When most people think pizza, they think Italy, but Flammkuchen, the crispy and smoky German pizza, is definitely worth your time!
October is national Pizza Month, and what goes better with pizza than a nice glace of wine? So, today the Sunday Supper crew is celebrating with Gallo Family Vineyards, sharing our favorite pizza recipes and wine pairings.
While we do love a big slice of saucy, mozzarella-laden, classic, Italian pizza. It’s fun to explore the way that pizza has taken on a life of its own in regions outside of Italy. Like this specialty of Alsace: Flammkuchen.
What is Flammkuchen?
Flammkuchen (pronounced flam-KOOK-en) comes from South Germany and the Alsace region of France (along the southwestern French-German border). Translated ‘flame cake,’ flammkuchen were originally used by bakers to test the temperature of their ovens. A bit of dough was taken and rolled flat, topped with crème fraîche, and baked in the wood-fired bread oven for a few minutes. The amount of time it took for the flammkuchen to bake to nearly-blistered crispness told them the oven’s temperature. If the flammkuchen came out just right, then the ovens were ready to bake their bread.
Crispy Thin Crust Pizza
Thin and crispy crust pizza lovers, this pizza is for you! Flammkuchen is characterized by its incredibly thin, crisp, and blistered crust. We’re talking cracker-like here folks.
Rather than a tomato sauce, the dough is spread with crème fraîche (KREHM fresh) a thick, French, soured cream. It is less sour than American sour cream, so if you can’t find crème fraîche, we recommend using plain, strained yogurt. (Yogurt is naturally thinner than crème fraîche, so we strain it through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to thicken it to a more proper consistency.) When the crème bakes with the crust, it creates a slightly tart, creamy contrast to the crust’s crispness.
Bacon and caramelized onion topping
While you can use any toppings that you like for you flammkuchen, the most traditional combination includes bacon and caramelized onions with a bit of nutmeg and black pepper. Other common variations include gruyère (or Swiss) cheese, mushrooms, or Munster cheese. You can even find sweet versions, typically made with apples, cinnamon, and a sweet liqueur.
We went for the classic caramelized onion and bacon version. Because, really, how can you go wrong with those toppings? Crisp, creamy, smoky, with a hind of caramelized sweetness. This pizza makes for a perfect light dinner or appetizer.
Wine pairing with pizza
And, of course, with our pizza we have to have some wine. We paired our flammkuchen with Gallo Family Vineyards’ Riesling and Red Moscato. The Riesling is light and refreshingly sweet. It brought out the sweetness of the caramelized onions and acted as the perfect complement to the salty bacon. The Red Moscato is a slightly effervescent, medium-bodied red wine that is not overly sweet but still has a juicy, dark cherry flavor. It accented the pizza in a completely different way, highlighting the smoky tones of the bacon and crisped crust and bringing out the black pepper garnish.
Which wine will you choose? They both paired so well, I don’t think we could pick a favorite. You might just have to try it with both to decide for yourself!
Be sure to find out where to pick up your favorite Gallo Family Vineyards wines for your next pizza party by heading over to their Store Locator. And, you can stay up to date on all the Gallo Family Vineyard wine news through their social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
For the Dough
- 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ c water
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
For the Toppings
- 1 c crème fraîche or 1 c Greek yogurt, or slightly over 1 c plain yogurt, strained *
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ lb bacon, diced
- 2 onions, halved and sliced thin
- ground black pepper (to top)
- Cornmeal (for the pan)
- Preheat your oven to 500F.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, water, and oil. Mix until a dough begins to form, the turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is soft and smooth, 3-5 min. Set the dough aside and cover it with a towel.
- In a small bowl, mix together crème fraîche and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, sauté bacon over medium high heat, until it is cooked about halfway to crisp, 2-4 minutes. Remove the bacon (keeping the grease in the pan) to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- Place the sliced onions into the hot bacon grease and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 10 min. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Roll and stretch the dough out into a rectangle, roughly 11x16 inches. Place the dough onto a large baking sheet that has been generously dusted with cornmeal.
- Spread the crème fraîche mixture over the crust, leaving just a little bare crust border. Distribute the caramelized onions over the crème fraîche, and sprinkle the bacon over the onions. Finish everything off with a dusting of black pepper.
- Place the baking sheet with the pizza into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pizza is crisp and the edges are starting to darken.
- Remove from the oven, cut, and serve immediately with some good wine.
If you love unique pizza toppings, you’ll love what the Sunday Supper crew has in store for your today. You know you want to celebrate pizza with us!
- Apple Pie Pizza by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pizza by Desserts Required
- Peach Maple Mascarpone Dessert Pizza by Whole Food | Real Families
- Apricot Chicken Brie Flatbread Pizza by Feed Me, Seymour
- Autumn Sausage & Sweet Potato Pizza by The Crumby Cupcake
- Balsamic Steak and Arugula Pizza by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Chicken Parmesan Pizza by Life Tastes Good
- Chorizo and Roasted Pepper Pizza with Arugula by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Flammkuchen by Curious Cuisiniere
- Grilled Fig + Prosciutto Pizza by An Appealing Plan
- Jalapeño Popper White Pizza by Food Done Light
- Meat Lover’s Skillet Pizza by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Pasta Pizza Pie by Alida’s Kitchen
- Pizza Bagels by Recipe for Perfection
- Portuguese Flatbread Pizza by Family Foodie
- Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Pesto Pizza by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Roasted Corn Pizza by Brunch with Joy
- Sauerkraut and Meatball Pizza by Palatable Pastime
- Sausage and Ricotta Naan Pizza by Casa de Crews
- Thai Chicken Pizza by The Redhead Baker
Also Featured: Simple Tips for Wine Cheese Pairings plus Pizza Recipes #SundaySupper with Gallo Family Vineyards.
Need more ideas for celebrating National Pizza Month? Check out Gallo Family Vineyards’ blog.
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.