In Champagne and Lorraine, they say that they were making this flatbread long before the Italians made pizza famous.
- Preparation time: Post-dough preparation: 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes
- Total time: 45 minutes to 50 minutes
- 10g yeast or 7g dried easy-blend yeast
- 500g strong bread flour
- 10g salt
- 50g white flour, for dusting
- 25g butter
- 2 leeks, finely sliced
- 3 eggs
- 300g crème fraîche
- A pinch grated nutmeg
- 50g Gruyère, grated
- Rub the yeast into the flour using your fingertips as if making a crumble (if using easy-blend, just mix it in). Add the salt and 350ml water. Hold the bowl with one hand and mix the ingredients around with the other hand or with the rounded end of a plastic scraper for 2–3 minutes, until the dough starts to form. Pour the dough onto an unfloured work surface. It will feel soft and moist, and look like sticky porridge.
- Forget the way you might think you knead dough. Don’t pummel it with the heels of your hands: instead slide your fingers under it like two forks with your thumbs on top, swing it upwards and slap it back down away from you. Stretch the front of the dough towards you, then lift it back over itself in an arc. Repeat until the dough feels smooth, silky and elastic. Allow 5–10 minutes.
- Lightly flour the surface of the dough and fold the edges over to make a ball. Turn it over so the top is smooth. Lightly flour a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas 9 (or as high as your oven will go). Lightly flour a 45cm x 35cm baking tray. Once the dough has rested, use the rounded end of a scraper to transfer it to the baking tray. Using your fingers, flatten and dimple the dough to fit the tray. Ridge the edges all the way round so they’re high enough to hold in the topping. Cover with a clean tea towel while you prepare the topping.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the leeks and sauté until they start to colour. In a bowl, mix the eggs and crème fraîche together, add the leeks and the nutmeg, and season. Spread over the dough and scatter the Gruyère over the top.
- Bake for 15–20 minutes until golden brown with crisp edges. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Cut into slices and eat while still warm.