Flatbreads


This started as a quest to make our own naan. As the recipe evolved, I knew that I would take a lot of criticism from Indian food enthusiasts if I called it naan, since I don’t own a tandoori oven and the final product only loosely resembles naan. I toyed with a cutesy name using a play on words, but “non” was just a little too punny for my taste. Thus, we have “flatbread.” It is delicious all by its lonesome, it is lovely with a pat of butter, and a slightly undercooked flatbread will store nicely in the fridge for a quick individual pizza crust later in the week.

Makes about 14 flatbreads

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of super dough (see recipe)
  • Flour for kneading surface
  • Canola oil to prevent sticking
  • 2-3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Coarse kosher salt for sprinkling, to taste

Method:

  1. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 8 minutes, adding flour as necessary to keep dough from being sticky.
  2. Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly-oiled bowl. Cover bowl with a damp towel

    Dough before rising

    Dough before rising

  3. Place in a warm place to let dough rise (one easy way to make sure you have a warm area is to dry a load of laundry during this time and put the bowl on top of the dryer). Allow dough to rise for one hour. It should double in size.

    After dough rises

    After dough rises

  4. Punch down dough.
  5. Pinch off balls that are a little bigger than golf balls (you will get about 14).
  6. Put balls in a lightly oiled container (I use a 9×13 casserole dish).

    Dough balls before they rise

    Dough balls before they rise – afterwards, the balls will be puffing into one another.

  7. Cover with damp cloth and allow to rise another 20 minutes – they should double in size again, and it will look like a mess. Don’t sweat it.
  8. Heat a large griddle pan or electric griddle to medium heat – the temp depends on the grill and the dough, so start with a small batch to ensure that you have the correct temperature.
  9. Working in small batches, keeping the rest of the dough covered to prevent drying, roll each risen dough ball into a ball again. On a floured surface, use your hand to roughly flatten each ball. Then, use a rolling pin to roll out each one to about 1/4 inch thickness. Brush one side of each lightly with canola oil.
  10. Place the first batch onto the griddle, pressing the flatbread onto the grill with a spatula. You will see bubbles start to form in the top side.

    See the bubbles?

    See the bubbles?

  11. Brush the top side with canola oil right before flipping. A little oil goes a long way. Flip flatbreads when the dough starts to turn golden brown.
    Side 1 is browned

    Side 1 is browned

    After flipping, firmly press down flatbreads with spatula .

  12. The bottoms will not brown evenly because of the air bubbles and pockets. That’s okay – we’re not making pretty pancakes here. Don’t crush the flatbreads trying to ensure even browning. You will be unsuccessful, and you will mess with the texture. The flatbreads are done when they have golden brown spots.

    Ready to come off the griddle

    Ready to come off the griddle

  13. Remove the flatbreads from the griddle, brush with melted butter and sprinkle a small amount of salt.

****Special note: if you are making flatbreads for use as quick pizza crusts, slightly undercook the flatbread so that it is cooked, but not browned. Leave off the butter and salt at the end, as well.

Undercooked flatbread stores in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready for pizza. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, top the flatbread with your favorite items, then pop it in the oven until it is cooked the way you like it.


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