This rendition of the classic Italian flatbread is served here as an hors d’oeuvre, but you can also serve it as a bread to go along with a meal. Cut it into larger portions and serve with a soup or salad.


1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 cups warm (105°F to 115°F) water

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil

3 pounds Spanish onions, cut in eighths and thickly sliced

1 pound apples, quartered and thinly sliced


1. In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over 1/2 cup of the warm water. Let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir in the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, 6 tablespoons of the Parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and the cayenne until blended. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the oil and the remaining 1 cup warm water until well combined. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

2. Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl, turning the dough to coat. Cover and let stand 1 hour in a warm draft-free spot until doubled.

3. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over low heat. Add the onions and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, for 1 hour, or until the onions are very soft and golden brown. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

4. Punch the dough down, transfer to a lightly oiled jelly-roll pan or large baking sheet, and pat the dough out to a 15 x 11-inch rectangle. Cover and let stand 45 minutes, or until puffed and well risen.

5. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Sprinkle the apples, caramelized onions, and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the dough. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. Uncover and bake on the lowest level of the oven for 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and crisp. Cut into 20 rectangles. Makes 20 pieces

Nutrition Facts

per piece
calories 152
total fat 4g
saturated fat 0.9g
cholesterol 2mg
dietary fiber 3g
carbohydrate 26g
protein 4g
sodium 340mg

good source of:

selenium, thiamin


Onions are notable not only for their contribution to cooking, but also for their potential to protect against disease. Along with their savory, pungent flavor, onions supply fiber, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6. Some evidence shows that natural plant chemicals (phytochemicals) in onions called flavonoids may protect against oxidative damage to cells by mopping up harmful free-radical molecules.

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 08 Sep 2011

Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015