FLATBREAD GRILLED IN THE EMBERS WITH ESCALIVADA
BASQUES HARDWOOD CHARCOAL Signature Recipe
Courtesy of: Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire
Makes enough to serve 8 to 10
Method: Grilling in embers
2 packages dry yeast (5 tsp.)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/4 c. warm water
2/3 c. plain yogurt
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 to 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
About 4 c. all-purpose flour
Coarse sea salt, for topping
For the Escalivada (Grilled Vegetable Salad):
2 medium-size onions, unpeeled
2 slender eggplants (about 1 pound total)
2 red bell peppers
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
2 tablespoons sherry or wine vinegar, or to taste
Sea salt and ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Place the yeast, sugar, and water in the mixer bowl. Mix well and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the yogurt, salt, 1 Tbsp. oil, and 4 c. flour. Mix at low speed in a mixer fitted with a dough hook to form a smooth dough. The dough should be moist, but not sticky—if too wet, add a little more flour. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size.
- Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. (Use Basques Hardwood Lump Charcoal only as you’ll be cooking the breads and vegetables directly in the embers.)
- Make the Escalivada. Set up a charcoal grill for ember-roasting. Lay the onions, eggplants, and peppers on the embers. Roast until charred on all sides and tender in the center, turning to roast evenly. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board to cool. Scrape off the burnt skins with a paring knife (don’t worry about removing every last bit). Cut into 1-inch dice, reserving the juices in a large bowl. Add the sherry vinegar and salt and pepper to the juices and whisk. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning, adding vinegar or salt to taste; the dressing should be highly seasoned. Add the diced grilled vegetables to the dressing and toss to mix. To serve, mound the salad onto a platter or plates. Serve with the flatbread.
- Turn the dough onto a floured cutting board and cut it into 2-inch pieces. Roll each into a 2-inch ball, then roll into a 6-inch circle with a rolling pin. Bring the breads, a baking sheet, olive oil, and a bowl of the coarse salt grill side.
- Fan the embers to dislodge any loose ash. Lay one or two dough circles directly on the embers. Grill until browned and blistered on the bottom and puffed on the top, 20 to 30 seconds. Turn the breads and grill a few seconds more. Repeat with the remaining breads. Tear into pieces and use to scoop up the escalivada.
Picture by Chris Bierlein