Carmelized-Onion Flatbreads with Creme Fraiche

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This clever appetizer is halfway between a pizza and a flatbread.

Bread dough
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water (105*F to 115*F)
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon nigella (kalonji) seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

Caramelized onions
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound onions (about 2 medium), cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges through root ends
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Semolina flour (pasta flour)* or cornmeal
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 

For bread dough:
Whisk 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water and yeast in small bowl; let stand until yeast is dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Mix flour, nigella seeds, and salt in medium bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with wooden spoon until mixture clumps together. Add butter; mix until incorporated. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces; roll each into ball. Place on baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep covered and refrigerate.)

For caramelized onions:
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion wedges to skillet and cook without turning until beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Carefully turn onions over; reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until onions are tender and brown, occasionally stirring gently, about 10 minutes. Add thyme and honey; cook 1 minute. Stir in vinegar. Seasonto taste with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat. Cool. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 hour. Whisk crème fraîche and egg in small bowl to blend. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Preheat oven to 450F. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with semolina flour. Roll out each dough ball to 5-inch round. Transfer 3 rounds to each prepared baking sheet. Let rest 10 minutes. Pierce dough rounds all over with fork. Spread 1 generous tablespoon crème fraîche mixture over each dough round, leaving 1/4-inch plain border. Arrange onions evenly atop each; drizzle lightly with crème fraîche mixture (mixture may spill over edges of dough).  Bake flatbreads until crusts are puffed and golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer to plates; sprinkle with chives. Makes 6.
*Available at some supermarkets, and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.

Source:  Bon Appétit,   
Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare

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