World Series- German Flammkuchen Skeleton

We’re still travelling around the world with food during Halloween, and I've got a really fun German flatbread recipe for you that's just perfect for any age to make and enjoy! This time we’re off to Germany with a bread recipe called Flammkuchen, although popularised in Germany, Flammkuchen actually originates from Alsace; a small area of north-eastern France that follows the Rhine river. This dough is usually rolled out super thin into an oval or circle (much like a pizza) then covered with a thick cream like sour cream or creme fraiche and usually has a topping of onions and pork lardons, but obviously, we’re doing a veggie version! This pizza-type dish is usually eaten as a group meal, cut into squares or long slices it can be eaten fresh from the oven with friends and family as a lunch/snack …and an answer to the burning question? Flammkuchen translates to “Flame Cake”, I'm assuming because of its doughy consistency but thin-stone baked look. Our Flammkuchen lives up to its name as I've used food colouring gel to turn the dough black and added a cute dough-skeleton friend to complete this Halloween themed dish. I’ve made a video for this one, which I’ll include down below with a full recipe! 

Serves 2 

2 tbsp Olive Oil 
120ml Warm Water 
Sprinkle of Sea Salt 
220g Plain Flour 
1/4 tsp Nutmeg 
120ml Creme Fraiche 
120ml Sour Cream 
Black Food Colouring Gel 
3 rashers of Vegan Bacon, diced 
2-3 small Mushrooms, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 250C/ 230 Fan/ Gas Mark 6. We need the oven as hot as we can get it to replicate traditional cooking methods. 
  2. In a small bowl mix creme fraiche and sour cream together with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper then set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl add oil, water, salt, nutmeg and flour and mix with a wooden spoon to form a very loose dough, it might look a little dry but if you get your hands in there and push the dough around it’ll come together pretty quickly. 
  4. Tip the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for around 5 mins until the dough is round and smooth. Add a tsp of oil into the bottom of your dough bowl and pop the dough back in to rest, cover the top of the bowl with a tea towel and set aside for 30 mins. 
  5. Whilst the dough rests, place your pizza tray in the oven upside down, traditionally the pizza tray/ stone would be hot before you add the dough, I very lightly oiled my pizza tray to stop the dough from sticking but you don’t have to.
  6. Now for the fun bit! Split the dough in half, leaving one half in the bowl, take the other half out and make a small indent with your finger and drop a couple of drops of food colouring in, fold the dough in on itself to evenly spread the colour around, repeat this until you get the desired effect. Mine took around 10-15 mins to get really dark, if your black dough is feeling a bit warm just leave it to rest again for another 10 mins in a separate bowl, we don’t want to overwork the dough. 
  7. Once the dough is rested and you’ve got it to the colour you’re looking for, roll it out VERY THIN on a clean, floured surface, roll it to the size of your pizza tray and make sure it’s no thicker than a penny and that it springs back when poked, although the dough is thin it should still be flexible. 
  8. Bring the pizza tray out of the oven and give it a couple of mins to cool but don’t let it go cold, then place the black pizza dough onto the tray. Back to our creme fraiche and sour cream, using a tbsp drop large blobs of the mix onto the black dough, spreading it around to reach all the edges, I tried to use as much as possible because we obviously aren’t using a tomato base I wanted this to be as rich as I could make it. 
  9. Now it’s time to make our skeleton! Using the other dough ball pull a chunk off roughly the size of a ping-pong ball and roll it between your hands to form a ball, place this in the centre of your pizza, about a 1/4 of the way down, make sure to leave room for the body! I puckered the chin (like my friend Shanon suggested) to form a more skull looking face and dropped two tiny spots of black food colouring for eyes. Next, roll out a long sausage shape to form the body and roll about 7 more sausage shapes half the size of the first. Place the “body” part of the dough just underneath the head and gently press the chin and body together to seal the dough. Now with 3 of your smaller dough pieces, place them onto the body horizontally one underneath the other, gently pressing the centres to attach to the body and turn up the ends to look like ribs. With the 4 other dough lengths we’ll make the arms and legs, just turn up the ends of the legs to look like feet! 
  10. Add your toppings around the skeleton, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper then put the pizza in the oven to bake for 12-15 mins until the dough is crispy.

Look at my skeleton Flammkuchen! I was so happy with how this looked, the topping of mushroom and vegan bacon was delicious but I wasn’t all that keen on the creamy base, I don’t know whether I didn't add enough salt and pepper or nutmeg but it was lovely and creamy, it just didn't have alot of taste. Thankfully, my skeleton cooked through in time and was an adorable addition to the bake, I loved how simple it was to create this skeleton and I think you can tell what it's supposed to be. The recipe itself is simple and although it includes alot of steps I think this is suitable for any age and it’s a quick meal for weeknight dinners too! I don’t know if I’ll be making Flammkuchen again in a hurry but I certainly enjoyed trying out this recipe that I've never heard of and learning about a new cuisine, whilst also adding my own Halloween twist, in regards to the dough colour, if you don’t want to add food colouring you could add activated charcoal, that would work much quicker and you wouldn’t need to use much at all, I've never worked with charcoal and to be honest, wouldn’t know where to buy it from so I just went with food colouring for this first attempt, but you best believe I’ll be making alot more spooky black dough from now on! 

There’s still another World Series Halloween recipe to come, and next time we’ll be going to Hong Kong! 
Only 19 days until Halloween! 

H x