flatbreads with honey, sea salt, and thyme

honey flatbread 6

On our very last day in Italy, almost exactly one year ago, we took it easy. One last order of “due cappuccini”, one last walking tour, one last cathedral, one last gelato, one last lunch. That lunch was one of many memorable meals on that trip. We ate on the street on a warm day. We ordered pecorino and honey to go with the ubiquitous bread. It was the first time I’d paired honey with cheese, and I was impressed at how well they went together.

honey flatbread 1

It was all downhill from there. Two weeks of restaurant meals, dehydration, and poor sleep had caught up to Dave, and he wanted nothing more than a nap and proximity to a box of Kleenex. We ate dinner in the apartment – bread, cheese, sausage, a basket of cherry tomatoes I’d bought from a farmer’s market, a bottle of wine. Then we set our alarms for 4:30 the next morning and said our goodbyes to Italy.

honey flatbread 3

I’ve been hooked on bread with cheese and honey since that day, and this might be the perfect way to combine the ingredients – just a thin crisp of bread topped with shavings of nutty cheese and generous spoonfuls of honey. The sea salt is absolutely necessary to balance all the sweet honey, and the crunch of the snowflake-sized flakes is a nice touch. It’s not the same as the first time I paired cheese with honey, but it isn’t bad. It isn’t bad at all.

honey flatbread 4

One year ago: Chewy Brownies
Two years ago: Palmiers
Three years ago: Applesauce Snack Cake
Four years ago: Pain Ordinaire

Printer Friendly Recipe
Flatbread with Honey, Thyme, and Sea Salt (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

I used a firm Gruyere, which was really delicious.  Deb used a Mahon, which I’ve never even heard of and certainly can’t find where I live.  Parmigiano-Reggiano would be great as well.

⅓ to ½ cup honey
1¾ cups (7.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon table salt
½ cup water
⅓ cup olive oil
¾ cup (1.5 ounces) grated gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

1. Place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat the honey over low heat.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; pour the water and oil into the well. Stir the liquids into the flour until a dough forms, then knead the dough about five times, until it forms a smooth ball.

3. Divide the dough into four equal portions. On a sheet of parchment paper, roll one portion into an oval approximately 12 inches long by 6 inches wide.

4. Transfer the parchment paper with the dough to the heated baking stone. Bake for 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove the dough from the oven and evenly distribute a quarter of the grated cheese over the surface. Return the dough to the oven until it’s browned at the edges, 3-4 additional minutes. Immediately drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of honey over the surface of the bread, then sprinkle with a quarter of the thyme and a generous pinch of sea salt. Cut the bread into pieces; serve warm. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.

honey flatbread 5


  1. These look unusual and delicious – even just the words ‘honey’ and ‘thyme’ together. (And — everyone! — look at the applesauce snack cake from three years ago — it’s wonderful. 🙂

  2. Mmm. I love the combo of honey and cheese. I just got some gorgeous local wildflower honey, too.

    Isn’t it funny how some of the simplest meals are the most memorable? We were in Croatia on the last week of our honeymoon and grabbed a loaf of crusty bread, some cheese, fruit, and a bottle of wine from the market. We ended up sharing it with an Australian couple we met in our shared kitchenette and had a delightful time.

  3. Maggie says:

    Nearly all of your recipes sound delicious, but I actually have all the ingredients for this recipe sitting in my cupboards for this flatbread! Also, these would be marvelous with the good salami I managed to find at the grocery store.

  4. I love that you are still writing about your trip a year later – believe it or not it brings me back too!

  5. Honey + cheese deserve the fame of PB&J. I adore this combo too! (Goat cheese or bleu + honey on lightly salted crackers are one of my favorite “I’m feeling classy today” snacks, hehe). I also absolutely love to “travel” and relive favorite memories from abroad via my dishes. It’s fun to read a post from someone who does the same!

  6. I’ve done a pecorino cheese with honey drizzled over, sprinkled with pistachios appetizer for Thanksgiving. I love the cheese honey combo and I am definitely going to try this gorgeous flatbread.

  7. Oh how I miss Italy. This post takes me right back. What lovely memories of your trip and what a delicious recipe to hang on to.