Alford and Duguid have traveled throughout the world and you can view recipes, anecdotes, and cultural observations on their website, Hot Sour Salty Sweet.
It could have been the culinary shows I've been watching airing on the create channel in the middle of the night, or the recent purchase I made of Lidia Bastianich's Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy that inspired my desire to work from an Italian recipe from Flatbreads and Flavors. Sardinian Parchment Breads, wafer thin flatbreads are warm, crisp, slightly salty, and are rich with the taste of semolina. They can be served warm or at room temperature. They barely had enough time to cool before Matt and I gobbled them up. I've halved the recipe, added a few spices, and adapted the process for my kitchen.
While these can be eaten alone, and are perfect without accompaniment, they could be topped with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, or olives, or a sundried tomato tapenade.
Sardinian Parchment Bread
Modified from Page 328, Flatbreads and Flavors
Makes about 8 thin rounds, 8 inches in diameter
1/2 cup coarse durum wheat semolina*
1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary*
two pinches of dried oregano*
3 oz hot water, from tap
1/2 tsp sea salt
equipment: rolling pin, pizza stone, pastry brush, medium size mixing bowl
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack.
In the mixing bowl combine flours, water, spices, and sea salt. Stir with a spoon to combine to form a rough dough, but do not knead.
On a prepared floured surface, with both semolina and all purpose flour, roll out a large spoonful of dough as thin as possibly without tearing. Keep the surface and rolling pin generously coated in flour. An ideal flatbread would be 8-10 inches round. Brush each lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place directly on the hot pizza stone. Bake for 2-3 minutes then flip over and bake for another 1-2 minutes until golden spots appear. The color of the surface will look closely like parchment paper- uneven, but golden. Areas of the flatbread will look wet in some spots but they will dry upon removal from the oven. Remove flatbread, place on cooling rack to dry further and cool, and repeat the process.
You can roll and prepare another flatbread in the time it takes to bake one, so you'll be constantly active in the kitchen.
Enjoy the flatbreads warm or cool. They can be stored in an airtight container and will keep for a few weeks.
*I've added a few spices to complement the semolina in the dough. I've also used durum wheat semolina flour, the same flour used to make pasta. My revision of the recipe is not authentic as the authors specify to use course semolina and not semolina flour, but I was quite pleased with the result of #1 durum wheat semolina.