Alsatian Flammkuchen
Baked, Pork

Alsatian Flammkuchen (‘Elsässer Flammkuchen’)

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Last Updated on 8 months by Tim

Crispy flatbreads topped with cultured cream, bacon, and onions. If these words make your mouth water, then continue reading. I’m about to show you how to make super delicious Flammkuchen.

The ingredient list is similar to the one of a traditional Quiche Lorraine, however, Flammkuchen are so much quicker and easier to make than a proper quiche.

They’re lighter in texture and flavor. So they’re the perfect meal for the last sunny days of fall.

What is a Flammkuchen?

Flammkuchen are often described as being a German kind of pizza. I don’t agree with this definition.

A Flammkuchen is a crispy flatbread with a super thin crust and a generous amount of topping. Pizza, on the other hand, has a much thicker and pillowy dough. The toppings are traditionally used only sparingly.

The invention of the Flammkuchen dates back to the old days when bakers were still baking their bread in wooden ovens. Baking a Flammkuchen was a way to check if the temperature of the oven was on point.

Wooden oven

Of course, with today’s technology, it is totally unnecessary to check the oven temperature by baking a flatbread. However, up until today, Flammkuchen have remained hugely popular around the Southwest of Germany.

Don’t use yeast in your dough

Flammkuchen are all about the crispiness of the dough. So I don’t use any leavening agents.

I am well aware that there are tons of recipes out there which call for yeast. Italian cuisine has had a lot of influence on contemporary German cuisine. The average German nowadays eats more pizza and pasta than spaetzle and sauerkraut.

So people adapted the traditional Flammkuchen recipe to be closer in resemblance to the Italian pizza. There’s nothing wrong with fusion food. However, I still very much prefer my Flammkuchen made the traditional way.

My Flammkuchen dough is super simple to prepare and much quicker to make than any yeast dough. Just knead together the flour, salt, oil, and water until smooth and let the dough rest a little. Roll it out paper thin. Done.

These are my toppings

The traditional toppings for the Alsatian Flammkuchen are cultured cream, thinly sliced onions, and fatty bacon cubes.

Smoked black forest bacon

The cultured cream I use is called ‘Schmand’ in German. It has a fat content of around 20 %.

I am aware that schmand is hard to source if you’re living outside of Germany. Crème fraîche or American-style sour cream are great substitutes and will taste evenly good.

Make sure to cut your onion slices as thinly as possible so they cook through completely.

For the bacon, I used fatty smoked Black forest ham. It’s important that you use bacon made from the pork belly with a lot of fat content. The lean stuff just won’t taste as good.

How to assemble and bake your Flammkuchen

When rolling out the dough, make sure to roll it out paper thin. It’s best to roll it out directly on a parchment-lined baking tray. That way there’s no risk of breaking your dough when transferring it to the oven.

Be very generous with the cultured cream and rather put a little too much onto your Flammkuchen than too little. Some of the water in the cultured cream will evaporate so that you will have a lot less sauce on the final pancake. Your onions slices and bacon cubes will shrink in the oven as well.

Flammkuchen before baking with toppings

It’s important to bake your Flammkuchen at the highest possible heat. For my oven that is 480 °F (250 °C). At that temperature, you need to bake your Flammkuchen for 10-12 minutes.

If you have access to a commercial or wooden oven you can go even higher with the temperature and reduce the baking time further.

The Flammkuchen is done once the crust is super crispy and the top is very lightly charred. You don’t want it to look too dark or burned. Just a little char on the edges.

Flammkuchen are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven accompanied by a glass of dry white wine. I recommend pairing them with a green salad for a light meal.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Asparagus Quiche ('Spargel-Quiche') - My German Table

  2. Pingback: What is Schmand? - My German Table

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