Berlin: Sam’s First Taste of Flammkuchen

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Our flight from Amsterdam to Berlin was supposed to leave at 9pm, but the plane was late arriving because of thunderstorms in Amsterdam. By the time we finally left, the pilot told us that there was a good chance of us not reaching Berlin that night, because the airport CLOSED by midnight. We’d then have to turn around and land in Hamburg. Sam and I had NEVER heard of this before, and the Israeli guy next to us on the plane was very upset about this possibility. I’m glad we made it to Berlin, but at least we had some people to call if we had been stuck in Hamburg for the weekend!

We made it to Martin and Monika’s apartment very late and they were great hosts for the weekend.

On Saturday after an excellent late brunch of bread, meat, cheese and fruit we took a stroll around the central area of Berlin (Alexander Platz to Potsdammer Platz). Since it was the same day as the Champion’s League final in Berlin, Juventus vs Barca, the central area was packed with fans so we retreated in the heat to a Beer Garden and the cool, refreshing Radler that awaited us there. Radler is the best thing on a hot day: lemon soda (like sprite) mixed with beer.

That evening we went out for Flammkuchen and Beer before watching the Football match. This was Sam’s first taste of Flammkuchen and it was a hit! Flammkuchen (literally Flame Cake) is traditionally more from the South of Germany bordering France, and is known in France as “Tarte Flambee”. Legend has it that it was invented when bakers would test the wood burning ovens temperature by tossing in some flat dough. If it burned or caught on fire, then it was too hot. One day someone decided to top it with sour cream, speck (thick bacon), and onions and the rest was history!

Our first full day back in Seattle was also a hot day and we decided to test out some of the recipes we found online. I opted to not go for the yeast dough recipes as we enjoyed the crispness and flatness of the one we had in Berlin.

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Flammkuchen Dough
Adapted from food.com

  • 200 g (7 oz) All Purpose Flour + more for rolling out dough
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 175 ml water
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together. Dough should not be sticky, so add more flour until it comes together and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Dough can be used immediately.

Classic Flammkuchen

  • 1 Flammkuchen Dough recipe
  • 7 oz Creme Fraiche (can also use sour cream. I didn’t have quite enough creme fraiche so I cut it with some greek yogurt)
  • Speck / Pancetta / Bacon cut thinly
  • Red onion cut thinly
  • Scallions (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 450F.
  2. Pan fry bacon until lightly browned. It will also partially cook in the oven so you don’t want it crispy yet.
  3. Roll out dough and bake on pizza stone or cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
  4. Take dough out and layer on creme fraiche. Top with Red Onion and Bacon and any other toppings.
  5. Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

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