Lola Cooks: Flatbread

Flatbread has been around for centuries in nearly every culture.  Some are leavened (typically with yeast) and some are not.  The basic ingredients for most include flour, water, and salt although they change slightly depending on the region.

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In the US, common variations of flatbread include the pancake, crepe, tortilla, pita, focaccia, lavash, matzo, and naan.  Many are available commercially, but never as good as fresh made.  Today we tackle a basic flatbread which is most similar to a pita.

These can be used on their own to accompany a meal or can be part of the meal as the base for salad, flatbread pizza, or even dessert.  After trying this, you may want to make a second batch to have on hand for the rest of the week.

savour... daily bread

Get the rest after the jump...

Flatbread

Before you start:

We have used quick yeast here.  It is sometimes called instant, highly active, or rapid rise.  You can use regular yeast if you wish.  Just follow the instructions on the package.

You can experiment with this recipe by adding spices to the mix such as curry, chili powder, or black pepper.

The sugar is there primarily to help the yeast get to work.  You will barely notice it in the finished product.

Rolling the dough thinner will produce crispier flatbreads.  For 'sandwich' style flatbreads roll them out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Be sure to store your flatbreads in an airtight container.  They will dry out quickly.

The ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour / 380g
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet quick yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
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The method:

  1. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.
  2. Whisk to ensure all ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Add water and olive oil to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix together until dough forms that is springy but not sticky.
  5. Place dough in a mixer with a dough hook on low speed to knead or knead by hand for 10 minutes.
  6. Place dough in a slightly oiled bowl and flip over so that all surfaces of the dough ball have a thin coating of oil.
  7. Cover the bowl with towels and set in a somewhat warm, draft free place for 90 minutes.
  8. Punch down the dough to release some of the gases that have formed.
  9. Divide the dough into 8-10 equal portions and place on a tray to rest for 20 minutes before rolling.
  10. Preheat oven to 400˚.
  11. Roll each ball into a disk that is ¼ inch thick.
  12. Bake for 3 minutes on each side.
  13. Cool completely.
  14. Store in an airtight container.
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