Flammkuchen may not sound very familiar to you but if I say bacon pizza – do I have your attention now? 🙂 Flammkuchen is a delicious and crispy German/French flatbread topped with creme fraiche, bacon, and onions. It’s made with only a handful of ingredients and comes together in no time. This is an authentic German recipe!
What is Flammkuchen?
Flammkuchen is a crispy flatbread topped with creme fraiche, bacon (Speck or lardons depending on the region), and onions that comes from the Alsace region of France. It was created by German settlers so it’s not only popular in France but also in Germany and Austria.
It’s called Tarte Flambée or Flammekueche in French or Flammkuchen in German. “Die Flamme” means flame and “der Kuchen” means cake so you could call it “a cake baked in the flames”. Its name comes from the traditional preparation method – baking in a wood-fired oven.
This flatbread was invented to test the temperature of wood-fired ovens that were used to bake bread. If it came out ready in 1-2 minutes that has meant the oven was hot enough to bake bread. Simple toppings were put on this Flammkuchen to make it more delicious.
Flammkuchen is made with a simple dough and just 3 toppings.
It’s often called German pizza in the US but the dough is not leavened with yeast (or any other leavening agent) so this is rather a flatbread than a pizza. It’s rolled out thin and comes out super crispy. It’s usually rolled out into an oval shape rather than to a circle but you can shape it as you want.
For the dough you will need:
- all-purpose flour
- olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
- very warm water (it makes the dough more soft and easier to roll out).
The toppings – you will need just 3 for this recipe:
- Speck (used in German-speaking countries) or lardons (used in France, this is cured and not smoked type of bacon). You can use thick-cut bacon instead. Regular, thinly slices bacon will also work but it’s more prone to burning and I think thick-cut bacon adds more texture and the flavor is somehow better. Speck is traditionally cut into small cubes. Speck and bacon are both made from smoked pork belly but their seasonings and type of wood used to smoke them is a little bit different. This recipe calls for German-style Speck (like Jausenspeck/Bauchspeck/Frühstucksspeck) and not Italian (south Tyrolean) type of Speck (Italian Speck is similar to prosciutto ham).
- Crème fraîche. Creme fraiche is a similar product to sour cream but it’s less sour, thicker, and has a higher fat content. You can substitute it with Greek yogurt or sour cream mixed with 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil. Creme fraiche is best though, so use this if you can find it (you can even make it yourself – check out this recipe for creme fraiche). In Germany creme fraiche or Schmand are used (this is sour cream with 20% fat content instead of 12%).
- Onion – traditionally, raw onion is being used but you can also saute it with butter if you wish.
Optionally, you can use chives or thinly sliced scallions to top your baked Flammkuchen.
Step by step instructions
Start with preheating the oven to its highest setting (about 500°F/250°C).
Make the dough:
STEP 1: In a medium/large mixing bowl stir the flour with salt.
STEP 2: Add the olive oil and very warm water (from the tap). Stir with a wooden spoon until roughly combined.
STEP 3: Knead the dough by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment for a couple of minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
STEP 4: Wrap the dough in plastic foil and set it aside to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Assemble the tart:
STEP 5: Prepare the ingredients: cut bacon into small cubes. Cut onions into thin slices and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Add the creme fraiche into a small bowl, season it with salt and pepper, stir until combined.
STEP 6: Roll out the dough very thinly into an oval or rectangle shape and place it on a baking sheet.
STEP 7: Spread the creme fraiche over the dough leaving some border.
STEP 8: Top with bacon and onion slices (if they released some water, squeeze it out).
Bake the tart for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Baking time may vary depending on the oven.
Sprinkle with thinly sliced chives (optional).
Cut into squares and enjoy!
How to serve it
It tastes especially good with cold beer, but a crispy dry white wine is also a good choice.
Serve it with a simple green salad with vinaigrette.
Store this tart in the fridge, wrapped in plastic foil, for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven until crispy. It tastes best freshly made but it’s also pretty good reheated.
