GRAPE FLATBREAD SWEET & SAVORY
Smoked Grape Flatbread- Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of Concord Grapes, this recipe completely changes the flavor of this variety of grape to produce a very pleasing outcome. I’ve gone to my own personal grapevines and selected grapes at their peak for a flatbread recipe that is super easy and scrumptious. It all starts with the grapes so go to your own vines, a neighbor’s, a farmer’s market or fresh market, and pick up a quart or two to bring to the grill for wood flavor infusion to make the ultimate in flatbread. Remember, any grape you find will work for this recipe, so go ahead and pick your favorite.
Grape Flatbread- Grape Prep & Wood Infusion
The first steps to our recipe are related to the grapes. I’ve visited my grapevines and selected grapes that our deep purple and firm. Bringing them to the kitchen, I remove them from the vine, ensuring all stems are out, rinse under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. I’ve started my grill by lighting only one burner. To that side, I’ve prepared a metal smoker box with wood chunks. My grill needs to heat up to 250–275°F. While it’s heating, I prepare a sheet pan with a single layer of clean grapes. Then we’re ready to add wood flavor.
Two zone cooking on a grill or smoker is the easiest since the temperature will remain steady and you won’t need to constantly watch the grill. After achieving a 250°F temperature, I place the sheet pan of prepared grapes on the unlit side of the grates. The smoker box of chunks should be releasing a consistent smoke at this stage. Put the lid down and allow the grapes to infuse for about 20 minutes. I then return to the grill and rotate the pan, lid down again, and allow to smoke for an additional 10–15 minutes.
Tasting Notes: There is no rule regarding the type of wood you should use for the smoking. Just be sure it is only hardwood and not a completely dried out piece of wood or you’ll find it will burn up almost immediately. Remember, you want smoke not flames from the wood. Positioning as close to the burner as you can get is best for the placement of the smoker box.
Grape Flatbread- Dough Time
With the grapes smoking on the grill, I’m going to starting the dough for the flatbread.
Taking 2 cups of unbleached bread flour, I add it to a stand mixer bowl with a ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, whisking together. In a measuring cup, I place 1 cup of warm water that is between 110–115°F. I sprinkle into the water 1–1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast and wait 5 minutes for it to bloom. Fitting my stand mixer with a dough hook, I start the mixer on low speed and gradually add in the bloomed water/yeast mixture from the measuring cup. Turning up the speed on the mixer, I continue to knead the dough until it begins to ride up the dough hook, pulling away from sides of the bowl.
Taking a large bowl, I add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom and place some bread flour on a clean work surface to roll the dough out.
Removing the flatbread dough from the mixer bowl, I place the dough on the floured surface and begin to hand knead the dough into a ball. I place the ball of dough into the oiled bowl, rolling the dough in the oil and up the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is nonstick. Place the dough in the bottom of the oiled bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until double in size which will take about an hour. Once risen, prepare a sheet pan with two tablespoons of oil, coating the pan’s surface with the oil using your fingers. The oil will ensure the bottom of the flatbread crisps while cooking.
Grape Flatbread- Simple Fresh Ingredients
Punch the dough down and place on the oiled sheet pan, stretching the dough out on the pan until it almost touches the sides. Time for the fresh ingredients. Start by slicing then tearing into pieces Brie cheese, placing over the top of the flatbread dough. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary leaves. Press the smoked grapes into the dough’s surface until all three ingredients cover most every spot of the dough. Cover the dough with a cloth and allow the flatbread to rise a second time for another 20 minutes. Then bake at 400°F until the cheese is bubbly and the bread surface is golden brown. Remember, the grill works great for the flatbread cooking as well and for additional wood-fired flavor, use wood chunks at this stage as well.
Tasting Notes: Feel free to use other seasonal fruits and even vegetables from the wood-fired grill for this recipe. Swap out the herb and cheese based on the main ingredient and you’ll have a versatile recipe for any seasonal food.
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