Flammkuchen, with its crispy base topped with creamy yogurt, crisp bacon and caramelised onions, is an easy recipe the family will love. This easy German pizza is both tomato free and a cheeseless pizza too.
What is Flammkuchen?
Also known as Tarte Flambee or Flammekueche, this pizza is a speciality of Alsace, France, and Southern Germany.
Flammkuchen (pronounced Flamm-KOOK-en) is a thin rectangular crispy pizza topped with bacon and caramelised onions. Translated as ‘flame cake’ or ‘cake in flames’, Flammkuchen was originally made by bakers to test that their oven was hot enough: they took a small bit of dough, topped it with creme fraiche and baked it – the length of time it took to cook told them the oven temperature.
- Creme Fraiche/Greek yogurt – traditionally creme fraiche is used, but I substitute Greek yogurt. Not only is it cheaper, I often have it in the fridge, and it’s readily available everywhere.
- Onions – white onions are slowly cooked to caramalize and release their sweetness, which goes so well with the next topping ingredient…
- Bacon – Smoked bacon is cooked until just crisp before adding to the pizza – this ensures it is cooked through.
- Nutmeg – this warm and fragrant spice adds extra flavour to the yogurt. I use ground nutmeg in this recipe, but you could also use freshly grated if you prefer. If you don’t have it, you can use ground mace or garam masala as an alternative to the nutmeg.
The first time I was introduced to Flammenkuchen as it is also called (yes, it has many names!), was in Munich at a Christmas market. Amongst the stalls selling gluh wein (mulled wine) and Gebrannte Mandeln (cinnamon almonds), was a pizza oven on wheels, and from this a couple were selling rectangles of this German pizza to a long queue of people lined up waiting to buy their pizza. The crispy base and white cheeseless topping of the rectangular pizza was different to any pizza I had tried before, and I was instantly taken!
How to make this recipe
Cook bacon until just crispy then in the same pan cook the onions until soft and caramelised.
- Roll out your pizza dough.
- Spread over the nutmeg yogurt.
- Sprinkle over cooked onions.
- Scatter over the cooked bacon pieces then place in the oven to cook.
Once cooked, sprinkle over fresh thyme leaves (optional step).
- Onions – cooked them over a gentle heat to soften and caramelise. Don’t overcook, otherwise they will burn when it comes to baking them on top of the pizza.
- Bacon – only cook it until just starting to crisp, otherwise it will burn in the oven when cooking the pizza.
- Traditionally half rye flour is used to make the base, but I am struggling to find rye flour, so I use my homemade pizza dough. You can use bought pizza dough or pizza bases if you wish, too.
The pizza tastes best the day it is made, but you can also keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days.
More Easy Family Dinner Recipes for you to try
- ½ quantity homemade pizza dough
- 130g (½c) plain Greek yogurt
- pinch nutmeg optional
- 200g (7oz) smoked bacon
- 2 brown onions
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh thyme optional
- Preheat your oven to 200˚C fan / 220˚F / 392˚F convection / 428˚F
- Make your pizza dough and leave to rest.
- 25 minutes before it's ready, make the flammkuchen toppings.
- Cut the bacon into lardons.
- Halve the onions, then slice thinly to get moon shapes.
- Cook the bacon in a non stick frying pan over a medium heat until lightly golden, around 7 minutes. (You shouldn't need any oil)
- With a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pan onto some kitchen paper.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the onion slices. Cook on this low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and slightly caramelised.
- Roll out your pizza dough thinly and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. (I roll my dough to a rectangle of 37cm x 24cm/ 14.5" x 9.5 ")
- Mix the yogurt with nutmeg, then spread this out in an even layer over the dough – leaving 1cm/.4" around the edges.
- Sprinkle over the cooked onions and cooked bacon. Season with black pepper.
- Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are golden.
- Sprinkle with fresh thyme, if using, and serve.