Spicy Italian Flat Bread

$3.82 recipe / $0.96 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.73 from 11 votes
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I’m calling this one “flat bread” just so I can pretend that I don’t eat pizza every other day. But really, who am I fooling? It’s a sauceless pizza.

The last issue of Bon Appétit that I got had an incredible looking artichoke pizza on the cover and it’s been sitting on my coffee table staring me down night and day ever since. So, I finally broke down and made one myself. I added some Genoa salami to the pizza for a nice salty contrast (you can get this in either mild or spicy), some thinly sliced red onions, and a few pieces of smoked provolone. After topping the pizza I sprinkled on a hefty amount of crushed red pepper because, well, I like it hot.

What can I say? It was pizza perfection. Um. Erm. I mean flat bread perfection!

For the crust, I went the easy route and mixed up a batch of no-knead bread dough the night before. It was left to ferment at room temperature over night, which gives a fantastic flavor. If you don’t have time for that or are just planning last minute, you can certainly use a basic pizza dough or even a store bought dough (not the canned stuff though, that’s the worst).

The secret to keeping pizzas inexpensive, even when they have expensive toppings like salami, artichoke, or provolone, is to avoid using a heavy hand. It’s easy to go heavy with pizza toppings, but you’d be surprised at how little you really need to cover the surface of the dough. So keep it light, friends.

Spicy Italian Flat Bread on baking sheet lined with tin foil

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Spicy Italian Flat Bread

4.73 from 11 votes
Salty Genoa salami, creamy smoked provolone, artichoke hearts, red onion, and a healthy dose of red pepper make this easy flat bread full of flavor.
Servings 4 (two slices each)
Prep 13 hrs
Cook 18 mins
Total 13 hrs 18 mins

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ($0.28)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp instant or bread machine yeast ($0.02)
  • about 3/4 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornmeal ($0.02)

TOPPINGS

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend ($0.10)
  • 1/2 12oz. jar quartered artichoke hearts ($1.29)
  • 1/4 red onion ($0.20)
  • 3 slices salami (I used Genoa) ($1.00)
  • 3 slices smoked provolone ($0.65)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper ($0.05)

Instructions 

  • The night before, combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add just enough water to form a shaggy, slightly sticky ball of dough, with no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl. Loosely cover the dough and let it sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
  • When you're ready to make the pizza, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly mist it with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the prepared baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle a little flour over the fermented dough and on a clean work surface. Scrape the soft dough out of the bowl and gently knead it just a few times. Flatten the dough, then transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil onto the surface of the dough, then use your hands to spread and stretch it to cover the surface of the baking sheet. It doesn't need to be perfect.
  • After the dough is stretched, sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the surface. Thinly slice the red onion, salami, and provolone. Roughly chop the artichokes, if desired, or just break them up with your hands. Spread the onion, salami, provolone, and artichokes over the surface of the dough. Lastly, top with a generous sprinkle of crushed red pepper.
  • Bake the flat bread in the fully preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and the cheese is bubbled and browned. Cut into eight equal pieces and serve.

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Notes

If you don't have Italian seasoning blend, you can substitute with a light sprinkle of each: basil, oregano, and garlic powder.

Nutrition

Serving: 2SlicesCalories: 447.93kcalCarbohydrates: 53.8gProtein: 19.6gFat: 16.93gSodium: 1238.98mgFiber: 3.88g
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Spicy Italian Flat Bread on baking sheet, sliced into squares with pizza cutter

Step by Step Photos

Fermented pizza dough in pink mixing bowl

To make an easy “no-knead” dough, begin the night before. Stir together two cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp of instant or bread machine yeast (not “active dry”). Add about 3/4 cup water, or just enough to form a shaggy, slightly sticky ball of dough with no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl. The dough will be compact when first mixed, but as it rests over night it inflates into the soft, bubbly mess that you see above. Cover the dough loosely while it’s fermenting and let it go for about 12-18 hours (this is flexible).

Baking sheet lined with tin foil, sprayed with non stick spray and sprinkled with cornmeal

When it’s time to make the pizza, begin to preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil, then mist it lightly with non-stick spray. Sprinkle about 1/2 Tbsp of cornmeal over the baking sheet.

Stretched and seasoned dough placed on baking sheet

Lightly dust the dough in the bowl with flour, as well as a clean work surface. Scrape the dough out of the bowl (it will be soft and sticky) and gently knead it a few times. Flatten the dough into a disc, then transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Pour about 1 Tbsp olive oil on the surface of the dough, then use your hands to press and stretch it out to cover the baking sheet. The oil will help you work with the dough without it sticking to your hands. Once stretched, sprinkle about 1 tsp of Italian seasoning blend over the surface of the dough.

