Olive Oil Flatbread

 A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend the Greek Escapes cooking class, one of Valerie’s culinary classes. We learned how to make hummus, babaganoush, tzatziki, roasted red pepper salad, and olive oil flatbread.

Unfortunately I only snapped a few pictures because well, I was too busy learning how to cook. For that reason, I wasn’t going to do a post on this so I didn’t take anymore pictures when I was done cooking either. I was just going to wait for Valerie’s post so I could comment on how great the class was, but when I heard that Valerie’s pictures didn’t turn out and she wasn’t able to do a post either, I felt really bad. So my dear friend, this post is for you. I hope my flatbread makes you proud.

When we arrived at 8:30 in the morning, Valerie had already laid out this beautiful spread for us. Talk about treating your guests and customers right.

The cooking stations were all ready to go as well. Unfortunately, this was the last picture I got for that cooking lesson. There were 6 of us and believe me, we were all busy, busy, busy (in a good way of course).

Originally I wanted to take the class to learn how to make her amazing red pepper salad. I first got a taste of it at Valerie’s taste tripping party (if I remember correctly). Those were the best red peppers I had ever tasted, so I knew this class was my chance to learn.

As I mentioned above, we made hummus, tzatziki, babaganoush, red pepper salad, and flatbread. I had never even heard of babaganoush until that day, but my first taste blew me away. I absolutely loved it! Even though it’s a dip, I ate it by the spoonfuls when I got home – so good! Although everything tasted fantastic, I’d have to say that the star of the lesson for me was the flatbread.

I wished I had gotten a better picture of it, but when I got home my little savages tore right into it. Ok so did I, but can you blame me? Look at this beauty. Well, what’s left of it in this picture anyways.

That wonderful perfectly baked to a golden brown top, sprinkled with fresh rosemary and coarse salt fluffiness had me dreaming of bread making all week. I was in love, in love with the taste of this glorious bread and in love with bread making; and when you’re in love, you chase the object of your affection. Am I right foodies? 😉

Those smiles right there are the reason why I’m learning to bake. 

Valerie is a Richard Bertinet fan, so the technique she taught us to knead our dough was the same technique she learned from Mr. Bertinet himself. For all you bread making lovers (yes Denise and Biren, I’m talking to you) here’s a link to a video of this unique technique. (Thank you for emailing me that link,Valerie.)

After learning this technique and tasting that wonderful olive oil flatbread, I fell in love with bread making. Valerie not only taught me the technique, but she installed baking confidence in me. Confidence that lead me to make my very first bread on my own (bread that involves kneading, that is). If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that baking and I aren’t very good friends, so for me to actually feel confident in baking is pretty huge.

This dough was so soft and smooth (yes, kinda like a baby’s bum bum), it blew me away. 

Salting the bread before putting it into the oven. You’ll notice I chose to leave out the rosemary as my kiddies were not big fans of it. I highly recommend it though.

Such a classic baking picture isn’t it?

The bread is finally done. Putting one last layer of olive oil on it. Mmm…olive oil.

It didn’t look as pretty without the rosemary though. Valerie, I hope I’ve made you proud with this bread. Thank you for the wonderful cooking lessons, I will never forget them. I’m sorry your pictures didn’t turn out. Hopefully this will at least put a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart 😀 

The next day, kiddies had this for a snack (one piece each). I don’t think I will ever buy a bread making machine, kneading is just too fun. Why let the machine have all the fun, right?

So tell me, do you have a favorite bread recipe? Feel free to add links to your comments. Until next time friends and family. Happy bread making 😀

Olive Oil Flatbread  (recipe from the Greek Escapes class)

Ingredients

  • 18 ounces, 475g, 3 3/4 to 3 7/8 cups white bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons, 30g semolina
  • 1/2 ounce fresh, 1/3 ounce dry, 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons really good fine grain salt (sea salt)
  • 5 tablespoons EVOO
  • 11 1/2 ounces, just over 12 fl oz, 350g water
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO or more
  • few sprigs of rosemary
  • good quality coarse salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 500 F.
  2. Mix flour and semolina; rub the yeast with finger tips.
  3. Add salt, EVOO, and water all at once into the bowl.
  4. Mix ingredients until they come together in the bowl and mix for a few minutes more.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a very, very lightly floured surface and work the dough until it is ready to proof.
  6. Rest dough in an oiled bowl for one hour covered with a lint free cloth in a warm place.
  7. Use rounded end of the scraper and turn dough out on an oiled tray.
  8. Drizzle oil over the dough; use fingers to push and prod the dough to spread it from the centre toward the edges of the tray trying NOT to stretch or pull it.
  9. Cover with lint free dish towel and rest warm and draft free for 45  minutes.
  10. Prod the dough again, dimpling it with your fingers, and rest for 30 minutes more.
  11. Take rosemary needles and push them gently in evenly over the dough.
  12. Sprinkle dough with coarse salt and immediately put it in preheated oven.
  13. Turn heat down to 425 F for 25 to 30 minutes until light golden brown.
  14. Cook on wire rack and brush with EVOO while still hot.

