Flatbread is the yeast bread that you want when you don’t want to make bread. It brings all the flavor of yeast without the long rise. It’s perfect for dipping into anything middle eastern or for wrapping around some leftover pulled pork or dismembered rotisserie chicken. And btw – once you’ve made this you will never go back to the tasteless stuff in the plastic bags again so let’s get started.
It has two rises, both fairly quick. For the first you’ll get a bowl and put in one teaspoon of yeast and another of sugar and then stir in a half cup of warm water. After a couple of minutes it should bubble a little. That means it’s good and you can then add a half cup of flour. Stir that in well for a couple of minutes, cover and let rise for half an hour or until doubled.
For the final rise you’ll add salt, olive oil and the rest of the flour. Add that flour gradually and knead briefly until smooth then drizzle some more olive oil on the outside, cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Punch it down then pinch off balls about the size of ping pongs, approximately an inch and a half to two inches wide. Then heat a cast iron skillet to medium high. It should feel pretty hot when your hand’s an inch or so above it. I know this isn’t exact but if it’s hot it’ll be fine.
You should then flour a board or your counter and roll out pretty thinly – no rule here but shoot for about a quarter of an inch. If you want super thin stretch it over an upturned bowl like this:
Now lay it in the ungreased pan and don’t walk away. It will bubble up and soon as it does, flip it as below. Sometimes it will puff up, sometimes not. After another minute, minute and a half put on a plate and cover with a cloth or with the mixing bowl which you no doubt have diligently rinsed out. The bread will keep cooking (just a little) and will keep warm till all the ping pong balls have bounced out of the pan.
Now your bread is done and you have the option of brushing a little flavored oil on it or some sesame seeds or little tiny garlic pellets, whatever suits. Be creative! Make some Ajvar or hummus or buy them or both, cut up some veg and enjoy.
- For the first rise:
- 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- For the second rise:
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon fine salt)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more as needed
- For the garnish:
- Sauteed Garlic
- Sesame seeds
- Place ½ cup flour, yeast, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Pour in warm water. Stir well for a couple of minutes. Cover bowl and let sit until mixture gets bubbly, about 30 minutes. Drizzle in olive oil; add salt and 1 cup flour. Mix together until mixture forms a sticky dough ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If mixture seems too wet, add a bit more flour.
- Lightly flour a work surface. Knead dough for a couple of minutes until fairly smooth. Pour a few drops of olive oil in a bowl. Transfer dough ball to bowl and turn to coat surface with oil.
- Cover bowl and place in a warm spot. Let dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 60 minutes. Transfer dough to work surface and knead briefly.
- Lightly flour a work surface; dough may be sticky so make sure you use enough flour to keep dough from sticking to the surface or your hands (but less flour is best). Pinch off a piece of dough about an inch and a half wide. Roll into a smooth ball. Flatten and roll out into a circle about ¼ inch thick.
- Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium high.
- Carefully lift the dough circle and lay into the ungreased skillet. It should bubble up and blister almost immediately. Let it cook for about a minute then flip.
- Transfer to a plate and cover with a towel or bowl inverted over it to keep it warm and moist.