Flammkuchen, which means ‘flame cake’ in German, is the perfect example of a dish that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Crème fraîche, sliced onion, bacon and a crispy base come together to create this delicious pizza-flatbread hybrid. Flammkuchen originates from the Alsace region of France which has historically gone back and forth between the Germans and the French, with both claiming ownership over it. Back then, bakers would need to test the heat of their wood-fired ovens with something quick and easy to prepare and as a result, the Flammkuchen was born.
This recipe’s unleavened dough and simple ingredient list make it the perfect dish to whip up when you need to feed a crowd. In Germany, flammkuchen is traditionally paired with a light white wine which cuts through the richness of the bacon and crème fraîche. I highly recommend you try the pairing!
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl), mix together flour, salt, oil and water until a smooth dough forms. The dough should be supple but not sticky. Add a splash of water if necessary. Form into a ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While the dough rests, preheat oven to 450°F and place two large baking sheets on the middle rack. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to the size of your baking sheets and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix crème fraîche with nutmeg, pepper and a pinch of salt until smooth.
Divide the rested dough in two. Dust your work surface generously with flour. Working one at a time, thinly roll out one of the dough halves into a rectangle the size of your baking sheet. The thinner the dough, the crispier it’ll get as it bakes.
Once rolled, transfer the dough to one of the sheets of parchment. Spread half of the crème fraîche mixture in a thin layer across the dough leaving a ½-inch border for the crust.
Sprinkle on half of the sliced onion followed by half of the cubed bacon. Repeat these steps for the second ball of dough. Finish both flammkuchen with a final sprinkle of salt and pepper before baking.
Transfer the flammkuchen to the oven by firmly holding the corners of the parchment paper and swiftly placing it onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, sliding out and removing the parchment paper around the 10-minute mark – this allows for an extra crispy crust and will prevent the middle of the flammkuchen from being soggy. If you prefer crispier toppings, broil for 1-2 minutes just before removing from the oven.
Sprinkle on sliced chives or scallions, slice and serve immediately.