Photos: Vic Chin, Video: Vic Chin and Peter Ruocco
I’ve made a lot...and I mean hundreds and hundreds of these simple, delicious, five-ingredient flatbreads that showcase summer...I have memories of sending out one or two into the dining room at COCO5OO when I was the chef there and the fragrance from the toasty dough and warm truffle oil filling the room. Invariably, everyone wanted one and so more orders would come in and the cycle continued.
Using leftover dough from the previous night’s pizzas results in a flatter, crispier crust or you can use lavash in a pinch. But, don’t cook it too long as the creme fraiche might break — you want crispy edges with a base that has a little play to it.
It’s funny when I think of it, I grew up in Brooklyn in a meat and potatoes family who ate pizza on Fridays. Always with red sauce, cheese and lots of meat. I didn’t see a white pie until I came to California. This one has just five ingredients, it’s easy and pretty and I don’t say that about many things. It started as a way to use up dough, then on a whim, I added the creme fraiche, the blossoms and cheese. The truffle oil was an afterthought that brings out the floral notes of the blossoms...it’s beautiful, sexy...and elegant!
Squash Blossom Flatbread
Makes 4 flatbreads
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (or 00 flour if available)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup warm or room-temperature water
- 1 cup Crème Fraiche
- 16 squash blossoms
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons white truffle oil
- 1 teaspoon Maldon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, yeast and salt.
- Process for 10 seconds. Add the oil and process again for 10 seconds. With the processor running, drizzle in the water until the dough begins to come together.
- Dump out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead to bring the dough together into a ball. Cut into 4 pieces and shape each quarter of dough into a ball.
- Set the four balls of dough onto a rimmed baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours.
- When ready to assemble the flatbreads, set a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450F
- Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball of dough as thin as you can to form a nice round flatbread.
- Using a spatula, spread the entire flat bread with a layer of crème fraiche.
- Remove the stems from the squash blossoms and split the blossoms in half. Arrange the squash blossoms over the crème fraiche, spiraling around in a circle formation until you cover the entire surface.
- Sprinkle with the cheese, all the way to the edge, and slide onto a pizza peel. Slide flatbreads onto the hot pizza stone and bake until crisp, about 8-12 minutes.
- Remove the crisp pizza and drizzle with truffle oil. Sprinkle with salt and chili flakes and cut into wedges.
- Serve immediately.