Spring produce is my favorite. Especially morel mushrooms. Mushroom hunting was a sport growing up in Michigan. Those few weeks when the morels were plentiful in the marshy woods, we would venture out with my grandpa and see who could find the most and of course the largest. We'd clean them, and prepare them simply, fried in a little butter.
I'm not traipsing through the woods this year for morels, instead buying them at a premium at the market. They are worth every penny though! Fresh morels just smell like a Michigan forest. Earthy, musty, like warm earth after a spring rain. Morel season was always an indication that the long Michigan winter was over and we were headed towards summer. If you can't find morels, any woodsy mushroom would be great; shiitake, or even crimini. Likewise with the fiddlehead ferns, another great spring bounty. Substitute asparagus if you can't find them at your local farmers market.
While you can certainly use a pre-made pizza crust, I think the best pizzas or flatbreads start with homemade crust. This does mean planning ahead a bit, but it's worth it. Dissolve 1 packet or 1 tablespoon of yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water. I measure the temperature of the water, between 105 and 115 degrees. Too hot and you kill the yeast, too cold and it doesn't bloom properly. My instant read meat thermometer works perfectly for this task. Set the sugar/yeast water aside to bloom.
In a large bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil while stirring the flour. When the yeast has bloomed - it will have a layer of foam on top - add the liquid to the flour while stirring until a soft dough has formed.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead 3-4 minutes or until soft and elastic. Place dough in a oiled bowl and oil the surface. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled.
When the dough has doubled, remove from the bowl and knead 4-5 times until smooth. Roll out into a large oval to fit baking sheet. Lay dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel again.
To make the topping for the flatbread, heat two tablespoons of butter in a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 half of a medium sized onion, sliced thinly. When onions are translucent, add morel mushrooms, sliced in halves or quarters depending on the size of the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute until mushrooms are softened. Add the fiddlehead ferns and saute 3-5 minutes or until the ferns are tender-crisp.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Season the flatbread dough with salt and spread the cooked topping evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with 2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil. Bake 10-12 minutes or until crust is browned.
This flatbread is spring. Earthy morels, crisp fresh fiddlehead ferns, it makes me think of the first warm days after a long Michigan winter. While we didn't experience the brutal cold of winter this year in the Pacific Northwest, Ryan and I are always looking forward to warm spring days.
Morel Mushroom and Fiddlehead Fern FlatbreadBy Land of Noms, May 02, 2015
- 1 envelope or 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup of warm water (105-115 degrees)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for board
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 cup sliced onion
- 1 cup sliced morel mushrooms (shitake or crimini can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup of fiddlehead ferns, cleaned and trimmed (asparagus can be substituted)
- 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- salt and pepper
- Disolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water (105-115 degrees) and set aside to bloom
- In a large bowl, stir together all purpose flour and salt
- Stir in olive oil
- When yeast has bloomed (there will be a layer of foam on top) pour into flour mixture while stirring until a soft dough has formed
- Knead dough on a floured board for 3-5 minutes or until smooth and elastic
- Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel, allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled
- When dough has risen, knead a few times on a floured board and roll out into a rough oval or rectangle and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees
- Heat two tablespoons of butter in a medium sized skillet
- Saute sliced onions until softened and translucent, add sliced morel mushrooms and cook until softened
- Add fiddlehead ferns and saute until ferns are tender-crisp, season with salt and pepper
- Season flatbread dough with salt and spread mushrooms and ferns evenly overtop
- Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and chopped basil
- Bake flatbread 10-12 minutes at 475 or until crust is browned, slice and serve hot
Sharing our culinary adventures in Cascadia with simple, sustainable & satisfying eats. Bon Appétit!