- don’t load your Flammkuchen with too many toppings – it will be soggy and not crispy
- you can cook the onions and bacon before topping your flatbread with them but traditionally these are not cooked – I tried it both ways and I preferred not cooking them much more, cooked bacon and onions can burn in a very hot oven + this require one more step (baking bacon in the oven it’s the best way to cook it, anyway!)
- adding a small amount of salt to onions makes them soft and prevents burning
- if you have a pizza stone use it to get an even crispier result
- you can season creme fraiche with small amount of nutmeg
Variations of the recipe
Bacon and onion topping is the most traditional but you can top this flatbread with so many different toppings.
- instead of creme fraiche you can add shredded cheese like Gruyere cheese
- make it vegetarian – with grilled vegetables and shredded cheese
- with roasted butternut squash, red onion, and feta cheese
- figs, red onion, goat cheese
- pear and gorgonzola
- Caprese style – with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil
- cream cheese (or creme fraiche) and horseradish, smoked salmon, arugula (add smoked salmon and arugula after the flatbread has been baked)
- creme fraiche, leeks and mushrooms
- sweet / dessert Flammkuchen – it can be made with apple slices and cinnamon
More German for you to try
- Roast goose
- Braised red cabbage with apples
- German potato dumplings
- Cranberry Orange Mulled Wine Recipe
- Gingerbread squares with plum jam and chocolate (Lebkuchen cookies)
- Nut roll with chocolate
Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!
Flammkuchen – German pizza with bacon and onions
RATE THE RECIPE
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for the dough:
- 2 cups flour 250g
- 1/2 cup very warm water 120g
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
for the topping:
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche 150g
- 7 oz thick-cut bacon or Speck 200g
- 1 small/medium onion
- chives optional
Make the dough:
- Preheat the oven to its highest setting (about 500°F/250°C).
- In a medium/large mixing bowl stir the flour with salt.
- Add the olive oil and very warm water (from the tap). Stir with a wooden spoon until roughly combined.
- Knead the dough by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment for a couple of minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Wrap the dough in plastic foil and set aside to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Assemble the tart:
- Prepare the ingredients: cut bacon into small cubes. Cut onions into thin slices and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Add the creme fraiche into a small bowl, season it with salt and pepper, stir until combined.
- Roll out the dough very thinly into an oval or rectangle shape and place it on a baking sheet.
- Spread the creme fraiche over the dough leaving some border, top with bacon and onion slices (if they released some water, squeeze it out).
- Bake the tart for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. The baking time may be longer (up to 15-18 minutes) if your oven was not as hot as mine.
- Sprinkle with thinly sliced chives (optional).
- Cut into squares and enjoy!
- You can use regular bacon, thick-cut bacon, or German Speck (not an Italian type of Speck) for this recipe.
- You can substitute creme fraiche with Greek yogurt or sour cream mixed with 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil.
- You can cook your bacon and onions before putting them on your flatbread but traditionally they are used raw (I prefer them both raw).
- Storage: Store this tart in the fridge, wrapped in plastic foil, for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven until crispy. It tastes best freshly made but it’s also pretty good reheated.
- Don’t load your Flammkuchen with too many toppings – it will be soggy and not crispy.
- If you have a pizza stone use it to get an even crispier result.
- Calories = 1 serving (1/6 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
SGupta2 March 2023 at 15:07
Hello, tried it…. Loved the simplicity of the recipe but only the sides were crisp and yummy … the center was not crisp. substituted creme fracise with Greek yoghurt.
Aleksandra2 March 2023 at 16:29
possible reasons why the center was soft and not crisp:
– maybe the layer of yogurt was too thick in the middle of the dough
– the oven was not hot enough
– maybe it needed to be baked a little bit longer (every oven bakes differently, so the baking time given in the recipe is only an estimate)
– maybe the dough was too thick/not rolled out thin enough in the middle
I hope this helps!
Tasha24 August 2022 at 00:32
Thank you! I have been looking for a good flammkucken recipe. Haven’t had it in 4 years.
Aleksandra24 August 2022 at 07:12
you’re welcome, I’m glad you liked it!