Flat breads

I love bread, it’s the main reason I’m the size that I am!  I love making it almost as much as I love eating it too and something that I love making is flat breads.

I think they’re really underrated and so easy to make.  Everyone loves a fresh pitta or wrap so much more than the ones you buy from the store.  I’m guilty of buying them too though.  Convenience is the key to most things in life these days with work, parenting and a wife about to drop any second, but these recipes below are some of the best ones I’ve found for flat bread and I’m so looking forward to making them on pat leave… I was going to say in a few weeks, but the way things are going here, might be in a few days!

Easy Soft Flatbreads:

These have a greek vibe about them and make excellent pittas and wraps for kebabs.  They taste delicious and the slightly soft centre to go with the toasted outside is something that works great anytime of year, but especially at BBQ season.

INGREDIENTS:

300g plain flour (level cups, unsifted, not packed), + keep  extra for dusting & adjusting dough
½ tsp salt
50g butter (1.75 oz)
185 ml milk
½ tbsp oil (for cooking)

METHOD:

  1. Combine butter and milk and heat until butter is just melted – on stove or in microwave.
  2. Combine 2 cups flour, salt, butter and milk.
  3. Sprinkle work surface with flour then knead for a few minutes until it is smooth – it doesn’t need much kneading. Add extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  4. Wrap with cling wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.
  5. Dust bench top with flour, cut dough into 4 pieces, roll into balls, then roll out into about ⅛” / 0.3cm thick rounds.
  6. Heat ½ tbsp olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat – or lower if you have a heavy based skillet. (Note 1)
  7. Place one flatbread in the pan, cook for around 1- 1½ minutes – it should bubble up (see photo in post)- then flip and cook the other side, pressing down if it puffs up. There should be a smallish golden brown spots on both sides.
  8. Stack the cooked bread and keep wrapped with a tea towel – the moisture helps soften the surface, making them even more pliable.
  9. Continue to cook with remaining pieces.
  10. Optional: Brush or spray bread with olive oil or melted butter, for a more luxurious finish. Or even with melted butter mixed with minced garlic for a garlic butter version!

Piadina:

Italian flat breads are delicious, used as a wrap around alternative to pizza, but think of it the same.  It has a lovely flavour like a good thin pizza base, but more flexible and able to be transported easier.

INGREDIENTS:

500g Plain Flour
1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Olive Oil

METHOD:

  1. Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt and then gradually add enough water to make a dough that is soft and a bit sticky. Add the olive oil then knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Transfer the dough to  a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rest for about  30 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into four to six pieces and flatten each ball into a round to fit your griddle or frying pan, it should be about 3mm thick but can be quite misshapen. Prick each piadina all over with a fork to prevent it from puffing up.
  3. Heat the griddle or frying pan until it is very hot, then cook each dough round on both sides. It is fine to have patches  of lightly charred dough. Keep each piadina warm by wrapping it in a tea  towel until you have cooked the others.
  4. Top with your favourite pizza flavours, such as sliced tomato, basil and mozzarella.  My favourite is adding parma ham or prosciutto though.

Scorched Flatbreads:

The first flatbread recipe I learned to make and still one of my favourites.  These make great additions to a party as they can be sliced into strips and used with dips, or I like them with soup as they add an extra slightly salty dimension.

INGREDIENTS:

500g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

500g natural yoghurt

METHOD:

  1. Put all of the flatbread ingredients into your food processor and pulse until you have a dough
  2. If the dough’s a little wet still, you may need to add another sprinkling of flour
  3. Tip the dough out onto your work surface and dust with a little flour
  4. Knead the dough for a minute or so to bring it together
  5. Divide the dough into about 12 equal-sized pieces
  6. Dust a rolling pin with flour then roll the pieces of dough out into side-plate-sized rounds
  7. Stack them between small sheets of greaseproof paper next to the hob ready to cook
  8. Put a griddle pan on a high heat to get nice and hot
  9. Once it’s really hot, cook each flatbread for a couple of minutes per side, until slightly puffy and lightly charred – you’ll need to do this in batches
  10. You can freeze any leftover flatbreads, simply defrost thoroughly and warm through in the oven wrapped in foil or lightly re-toast them in a pan before tucking in
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