 

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47 Responses to “Olive Oil Flatbread”


  1. 1 Juliana February 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    LeQuan, I love your little helper…can I borrow her? The flat bread looks delicious, so light..and the melted cheese on it just look so tempting 🙂
    By the way, I was having problem with my blog last week…thanks
    for the note.

  2. 2 Pachecopatty February 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Hi LeQuan, you and your family are so lucky to have taken Valerie’s class. I love everything on the menu. Your flatbread looks so perfectly golden colored and I’m sure the children loved the cheesy adaption, it looks delicious. I want to take a few cooking classes for fun and to pick up a few recipes that I wouldn’t normally make at home. Good for you to learn how to bake and flatbread is such a rewarding simple recipe. I used to bake bread more often now not so much, too busy playing golf with the hubby on the weekends;-)

  3. 4 A Canadian Foodie February 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I was actually crying, LeQuan. Happy tears. Tears of joy as I saw little K helping you to bake bread! What a wonderful tradition you are starting in your home. You are already a great cook, and that is wonderful…but for children, and all of us – there is nothing like baking. And baking bread, somehow, is almost a religious experience. At least, for me. It is so basic, so life sustaining, such simple ingredients and transforms into such magnificence. The cheese bread looks too yummy. I cannot wait to make more bread with you! You’d better snap up the date of the 13th – if you need a weekend date… or it will take forever after that. I have many weekdays free.
    That little photo of K peeking in the oven is too priceless, isn’t it?
    Funny you put this up today when I just got class 2 posted.
    🙂
    valerie
    XOXOXOX

  4. 8 Light Delight with Tou Tou February 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    The cooking class sounds fun! I always want to go to the cooking class – will have it listed this year! I like the bread, looks very fluffy and soft 😀 kids are great helper! hehe

  5. 9 Blackswan February 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Oh, this is so fun! I’m sure I’d enjoy as much. Your girl is great – future chef like mum eh?? Hahaha!

    Happy New Year with love from S’pore!

  6. 10 denise @ bread expectations February 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Hey LeQuan! Valerie must be bursting with pride!

    Your olive oil flatbread is beautiful, but I’m wondering, is your oven HUGE or is K tiny? LOL It’s been ages since I’ve made flabread – and you are so right about kneading, why should the breadmachine have all the fun 😉 I used to make a flatbread with olive oil, sliced new potatoes, onions and rosemary. It was one of my favourites, along with my absolute favourite in the whole world – flax seed bread.

    I hope you continue on this wonderful journey you’ve begun, cos you can’t have a better mentor than Valerie!

    P/s thanks for the Richard Bertinet link – going there now 🙂

  7. 12 5 Star Foodie February 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Sounds like such a fun experience and your bread is absolutely gorgeous! It must be so delicious, especially with that melted cheese on top, yum!

  8. 13 Ameena February 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I love focaccia – sadly it’s been a few years since I’ve had a piece. I don’t make bread but I do make date muffins which I love! And they are so easy I can totally handle them – and that is saying a lot.

    http://fancythatfancythis.com/recipes/

    I love how adept your little one is with the brush – so cute. And she’s wearing Hello Kitty! Maya would be proud. 🙂

    • 14 lequan February 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks so much for your link Ameena! I just bookmarked it. You’ve got some great recipes on there. And thanks to your Hello Kitty comment, I just realized my boy is not wearing any pants in that picture. Lol.

  9. 15 MaryMoh February 8, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Oh wow….you have started bread making, leQuan!! Well Done! I talk about it every year…and …still talking about it…haha. I better start, too. Homemade bread is just the best. Your daughter is an upcoming cook like mom. I’m sure she had much fun helping. I wonder whether she ran away with a piece of dough to play with it 😛 I wish you had a picture of everyone diving into it and tearing the big whole piece of bread apart and munching it up….haha.

