Flatbread is yummy. Soft, fluffy homemade flatbread is even yummier.
The truth is, I could bombard you with a hundred more words that sum up why flatbread needs to be part of your life but I won’t (phew!). Basically, this flatbread is extremely versatile; you could use it in so many different ways and it is really simple to make.
Those of you who have seen or made the soft wrap bread (that I adore) and/or this lovely naan bread (which I also adore) may want to know how this current flatbread differs. It’s slightly thinner and a bit softer than the naan (so it bends easier) and has a completely different taste than the soft wrap bread (since the soft wrap bread has a potato base).
I think the moral of this story, though, is you can never have too many flatbread recipes in your recipe notebook. Right? Right.
I included a few simple step-by-step photos of rolling and cooking the flatbread. Once you see it, you’ll realize how easy it is. I always double or triple this batch, fire up the griddle and cook my heart out so I can freeze these babies to pull out at a moment’s notice. We really do capitalize on the simple pita pizza thing (throw it under the broiler with all the toppings for a minute or so and you are good to go) as well as rolling up our favorite sandwich fixings for lunch. Flatbread! It’s a really good thing.
As with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.
Since I don't always have bread flour on hand, for this recipe, several times, I've used about 2 3/4 cups flour plus 1/4 cup wheat gluten (to approximate the same properties as bread flour). I've also subbed half the flour for white whole wheat flour, too, with good results. Also, if you want to use active dry yeast instead of instant, let the yeast proof in the sugar/water mixture until it is bubbly and foaming before proceeding with adding the other ingredients.
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup warm water (about 100 degrees, warm but not hot to the touch)
- 1/2 cup warm milk (about 100 degrees, warm but not hot to the touch)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups bread flour, more or less (see note)
- In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook), mix the yeast, sugar water, milk, oil, salt and one cup of the flour until well combined.
- Gradually add the remaining flour until a soft dough is formed. It will pull away from the sides of the bowl to form a ball but still be slightly soft to the touch (see the note). Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes until it is soft and smooth.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap; let rise until doubled, about an hour or so.
- Divide the dough into six or eight equal pieces. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let the dough pieces rest for 10-15 minutes (this helps relax the gluten so they are easier to roll out).
- Working with one piece at a time, on a lightly greased or floured counter, roll the dough about 1/8-inch thick into a large circle, about 7-8 inches in diameter.
- Heat a griddle or skillet to medium heat (I preheat my electric griddle to 300 degrees). When the griddle/skillet is hot, cook the flatbread for 2-3 minutes on the first side until it bubbles and puffs. Flip it over with a pair of tongs and cook on the second side until it is golden and spotty. If the skillet isn't hot enough, the bread can turn out dry (and won't bend easily) from being overcooked so look for the right amount of heat that will cook the flatbread in 2-3 minutes max per side.
- Transfer the flatbread to a plate or work surface and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining dough (I can fit two pieces of flatbread on my electric griddle so I roll out two at a time), stacking each warm flatbread on top of the others and covering with the towel.
- The flatbread can be made, cooked, cooled and frozen with great results. It is best served the day it is made but can be reheated gently the day after, if needed.