A soft, flavorful flat bread, cooked on the stove top or grill
8 six-inch flatbreads
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, sieved before measuring to remove coarse flakes of bran
2 cups bread flour, plus additional as needed
1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a medium mixing bowl. Add oil, sugar, and yogurt and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add salt, sieved whole wheat flour, and bread flour, and mix until flour is incorporated. Turn dough out of mixing bowl onto a very lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 12 to 15 minutes, adding just enough flour until dough is not sticky but very soft. Allow dough to rise in warm place until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
2. On a lightly floured work surface, cut dough into eight equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each ball into a 4-inch circle and let rest for 10 minutes before rolling into a 6-inch circle.
3. Five to ten minutes before cooking flatbreads, heat a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until hot. Working one at a time, lift dough circles and gently stretch about one inch larger and place in skillet. Cook until small bubbles appear on surface of dough, about 30 seconds. Flip bread and cook until bottom is speckled and deep golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Flip bread again; cook until bottom is speckled and deep golden brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
4. Wrap breads to a clean kitchen towel and serve warm. Or wrap tightly in foil and store at room temperature up to 2 days; reheat in 300-degree oven until warm, about 15 minutes.
This recipe was submitted to me from a reader, Audrey W. The recipe text is completely hers; the photos are property of TammysRecipes.com.
This recipe is originally from Cook's Illustrated--one of my favorite cooking magazines. They go for the best-of-the-best, so their recipes can tend to be a bit more involved and time-consuming. I love reading about their testing, though, and what worked and what didn't and why. And their recipes are really good. :)
Variation: Baked Puffed Flatbread
Follow steps 1 and 2 of Flatbread recipe to make and shape dough. About 30 minutes prior to cooking, heat a pizza stone on the lowest oven rack to 500 degrees. Bake dough rounds on preheated stone until bread is puffed and golden brown on bottom, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer breads to clean kitchen towel and serve warm or at room temperature.
More recipe notes from Audrey:
Make sure you let the pieces of dough rest after forming them into balls and again after rolling them into 4-inch circles; otherwise, they will shrink back and not hold their shape. Only one flatbread will fit in a skillet, so speed up the cooking process by using two skillets.
Alternatively, you can give the breads an appealing smoky essence by brushing them lightly with oil and cooking them on the grill, over medium fire, following the same cooking times and techniques.
This is a pretty soft dough, so don't be tempted to add too much flour. I have grilled them, as I mentioned above. I like the "outdoors" feeling of that, (my bread could cook right along with my meat!) and it kept my kitchen from heating up in the summer. In the baked variation, they are supposed to puff up and have a pocket like a pita, but I have never tried this.
Making the dough in a food processor:
In the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Add oil, sugar, and yogurt and pulse to mix, about four 1-second bursts. Add salt, sieved whole wheat flour, and brea flour; process until smooth, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Process dough (adding more flour as necessary until dough just pulls completely away from sides of bowl) until soft and satiny, about 30 seconds. Allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
Note from Tammy: I made this dough in my bread machine on the dough cycle. You can refer to your machine's instruction manual; for mine, I just added all ingredients starting with the wet ingredients, then the dry ingredients, and ending with the yeast on top.
40 minutes + rising time
Delicious, easy, and fun! My children helped me make these and we had a blast! Perfect with an afternoon snack of hummus dip, and then we re-warmed the leftover flatbreads to serve with soup for dinner!
I made mine with 100% whole wheat flour, adding some additional gluten flour and other natural dough conditioners (see our article about natural dough conditioners for the how's and why's!). If you follow the directions for using bread flour and sifting the wheat flour, you wouldn't need the additional dough conditioners though. :)
This recipe is similar to my recipe for pita pockets! However, it is a little more savoury and has the grill/stove top instructions, and when prepared with those methods the bread stay flat instead of puffing like the baked pita pockets! :)
My rating: 10/10