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zucchini ricotta flatbread

Zucchini & Herbed Ricotta Flatbread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 flatbreads; 2 servings each
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Easy homemade flatbread pizza topped with summery zucchini, herbed ricotta, roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil.


Ingredients

Flatbread

  • 1 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) warm water, (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour or bread flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing the dough
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Toppings

  • 2 cups (300g) 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
  • 12 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (or a few cloves, chopped)
  • 2 cups (about 240g) sliced zucchini (12 medium zucchini, about 1/2 lb.)
  • 68 ounces goat cheese (depending how much you like!)
  • optional: crushed red pepper flakes and fresh basil to top

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the yeast, sugar, and warm water together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Loosely cover and allow to sit for 5–10 minutes until foamy and frothy on top. *If you do not own a stand mixer, you can do this in a large mixing bowl and in the next step, mix the dough together with a large wooden spoon/silicone spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle. A hand mixer works, but the sticky dough repeatedly gets stuck in the beaters. Mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula is a better choice.*
  2. Add the flour, olive oil, and salt (and garlic/seasoning if using). Mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment until combined, about 2 minutes. The dough should be thick, yet soft and slightly sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle, mix in more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly tacky dough.
  3. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer (and switch to the dough hook if using the paddle) and beat for an additional 6-8 full minutes, or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 6-8 full minutes. (If you’re new to bread-baking, my How to Knead Dough video tutorial can help here.) If the dough becomes too sticky during the kneading process, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of flour at a time on the dough or on the work surface/in the bowl to make a soft, slightly tacky dough. Do not add more flour than you need because you do not want a dry dough. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger—if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. You can also do a “windowpane test” to see if your dough has been kneaded long enough: tear off a small (roughly golfball-size) piece of dough and gently stretch it out until it’s thin enough for light to pass through it. Hold it up to a window or light. Does light pass through the stretched dough without the dough tearing first? If so, your dough has been kneaded long enough and is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading until it passes the windowpane test.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl (I use nonstick spray to grease) and cover with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to sit and rest for 45 minutes at room temperature. Once it has rested and slightly risen, you can continue with the recipe or place the covered dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. More instructions in the make ahead Note below.
  5. 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.
  6. Turn the oven up to 475°F (246°C).
  7. 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.
  8. Shape the dough: Punch the dough down to release any air. Divide the dough in half. 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, just make sure it’s pretty thin. 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 silicone baking mat or a large sheet of parchment if that is easier for you and then just transfer the whole thing to the baking sheet.)
  9. Poke your fingers all around the surface of the flatbreads or prick a few holes with a fork. Drizzle or brush each with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Spread half of the ricotta mixture onto each, then top with zucchini, tomatoes, and finish them by crumbling the goat cheese on top of each.
  10. 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.
  11. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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 be prepared through step 4, then after it has risen, cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Continue with step 5. To freeze the dough, prepare it through step 4. After it has risen, punch it down to release any air. Divide it in 2, if desired, then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Then let the dough sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before stretching out/shaping and topping. If the thawed dough keeps shrinking back as you try to shape it, lightly cover it with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it rest on the counter or your work surface for 15 minutes. (The gluten just needs a chance to settle.)
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer or Glass Mixing Bowl and Wooden Spoon / Silicone Spatula | Baking Sheet | Silicone Baking Mat or Parchment Paper | Pizza Stone | Pizza Cutter
  3. Yeast: You can use instant or active-dry yeast with zero changes. If you’re new to working with yeast, I recommend reviewing my Baking with Yeast guide. I used to make flatbread with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, but recently reduced it down to 1 teaspoon. This is plenty for a thin flatbread crust. Note that 1 teaspoon is less than 1 standard packet. If you want a no-yeast flatbread, I recommend searching for another recipe that’s modified without its addition. (Don’t simply leave the yeast out of this one!)
  4. Adapted from June 2016 Cooking Light.

Keywords: ricotta flatbread, homemade flatbread, zucchini flatbread