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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tomato Permesan Basil Flatbread - it does resemble pizza but it's flatbread

Though it doesn’t feel like we are having summer this year, our tomatoes were doing relatively well. S’ mom gave us the peach tomato plant months ago (the plants came from The Digger’s who specialise in heirloom plants). At first, we had no clue that this tomato was peach tomato and that it was different from normal tomato. It is the kind that would never turn red. It’s the yellow tomato. So, many tomatoes got rotten on the vine (not vine-ripen, but vine-rotten tomato). We finally figured it out after looking at the plant tags (why didn’t we look at the plant tag before, you might ask!).

These tomatoes are relatively small. Its size is about cherry tomato size. The taste and texture are also different from general tomato. It is sweeter, softer and not as acidic. We have used them in salad, pasta, and now in flatbread. They all turned out delicious.

It is a shame though that the plant is now dying (well, as I'm editing this post now, S has killed the plant. It has now gone to heaven). Tomato loves the consistent warm weather. That’s why it is doing so well in summer and warmer climate and we are having an unusual hot-then-cold summer this year. As a matter of fact, the summer is almost finished and I don’t feel we have any summer at all. It is sad that the plant is dying before its time.

I picked the tomato, parmesan and basil flatbread recipe from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook to utilise our home-grown peach tomato. This recipe uses the basic olive oil dough as a base. I tweaked the recipe a little by using my sourdough starter instead of preferment, which I believe give the bread extra flavour.

I love working with this dough. For some reasons, be it the water percentage, milk or olive oil in the dough mixture, the dough was silky smooth and easy (and fun) to work with. I made the full olive oil recipe following the book and froze half of the dough (Happy to report that it freeze well). You can double the amount in the olive oil dough recipe below if you plan to freeze the bread dough or intend to serve four persons.  

This post is submitted to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herb).

Tomato parmesan and fasil flatbread recipe
from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook

make one large flatbread

10 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
25 g parmesan cheese, cubed
small handful of fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
1-2  tablespoon basil pesto (optional)
500 kg olive oil dough (see below for recipe or you can also use the pizza dough for this)

Make the flatbread dough by following the intruction at the bottom of the blog. Once the dough finished its bulk proofing, shape it into flatbread.

To shape flatbread : turn the olive oil dough onto a lightly floured workbench and press down evenly with your hands, to get rectangle shape with 2-cm thickness.

Place flatbread on a baking tray line with baking tray line with baking paper or baking mat. Use your fingers to press down into the dough and create shallow indents over the surface.

Cover the tray/dough with tea towel or plastic bag and set aside in a warm place (25c) to proof for 15 minutes.

Press the cherry tomato halves and cubed parmesan into each flatbread untit they are almost half-sunk into the dough (tomato looks better with cut-side up).

Press half of basil leaves into the dough and brush the dough surface with the basil pesto mixed with olive oil (note: this is my own adaptation to add basil pesto).

Set aside to proof for further 15 -20 minutes (note: the topping are put half-way through proofing, so that they won't deflate the dough before baking. It gives the dough time to rise and have a proper proofing).

Preheat the oven to 180c. Bake for 25 -30 minutes, turning the flatbread around after 15 minutes.

Olive oil dough  recipe
from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook

makes 600 g (enough for the one flatbread)
308 g bread flour
2 g  instant dry yeast
202 ml water
10 ml extra virgin olive oil
10 ml milk
2 teaspoons salt
90 g sourdough starter (100% hydration, fed 10 - 12 hours before mixing)


Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of the mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for another 5 - 8 minutes.  The dough should come away from the edges of the bowl and have a silky complextion when done.

Place the dough in a container that has been sprayed with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to bulk prove for 1.5 hours. Knock back (stretch and fold) the dough every 30 minutes during bulk prove -- this means you will need to knock back the dough twice in total.

Once has finished to bulk prove, it is ready to be used in the tomato, parmesan flatbread above.

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.


  1. maybe your tomatoes are the 'lemon' variety, I'm growing them this year and they should have the size and the colour of a lemon. I'm very curious about them and this recipe looks great! Thank you for joining to WHB.

  2. Thanks Graziana for hosting WHB as well.

    The Australian's Peach variety could or maybe called 'lemon' variety in Italy? It's an heirloom variety. The taste is sweet and subtle acidic. The texture is also quite soft.It was great in salad as well. I also love that it gives different colours when mixed with red tomato in any dishes.