Category Archives: starter

Flat Bread with Dried Figs, Roquefort Cheese, and Rosemary


Makes 2 large flat breads

For the bread dough
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 cups (280 grams) bread flour or fine semolina
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) whole-wheat flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons/7 grams) instant active-dry yeast
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground mastic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Olive oil

For the topping
About 1/2 cup (120 milliliter) milk
About 30 dried figs, sliced
2 cups (270 grams) crumbled Roquefort, gorgonzola, or any spicy blue cheese
1/4 cup (15 grams) chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Make the bread dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or in a food processor, mix the flours, yeast, salt, and spices.

With the motor running, add 3 cups (720 milliliters) water or more to make a soft dough. Work the dough for about 6 minutes, until it is soft and slightly sticky, adding more water if needed.

Oil a large bowl and a piece of plastic wrap. With floured hands, shape the dough into a ball and transfer to the oiled bowl. Cover with the oiled plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and let rise overnight. Let the dough come to room temperature (about 2 hours) before proceeding further.

Preheat the over to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape the laganes: Lightly flour your work surface. Turn the dough out and knead briefly. Divide in two, cover one piece, and flatten the other to fill the first baking sheet. Stretch and dimple with wet fingers to expand the dough to cover the whole pan. Cover with oiled plastic while you shape and place the next lagana on the second baking sheet. Cover and let the dough rise for about 40 minutes.

To top the breads: Brush the breads with milk and divide the fig slices between them, pressing the figs to stick onto the surface of the breads. Sprinkle generously with the cheese and rosemary.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the breads are golden at teh bottom. If they brown on top but still look uncooked at the bottom, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake a bit longer.

Let cool on a rack, slice, and serve warm or at room temperature. Leftover bread can be frozen. Reheat directly from the freezer, loosely wrapped in aluminum foil, in a 375°F oven for about 20 minutes. Open the foil and heat for 8 to 10 minutes more to caramelize the top.


Baked figs with balsamic and feta

baked figs

Serves 1 to 2

  • 1/2 cup creamy feta (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (for soaking the feta)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 12 very ripe figs (any kind you can find)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic oil (scooped from feta oil)
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic or homemade balsamic reduction
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 or so mint or parsley leaves
  1. Crumble feta into a jar or bowl. Top with olive oil and garlic. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 400° F. Stem and halve figs. Scoop a tablespoon of olive oil out of the feta mixture and sprinkle it over the figs. Coat each fig with a bit of balsamic. Sprinkle with salt. Tuck in the chunks of feta. Toss on the thyme sprigs, and put them in the oven.
  3. Check them after 15 minutes. The figs cook fast. Don’t let them completely fall apart. When they’re quite jammy and releasing their juices, remove from the oven and turn on your broiler. Broil for a minute or two until the figs and feta are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven. Cool for a few minutes. Pick out thyme sprigs and use your fingers to sprinkle the crispy leaves down over the figs. Discard sprigs. Garnish with mint or parsley leaves. Serve.