have reduced down and turned a golden brown. Season with salt. Set them aside.
On a pizza stone or baking sheet, add a dash of olive oil and smear around. Add a dusting of cornmeal to the sheet. Gather the dough, using olive oil shape it into a circle or rectangle if you like, about 1/4-1/2” thick. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
Once risen slightly, spoon on the onions and sprinkle with blue cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The under crust should be golden brown.
Once cooled or before serving, sprinkle with fresh arugula. Serve warm or cold.
Enjoy these sweet summer nights!