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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC

www.cathyskitchenprescription.com

 

Sunflowers

Making simple leavened bread dough is fun and easy. It is the foundation for these pretty, flatbread appetizers, shaped like sunflowers. I topped them simply with a roasted tomato, onion slice, roasted mini pepper and a spoonful of Arugula Pesto or Green Chutney. Sunflowers make beautiful small bites to wow your guests.

 

Prep 45 minutes to prep bread and roast toppings, plus 2 ½ hour rise

Bake flatbreads for 10 to 15 minutes

Makes ten to twelve 3 ½-inch sunflowers

 

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

¾ to 1 cup warm spring water

1 teaspoon shiro (mild, white) miso paste

2 cups white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting

4 medium ripe tomatoes, cut in ¼-inch slices, and roasted

3 small sweet onions, cut in ¼-inch slices, and roasted

12 mini bell peppers, deseeded and roasted

1 ½ teaspoons dry thyme leaves

1 cup Arugula Pesto or Green Chutney

Garnish with microgreens or tiny sprig of fresh thyme.

 

 

  1. Warm ¼ cup of spring water, no hotter than body temperature, and add to a medium bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and stir. Wait 5 minutes for the yeast to dissolve fully into the water.
  2. Add ½ cup more warm spring water to the bowl and mix. Mix in the shiro miso until it is fully dissolved in the water.
  3. Stir in the white whole wheat flour, using a Danish dough hook or wooden spoon, and as a dough forms, using a clean hand. Mix until the water is fully absorbed. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water, but slowly. We are looking for a dough that is moist but not wet.
  4. Knead the dough in the bowl for about 8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and soft. Adjust with a sprinkle more water or flour, as you go, if needed.
  5. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in a proofing box, an oven if it has a proofing setting, or another warm environment that can maintain a temperature from 80 to 100°F. Allow the bread to rise for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. As the dough rises, roast the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  7. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lay down the tomato slices and sprinkle them lightly with dry thyme leaves on one sheet, the onion slices on the second, and the deseeded mini peppers on the third.
  8. Roast the peppers for 20 minutes before checking. They are ready when they have collapsed and just begun to lightly char. Remove the tray when they are ready.
  9. Begin checking the tomatoes at 25 minutes. They will be ready when they have partially dried and begun to brown on their cut edges.
  10. Begin checking the onions after 30 minutes. They too should be lightly browned on their cut edges.
  11. Reheat the oven to 425°F to bake the sunflowers.
  12. After rising, use a curved plastic dough scraper to turn the dough onto a floured board.
  13. Press it into a disk and using a light rolling pin or wooden dowel, roll the dough into a large circle, ½-inch thick.
  14. Use a 3 ½-inch lid or cutter to cut out circles, rerolling the scraps until all the dough is used.
  15. Keep the dough covered with a clean, kitchen linen as you shape each sunflower to prevent drying.
  16. Use a 2 ½ -inch lid or cutter to lightly mark an inner circle on each dough disk, but do not press through. This marking is a guide to help you create the sunflower “petals.”
  17. Now, using a sharp paring knife, cut through just the outer ring of dough to make 16 equally sized tabs of dough. Thinking of a clockface, make a cut at 12 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock,  and 9 o’clock, rotating each disk to make cutting easier.
  18. Now cut each of the four tabs in half. Then cut each of those tabs in half again. You will now have 16 tabs.
  19. To create petals, pinch every two tabs together at their tips.
  20. Transfer each sunflower to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Spritz a light coat of water on the sunflowers right before placing the tray in the oven.
  21. Begin checking at 10 minutes for doneness. They are ready when the sunflowers are firm, golden, fragrant, and lightly browned on their petals.
  22. Cool the baked sunflowers on a rack.
  23. Serve each sunflower warm with a slice of roasted tomato, then onion, then a spoonful of either Arugula Pesto or Green Chutney, then a folded roasted mini pepper. Top with a tiny sprig of microgreens or fresh thyme.

Sunflowers

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