    • 16 lequan February 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      Oh I wish I had a picture of my little savages tearing it up too, Mary. That would’ve been a keeper. After bread making, we actually made playdough 😀

  10. 17 Sharon @ Fun and Life February 8, 2011 at 6:13 am

    LeQuan, there is nothing I love better than the smell and taste of homemade bread. When my mom makes bread, I do EXACTLY what K did there in that picture! Stare through the oven door as if that would make the bread bake faster lol. The bread looks amazingly delicious! I’ve never made bread before but I’d love to give it a try. I love tzatziki too – SO good. I dip naan bread (store bought) into it and I love it as a snack. I could eat it by the spoonfuls too haha. That cooking lesson sounds like so much fun :D.

    “When you’re in love, you chase the object of your affection.” Completely agree, couldn’t be better said 😉

    • 18 lequan February 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      Oh I’m sure Mary’s kitchen is always smelling heavenly ;-). Funny thing is, after I took that picture of her staring into the oven, I put down my camera and watched with her for a bit. I was channeling my quick rise energy to the bread 😉

      • 19 Sharon @ Fun and Life February 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm

        Hi…again lol. I dropped you an email about that chicken rice place a few days back but wasn’t sure if you got it? Anyways if you didn’t I thought I’d drop a comment – it’s in Vancouver so you might’ve been there before. The website is http://www.cafedlite.com and it’s at 3144 West Broadway Street. I was very surprised to get such a precise address too lol. If you haven’t been there, hope you like it if you go! Try not to make us too jealous 😉 haha.

      • 20 lequan February 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm

        Hey Sharon!

        Thank you thank you sweet girl for getting this info for me. I have not received an email from you so I’m glad you commented on my blog. I’ll go check my spam folder, maybe it got sent there. I’ll definitely give this place a try. My in-laws are in Vancouver and we visit there lots. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      • 21 Sharon Moh February 16, 2011 at 5:21 am

        So sorry about that! I definitely sent something so I must’ve typed the wrong address or something and surprised some stranger somewhere lol. I figured you must not have gotten it when I didn’t hear back. Hope you have a great week too!

      • 22 lequan February 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

        I got your email Sharon. I replied back, not sure if you got it though. It was sitting in my junk mail, sorry. Cannot wait to try that place. Thank you again!

  11. 23 Leah @ Why Deprive? February 8, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Yum!! Now I want to make flatbread. 🙂 Of course, I doubt I’ll have such a cute helper . . .

  12. 24 tigerfish February 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Did you or the kids attend the class? ;p Looks like the whole family had fun and it is great to see that!

    I don’t bake – so no favorite bread recipe. But I do enjoy a fresh homemade bread. With such a olive oil bread, I just need a good dip in balsamic vinegar 😉

  13. 25 Faith February 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    This is such a sweet post, LeQuan! I’m absolutely sure you made Valerie proud with your flatbread — it really is a work of art! I love how involved the little ones are…you are building some awesome memories that I’m sure they will cherish forever! (And that is definitely a classic baking picture — too cute!)

  14. 26 Anna Johnston February 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Hey there Lequan. Valerie’s classes sound wonderful don’t they, so much fun ‘cooking your way around the world’ & tasting the flavours of different cultures & their cuisines. This is one nice little flat bread.., it sounds a little like focaccia bread which I love making & haven’t done forever, so thanks for the reminder.
    There are so many breads that are fun (& quick) to make up, I’m with you on the bread making machine…., when you put ordinary bread next to breads like this, they’re a bit boring huh.
    Have a wonderful week Lequan…., & congratulations on gaining confidence with your breadmaking girl. 🙂

  15. 27 Autumn @ Good Eats Girl February 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    This looks awesome! I’m definitely going to have to try it out! The pics of your family cooking with you are so sweet! Isn’t it such fun when everyone helps out!?!

  16. 28 Biren @ Roti n Rice February 9, 2011 at 9:07 am

    There is nothing like the aroma of homebaked breads. Once you start baking bread, it is hard to stop. There are so few ingredients needed but it gives such great flavor missing from store bought breads. Your olive oil flat bread looks delicios! I guess I’ll be seeing more breads here.

    The cooking class sounds like fun. Valerie’s kitchen is gorgeous! Looks like your little helper had tons of fun too. 🙂

    Thanks for the Richard Bertinet link. I will check it out after this. Will be making another loaf of bread today.

