today’s KITCHEN | Failure + Baking Flatbread

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Are you afraid of FAILURE?

Personally, I’m friends with it. Whether in the Kitchen or just in life, it’s inevitable, but it also means you’re LEARNING, you’re  T R Y I N G , you’re getting out of the box – and isn’t that what counts?! If you play life safe, you MAY never fail – but you never grow, either. Nowhere is that more easily apparent than in cooking.

In cooking I absolutely count more failures than successes. WAIT – so why DO I spend so much time in the Kitchen again?! UGH. Cooking is creative. It has more variables than my Husbands spreadsheets. I think – who knows what he really does… I digress.

Food is taste and touch and smell and feel and textures and heat and cold and sharp and soft, fire and ice. That said, cooking has far more room for acceptable error than baking, which is probably why I typically avoid baking altogether. 

Until bread. BREAD is creating a massive failure out of me these days. 

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I started my bread journey last year when my ‘gluten free’ daughter was home for summer break. It quickly became a beast of it’s own – not that it was difficult, but more so the enormous number of steps involved, only not to rise well in my crappy old oven. Once my starter was left a few days too many, I let it die and we were done with bread. Or so I thought…

Since quarantine, everyone has been posting about Jo Cooks ‘No Knead’ Bread and it’s perfect and delicious in every way. Literally foolproof – my Husband even made it once. But dry yeast has become quite the rare commodity, so onward I ventured. I started working towards a recipe that uses wild yeast AND does not need kneading (as does the labour-intensive aforementioned Sourdough). And try after try, it’s JUST. NOT. WORKING. (Yet?)

A few weeks ago, as I was about to throw out a batch of dense, solid, WOULD NOT RISE bread dough one day, I suddenly stopped to ponder what other tasty treats this dead-looking mass could yield. 

AND WHO KNEW these heavy balls of failure could make the most delicious Flatbread! The boys can’t stop eating it. It’s light, crispy and cracker-like, and it works so well with TOPPINGS like the Tapanade or Tuna Spread. Or even the massive batch of Guacamole we made the other day. Or a simple Lemon-Ricotta spread. Or … I mean, it’s endless, honestly. 

alison kent HOME KITCHEN design gather elevate compose home cook lemon ricotta spread with flatbread baking failures


Take batch of dough that was having behavioural issues and was being all « I don’t have to do what YOU say «  like a teenage boy. Quash that defiant attitude by cutting into little 1.5″ dia balls.

With a whole lotta flour, roll out MICROthin – so you can see your hand through it. 

Sprinkle cornmeal onto a cookie sheet, and place your thin misshapen circles of failure around the sheet. Brush tops with a thin layer of Olive Oil. I like using the oil from the Garlic confit. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and, if you like, some fresh Thyme or Rosemary. 

Bake at 425d F for 4-5 mins with oiled side up, then 4 mins with it down. If it’s not crispy and browned, keep it in a bit longer, checking minute by minute. If it’s too crispy, adjust the time.

Enjoy in the glorious acknowledgement that you brought that mis-behaved bread dough into total submission. Failure turned Victory.

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Now that’s what I’d call turning lemons into lemonade! We’re eating these like madness around here because, well, I’m failing at bread a lot. And no one here seems to mind a bit. SO, yes, I’m friends with failure. I mean, look where it can take you?!

“A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.”


Do you have a particular recipe you just can’t seem to work??
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