Toppings (onions, artichokes, cheese and salami) on cutting board

For toppings, I used 1/4 of a red onion (thinly sliced), 1/2 of a 12-oz. jar of artichoke hearts, 3 slices of Genoa salami, and 3 slices of provolone cheese. What will I do with the leftovers of these ingredients? Honestly, probably make a second pizza… I mean FLAT BREAD. But they could also be used to top a big green Italian salad, a sandwich, or even to stuff an omelet. They won’t go to waste, that’s for sure.

Toppings spread out over flat bread dough on baking sheet

Spread the toppings out over the flat bread, then top with a good dose of crushed red pepper (about 1/2 tsp). Instead of chopping the artichoke hearts, I just broke the pieces up with my hands.

Cooked Spicy Italian Flat Bread on baking sheet, cut into square pieces

Bake the flat bread for 15-18 minutes in the FULLY preheated oven, or until it’s golden brown on the edges and the cheese is nicely browned. And that’s it! Cut into 8 pieces and serve (and try not to eat all eight at once. It’s hard. I know the pain.)

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  1. What is the minimum and maximum times for the dough? Could I bake it after 6 hours? Is 25 too long? Thanks!

    1. 12 to 18 hours as suggested in the recipe. You would risk under or over proofing it otherwise.

  2. My husband and I both really enjoyed this. I’ve made your caramelized onion and artichoke flatbread quite a few times, so I decided to try a new variety. SO glad I did! The bread/crust is just divine, and I love how flexible I can be with the toppings if I feel like something new or different. I made a couple of changes based on what I had available:

    (1) I couldn’t find Genoa salami at my grocery store, so I opted for hard salami. It’s not as thick as what you have pictured, so I used six slices instead of three, which seemed just right.

    (2) I didn’t have Italian seasoning, so instead I used oregano, basil, marjoram, and garlic powder. I used about one teaspoon of each because I like more seasoning. I also used a couple more pieces of Provolone (we love cheese).

    I served this with roasted asparagus and they went well together. It was tough to resist finishing off the flatbread so that we’d have some for tomorrow. I think next time I may just anticipate this only making one meal instead of two. ;) Thank you!!

  3. So excited to make this! Would this be enough for dinner for two people?/ any recommended sides? 

    1. Yes, I think this could be dinner, especially with a nice big salad on the side. Nothing complicated, just some romaine, Parmesan, tomatoes, and maybe some Caesar dressing. :)

  4. Gonna make the ricotta gnocchi and the flat bread today can’t wait to make ! My GF wants me to give her cooking lessons!! Karen mother of 5 kids who love to eat

  5. Awesome! I let the dough sit out for 20 hours, is that okay from a health perspective? It tasted great! Perfect chewy texture.

  6. I made this for a dinner date. Needless to say, we were both very impressed! Remember to handle the dough with olive oil.

    You have unleashed a dangerous entity into my life by allowing pizza to be made so easily.

  7. I just wanted to say I’ve made this twice in the past few weeks (bought too much cheese and salami to start, and the artichoke jar lasted two meals as well) and I loved it.

  8. Another winner! I actually used pre made dough from the grocery store and all the same toppings, except did shallots instead of red onions (since my boyfriend hates them for odd reason) and it turned out beautifully. Simple and delicious.

  9. I’ve tried tons of your recipes and loved them! The step by step pictures have saved my bacon more than once!
    I loved the toppings on this recipe, but feel like my dough just didn’t turn out like I was hoping. After looking at your pictures (on a bigger screen), it seems like maybe I didn’t have enough liquid in it…?
    I was a little surprised when putting it together that there wasn’t any sugar in the dough (I always thought that was what the yeast ate that assisted with the rise) but didn’t change anything. I had a lot of trouble trying to “stretch” the dough and ended up rolling it to get it big enough, so I’m sure I overworked the dough which is one reason it was a little tough.
    Also, my pan was larger than the 9×13 you used, so I was probably trying too hard to make it large enough to fit the pan.
    The toppings more than made up for my crust… and I will definitely make it again. :)

    1. Yep, having the dough be a little on the wet and sticky side when you first stir it up definitely helps make it looser later. Most bread recipes do call for sugar because it helps make the yeast act faster, but with a slow overnight rise like this the flour is enough food for the yeast. :)