Why I love an assembled flatbread for a holiday party: All the “hard work” is already done for your guests. This way, instead of spreading this or dolloping that, they’re chitchatting and enjoying themselves. This flatbread was inspired by Erin McDowell’s grilled flatbreads; I swapped around the flours (to include whole-wheat) and fat (to use butter), then adapted the method to be on the stove because, well, winter. Feel free to play around with the cheese—anything that has a bold flavor and creamy consistency will be great. —Emma Laperruque
Make the flatbreads: Melt 1/4 cup butter and set aside to cool slightly. Combine the flours, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the melted butter and water. Mix until a dough forms. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth, re-flouring as necessary if it gets too sticky. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add to a clean bowl. Add the ball of dough and roll around to coat. Cover the bowl and leave to rise until it’s doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When the dough is almost ready, set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the rest of the butter.
Divide the dough into 6 evenish pieces. Using floury hands, stretch one dough piece into a 7 x 6-inch rectangle (no need for it to be perfect!). Brush one side with butter, then add the dough to the pan, greased side facing down. Brush the top with butter. Cook for 4 minutes until deeply browned, then flip and cook another 4 minutes.
Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
Top the cooled flatbreads. Add small plops of tomato jam (see below), evenly distributed, followed by slices of cheese, followed by olives, followed by oregano. Cut each flatbread into smaller pieces.
To make the jam: Set a large (roughly 12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion. Season with a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft—about 10 minutes. Add 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Stir. Adjust the heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer and cook, stirring often, until the syrup is thick and dragging a spoon along the pan leaves a distinct trail—about 25 minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof container and refrigerate to cool completely. Will keep, refrigerated, for two-three weeks.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.