Grilled Fennel Flatbread with Olives and Sultanas

April  5, 2012
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

The dough for this recipe is adapted from Jim Lahey’s wonderful book My Bread, which has been out on the kitchen counter from the day I got it. I love the aroma of fennel and the salty-sweet combination of olives, feta, and golden raisins, but this dough is a true blank canvas–experiment away! —Girl Farm Kitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Girl Farm Kitchen started a food blog after working on a biodynamic farm in California.
WHAT: An easy flatbread with the right amount of salt, crunch, and sweetness.
HOW: The dough is based on Jim Lahey's no-knead recipe. Then top with an olive spread, sliced fennel, sultanas (golden raisins), and cheese, and toss it in the oven.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love the way that the sultanas are worked into the olive spread and the topping itself, so that each bite guarantees a hint of sweetness. The creaminess of the feta and the crunch from the fennel give this flatbread a great texture -- and make it fun to eat. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the dough:
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • For the topping:
  • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1 handful fresh thyme
  • 1 splash olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Sultana raisins (golden raisins)
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large cube feta cheese
  • honey, for drizzling
  1. For the dough:
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and then mix in water with your hands to form a moist dough (add a bit more water or flour if dough is too dry or sticky). Cover and let sit at room temp for 2 hours (longer is alright too).
  3. For the second rise, loosely shape dough into a ball (it will have increased in size) and set on a well-floured plate. Cover with a damp towel and let sit at least half an hour.
  1. For the topping:
  2. To make the olive spread, add the first three ingredients to a blender with 1/3 cup of the sultanas and pulse until roughly blended. Set aside. Slice the fennel into thin slivers and toss with red pepper flakes, lemon juice, half the parmesan, the other 1/3 cup sultanas and a splash of olive oil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Spread out the dough on a well-oiled cookie sheet by stretching it first the full length of the pan and then the width, gently nudging it outwards until the whole sheet is covered. Cover the dough evenly with the olive spread, then arrange the sliced fennel mixture on top. Sprinkle with the crumbled feta and other half parmesan and drizzle with honey, then bake at 500 degrees until crust is crispy and toppings are browned, about 15-20 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bluejade
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
  • Diana B
    Diana B
  • fiveandspice
  • em-i-lis

14 Reviews

Daeg September 7, 2020
I have a frozen flatbread that I bought from a local provider. How do I adapt the cooking time from this recipe?
Happygoin July 2, 2018
Muriel, my block of feta was about 3"X4" if that's any help. Crumble it over the top. A little more, a little less...it'll work out fine. Great stuff.
Muriel July 2, 2018
What is a large cube of feta? A whole package piece or a chunk cut off of a package?
Happygoin May 29, 2018
Oh my goodness, how good this is! I tried it mainly because I had some leftover kalamata olives. I'd also been wanting to try the no-knead dough for a while.

This is so different and so delicious. And I don't know why, but the dough comes out terrific. Might not ever knead pizza dough again.
ortolan January 24, 2014
I agree with Louise's comment, this was one of the best food52 recipes I have ever tried! I made it for a dinner party and no one could believe how good it was. I think the success of the dish owed a lot to the flour I got from Eataly that is especially for pizza. The crust was chewy and so flavorful, and paper thin and perfectly crispy throughout the flatbread. I followed a previous poster's suggestion and allowed the yeast to bloom in the water instead of adding everything to the flour. I allowed the dough to be very sticky and very wet (it spread mostly rather than rose), not adding more flour. I also used a fresh goat cheese instead of feta. Thank you for this perfect recipe!
ortolan January 24, 2014
Just wanted to add the flour I used was "Burrato Tipo 2" flour for pizza and bread (pizza e pane) from Marino mills. Available at Eataly. I'm certain it made the difference in the perfection of the flatbread texture and taste!
Louise November 17, 2013
This was one of the best things I have made at home, hubby agrees! Substituted goats cheese for feta and omitted sultanas (using what was in pantry at time)
xuedanw November 4, 2013
This was indeed delicious! Such great layering of flavors happening. A couple of things I think are noteworthy though - instead of adding water to all of the dry ingredients, I warmed the water and activated the yeast in that first. No idea what a "handful" of thyme would be, and how loosely packed, so I used a scant 1/4 cup thyme leaves. I also used nicoise olives since it was what I had. I also feel that adding a couple pinches of salt to the fennel mixture would be good, so I will next time.
Bluejade July 29, 2013
I love this idea, but I couldn't get the dough to spread out on the pan. Also, would it be beneficial to sauté the vegetables a bit beforehand?
Cheri S. May 7, 2013
Sounds wonderful, but what quantity is "1 large cube feta"? I buy mine by the ounce.
Lindsay-Jean H. March 18, 2013
This is ridiculously good! I made it last night for dinner, and was thrilled to have leftovers to devour this morning for breakfast.
Diana B. January 23, 2013
A question about the second rise. Do you punch down the first rise, or knead the dough between rises?
fiveandspice January 9, 2013
YUM!!!!!! This looks perfect! Congrats on the wild card!
em-i-lis January 9, 2013
Ooh, delish! This is right up my alley!