  17. 29 Lawyer Loves Lunch February 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    LeQuan, this looks so lovely! It’s amazing that you were able to master yeast in one class. I have zero luck with yeast breads. Maybe I need one of Valerie’s classes? 🙂

  18. 30 DessertDarling February 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Oh! How sweet and fun! Baking with your children- I absolutely love it :))

    xo

  19. 31 Monet February 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Can I say again and again how beautiful your family is? Each time I visit your blog, I find myself smiling and laughing with joy. Your little helper was the cutest thing I’ve seen all day. I loved hearing about your experience with Valerie’s and seeing this wonderful flatbread. It all looks so so good! Thank you for sharing your tasty bread with me. I hope you are having a happy and warm Wednesday night.

  20. 32 Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron February 10, 2011 at 1:53 am

    First, Valerie’s kitchen is so beautiful!! It sounds like a fun and useful class. I remember how excited I was the first time I attended a cooking class. Second, your little helper is super cute! It’s nice to see her grow although I can only see from the pictures. Third, I’m pretty sure you make Valerie proud! That olive oile bread looks puffy and the color is just perfect.

    Where am at now? Prob fourth. I’m a newbie for bread making so I can’t tell if I have a fav recipe yet. So far I love the dough recipe I got. Hope all is well LeQuan and Happy belated Chinese New year! 😀

  21. 33 anncoo February 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Hi Lequan, This is amazing and your little helper is really helpful and I think she can do a better job than me 🙂 Hope I can really make some bread “this year”…hahaa

  22. 34 uncle Lee February 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Hi Le Quan, wow! Love the dishes, and that is a real dream kitchen. My wife would love have that kitchen!
    She loves Greek food, for me…will eat but not go overboard for it.
    Give me Chicken rice anytime, ha ha.
    You have fun and keep a song in your heart.
    Best regards, Lee.

  23. 35 sophia February 11, 2011 at 12:52 am

    LOL I don’t blame you at all for tearing into it! I certainly would have! Your little savages, huh? Does that include your husband too? Hee hee.

  24. 36 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors February 11, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Dear Le Quan – This is fantastic! The bread looks yummy and what a great spread Val laid out. The pics of you and your daughter bakign together is precious. So great that you can attend Val’s cookign classes being in her vicinity and all.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  25. 37 pigpigscorner February 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Your flatbread looks perfect!and your little helper is so cute!

  26. 38 Christine@Christine's Recipes February 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Hi LeQuan, thanks for dropping by.
    Your flatbread looks very soft and perfect, great for my family too. 🙂
    Your little angel is a good helper in your kitchen. Baking builds up bonding.

  27. 39 Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel February 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    is it similar to a Focaccia style bread? it looks similar! I love how the whole family is involved in the making of this gorgeous bread! i love how she is looking into the oven, seeing all the magic happening in there as it bakes 🙂 i still catch myself doing that, but its cuz its always so intriguing! ❤

    xoxo

  28. 41 Jos February 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I haven’t baked bread for a while…might give this a try when I get a chance 🙂

  29. 42 Stella February 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    LeQuanis, LeQuanis!!! Your bread looks perfect! I used to work at a really nice Italian trattoria. We made the focaccia bread homemade there, and it looked just like this bread. It was so good too, so I can imagine how delicious this Greek flat bread must be. I wonder if this Greek bread is kind of a focaccia or no…?!
    Oh, and K looks so cute in those photos mixing the dough. I like the one where it looks like she’s saying ‘Oh!’. Ooh, and L’s little diaper made me crack up-he’s too cute:)
    p.s. I’m hosting another CSN giveaway over at my site, so feel free to enter. You have just as much a chance this time as last time, Lady (smile)…!

    • 43 lequan February 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      Stella, Stella!!! Teehee. Great to see you back! Regarding your question about whether this is a type of Focaccia or not, I’m sorry I cannot answer that. Bread making and baking is very new to me so I will have to ask Valerie the next time I speak with her. You’re the second or third person who has asked this. All you had to say was “giveaway”, but because it’s you, “I’m back” would’ve worked the same magic too (wink).

  30. 44 Nancy/SpicieFoodie February 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Wow your flatbread looks so delicious. The cooking class sounds like a great one, and just reading about it made me hungry. You have a lovely blog, and thanks for your comment on Alisha’s interview:)

  31. 45 Jackie (Phamfatale.com) February 15, 2011 at 2:39 am

    So cute that you got little helpers to bake the bread!

  32. 46 Quay Po Cooks February 18, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Your flat bread wows me and so does your cute assustant.

  33. 47 Magic of Spice February 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    You have such a beautiful family…the shot of K waiting for the bread in the oven is such a classical pic, lovely.
    Sounds like an amazing class and I am sure Valarie was a fantastic teacher. Your focaccia looks perfect rosemary or not 🙂


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