Flatbreads can be served soft, filled with meat, slaw or falafels, or baked until crisp and served with dips, soups or stews.
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 10-20 mins
600gm bread flour. White, brown, spelt, a mixture, whatever you like. I tend to use 60/40 strong white/wholemeal.
1 tsp (slightly rounded) of dried quick bread yeast, or a sachet if that’s how you buy it. Fresh yeast is wonderful, but harder work.
Pinch of salt.
1 tsp (flat) of sugar. You could skip this. It does help the dough to rise, but these are flatbreads.
300ml of warm water.
Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
If you are adding flavouring/herbs/whatever, add them now.
Pour in some of the water and mix well. You may not need all of it, or you may need more.
Repeat until the dough is a consistent wetness all through, and a bit sticky.
Turn out on to a flat surface. (The books all say ‘floured surface’ but on my plastic board it just seems to work anyway.)
Knead the dough (pull/squash/fold/curse/thump/etc) until it is ready. It gets less sticky, more cohesive, sometimes a bit shiny, and feels different. You’ll know it when it happens.
Put in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel/cloth.
Put into a warm place (the airing cupboard, near a radiator, etc) until it has risen.
It should more or less double in size. Probably about an hour.
When risen, put a cast iron griddle/heavy frying pan on to heat (it needs to be hot) .
Prise dough out, knead it down a bit cut into four equal sized lumps.
Cut the lump into pieces that will make one flatbread. This depends on how big your pan is, how large/thick you want them to be.
Flatten the number of pieces that will fit the pan. I usually roll them out on the board (rolling pin or clean milk bottle). I kneaded the dough on, but you can use your hands.
Carefully put flat pieces in the pan. It is hot, fingers are fragile.
While waiting for them to cook, flatten some more.
Turn them when first side is done. It looks like bread and has nice dark lines from the griddle. I turn them with a wooden spatula. Which is good for squashing if they puff up.
Remove when the second side is done.
Repeat until all the dough is cooked.
Eat hot or cold. They don’t keep (no preservatives), but you can freeze them.
© Pennie Gillis