Zucchini & Herbed Ricotta Flatbread

Ingredients:

Flatbread

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Toppings

  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons milk, to thin
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (or a few cloves, chopped)
  • 2 cups sliced zucchini (about 1 medium/large)
  • 6-8 ounces goat cheese (depending how much you like!)
  • optional: crushed red pepper flakes and fresh basil to top

Directions:

  1. Make the crust: Place the yeast and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Pour water on top. Give it a light stir with a whisk and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
  2. If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the flour, olive, oil, and salt. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick and shaggy. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, including any loose flour. Knead it with your hands for 3-4 minutes until it all begins to come together and becomes smooth. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add 1-2 more Tablespoons of flour.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl (I use nonstick spray to grease) and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit and rest for 35-45 minutes. Once it has rested and slightly risen, you can place it in the fridge for up to 2 days. More instructions in the make ahead tip below.
  4. As the dough is resting and rising, prepare the toppings. Toss the halved cherry tomatoes with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake in a 400°F (204°C) oven for about 20 minutes until blistered and roasted. Set aside.
  5. Turn the oven up to 475°F (246°C).
  6. Whisk the ricotta, basil, milk, lemon juice, and garlic together in a medium bowl. You can use a mixer for this if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Shape the dough: Punch the dough down to release any air. Divide the dough into two. On a lightly floured surface with floured hands and working with one dough piece at a time, begin shaping and stretching the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. You can use a floured rolling pin for this too. Don't worry about the shape of the dough! Repeat with the second piece of dough. Carefully transfer both pieces of dough to a parchment paper or silicone-mat lined baking sheet, or use a pizza stone. (You can also shape/roll out the doughs directly on a large sheet of parchment if that is easier for you and then just transfer the whole thing to the baking sheet.)
  8. Using a fork, prick a few holes into the surface of the doughs and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil each. Spread half of the ricotta mixture onto each, then top with zucchini, tomatoes, and finish the tops by crumbling the goat cheese on top of each.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust and toppings are browned to your liking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with crushed red pepper, fresh basil, and/or freshly ground pepper. Slice and serve warm.

Make ahead tip: The tomatoes can be baked about 2 days in advance; just keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. Likewise, the ricotta mixture can be mixed and prepared 2 days in advance. Cover and keep in the refrigerator. The dough can also be prepared through step 3, then after it has risen-- you can cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Continue with step 4. If you'd like to freeze the dough, you can for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Then before making the flatbread, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before stretching out/shaping and topping.

Recipe Notes:

Adapted from June 2016 Cooking Light

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