I often wonder just how much my neighbors hate me.
I thought this yesterday as I blasted “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oats and danced around my bedroom.
I think this every time I pound the wall when they are once again moving their furniture.
Every time I laugh, loudly, at their overly emotive sexathons, I wonder if they can hear me.
We are waging a silent jihad against each other, entangled in a spiteful tango. I don’t even know what they look like, yet I curse their existence. We are urban enemies: nameless, faceless combatants.
A small part of me likes to think I am coming out on top in this battle. You see, as I cook so much, the hallway is always wafting with the smells of something delicious (and sometimes the lovely hickory scent of something burning…but we shall overlook that.) I have never once smelled anything cooking in that apartment and well…that makes me feel superior. I picture them all sad and pathetic-like, hovering over Ramen and countless bowls of generic cheerios. Is this snobby? Yes. Do I think people who don’t cook are bad people? God no. Yet, do I hate them and will take any opportunity to judge them? Hells yes.
In my mean, vindictive mind these flatbreads were particularly torturous. The whole floor was filled with the woodsy smell of rosemary. God, these were good and so easy to make. More cracker than bread, they were a perfect appetizer. Served with cheese, they were elegant and flavorful. The fleur de sal complimented the rosemary perfectly. The only tweak I made from the original recipe was to add some cracked black pepper; I must admit I think it was a good decision. Pictured whole below, I broke them in to rustic looking crackers and it was a great treat. If you think you cannot bake or make bread, try these. I cannot stress how simple, yet impressive, these are.
And added bonus if they come with a side of spite…
Rosemary Pepper Flatbread
Adapted slightly from Gourmet
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Fleur de sal (or any other kind of fancy sea salt)
Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.
Stir together flour, chopped rosemary,cracked pepper, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.
Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).
Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces.