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Flatbread mimics bagels with 'everything' seasoning

“Always with the pizza dough!” my partner exclaimed with feigned exasperation.

Don’t I want anything else from Trader Joe’s, besides pizza dough? To be fair, he needn’t ask because — to my recollection — it’s the sole request I’ve ever made of his standing date with Trader Joe’s.

Why not trail mix? Or mango chutney? Or dark chocolate peanut butter cups? Or 21 Seasoning Salute? Simple: I don’t need any of those other things, but I need pizza dough — and not just for making pizza.

There are calzones, of course, but there’s also tomato sauce-less pizza that many people call “flatbread.” Or in the words of St Louis food writer Daniel Neman: “If pizza does not have tomato sauce, it may still call itself pizza, but deep in its heart it knows it is really just flatbread that is putting on airs.”

I just know that pillowy crust, with or without cheese, adorned with toppings that evoke some kind of culinary theme is downright delicious. I took a cue from Neman late last year and prepared Everything but the Bagel Flatbread for dinner, inspired, of course, by my canister of “everything bagel seasoning,” which yes, I can get somewhere other than Trader Joe’s.

I love the classic combination of smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese. So why not put it on a freshly baked flatbread when freshly baked bagels aren’t to be had?

The concept makes for a pretty intriguing meal, certainly a nice change of pace from the predictable pizza format. And because it’s heresy to suggest that anything could be better than a bagel with lox, Neman vouched for this recipe being every bit as good.

You completely bake the flatbread first before smearing it with cream cheese and arraying it with the other toppings.

Everything but the Bagel Flatbread

1 portion flatbread dough

1 tablespoon cream cheese

1 1/2 ounces smoked salmon

1/2 teaspoon capers

1 or 2 thin slices red onion

1 teaspoon everything-bagel mix (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes), optional

Preheat oven to 500 F. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in lower third of oven.

Roll out the flatbread dough until thin. Place on parchment paper on top of upside-down baking sheet, prick several times with a fork and slide parchment onto hot pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, for 9 to 10 minutes. If dough puffs up while cooking, deflate by pricking more times with a fork.

Allow flatbread to cool for a couple of minutes, then spread with cream cheese and cover with smoked salmon. Sprinkle capers on top and scatter with thin pieces of red onion. Finish with everything-bagel mix, if desired.

Makes 1 serving.

Tribune News Service photo