Flatbread

Flatbread is surprisingly easy to make, just a little time-consuming, so you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared well in advance, but you won’t need any special skills to pull this one off 😉

This recipe yields a versatile flatbread that’s great with Middle Eastern or Indian dishes, or just to serve with tasty dips and nibblies. And if you somehow don’t get through it all, you can cut up the leftovers and chuck them into a salad where they’ll soak up the flavours of whatever dressing you use.

Here’s how to offset your finger-foody banquet with a plate-swiper that will impress your guests as much as it will satisfy them…

Flavour: Savoury

Yield: 8 medium sized flatbreads or 6 large flatbreads (enough to feed 2-4 people, depending how hungry you are, and what else you’re serving…)

Ingredients:

  • a cup and a half of plain, unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon yeast (about the same amount as you get in one of those pre-packaged sachets, if you must use overpackaged stuff like that…)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • half teaspoon salt
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water (you may not need all of this, but make sure it’s nice and warm)
  • extra flour for dusting

 

Directions:

  1. Stir sugar and half a cup of warm water into yeast, and leave for 5 minutes (if your yeast hasn’t gone berserk in this time, your water wasn’t warm enough, so add a little hot water to it, but don’t overdo the heat because it will kill the yeast)
  2. Portion your flour into two bowls: one bowl with half a cup of flour and the other bowl with a whole cup of flour; mix the salt into the larger one
  3. Once your yeast mixture is bubbly and prolific, stir it into the bowl with your half cup of flour – leave this for 30 minutes, covered with a damp towel (now get to work on something else while you wait…)
  4. Return to your flour and yeast mixture – you should see it’s well-risen and spongy (it’s actually called a sponge when it’s like this); it’s now time to incorporate this into the rest of your flour – start by stirring the ingredients together with a spatula, gradually adding the rest of the water (by now probably a lot cooler) until you have a firm, spongy dough that’s not too sticky
  5. Add your olive oil to your dough – this will make it more elastic; see to your dough that it’s not too dry or too sticky – if it’s too sticky, you’ll need to add a little more flour; if it’s too dry, then add water just a few drops at a time to loosen it up
  6. Knead your dough gently (too firmly will result in tough bread) for about 5 minutes, and then cover it with a damp towel – leave it for another 30 minutes to 1 hour while you get on with something else (many recipes say the longer, the better, but I don’t agree – you want to get this cooked while it’s at its peak, and not leave it to deflate)
  7. Return to your dough – you should see it’s risen to somewhere between half over to double its original size; portion it into 6 to 8 pieces, and roll these into balls (no need for perfect spheres)
  8. Sprinkle flour onto your rolling surface (a large chopping board or straight onto the kitchen counter), and roll each dough ball into a thin pancake (you can make them thicker or thinner, bigger or smaller as you please – I tend to make them about 6 inches in diameter, and fairly thick) with a rolling pin or your choice of rolling implement (I just use an old wine bottle filled with water to weight it), and set them aside on a plate
  9. Heat up a skillet on the stove, and wait until it’s really hot before you start to cook, then cook each flatbread for about a minute on each side – you should see the bubble and puff up pretty quickly, and develop golden-brown patches
  10. Once you’re done, serve as soon as possible with the finger-foody feast of your choice – and if you can’t serve them right away, pop them into a basket and cover them with a towel while you wait (not more than an hour, please!)

10 thoughts on “Flatbread

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