Flatbread is such a versatile, happy bread. We’ve been using it a lot lately to create low sodium dinners. It’s fun to use as a crust for a personal pizza, to build an epic sandwich, or to just slap on a slice of cheese and warm it in the microwave for a cozy snack.
2 cup warm water temperature should be 100 degrees Fahrenheit
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk 2% or whole. temperature should be 100 degrees Fahrenheit
6 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp coarse salt
olive oil cooking spray
Making the Dough
Combine 1 cup warm water and the yeast in a glass bowl or large measuring cup.
Pour the warm milk and remaining 1 cup water into a large mixing bowl.
Wait five minutes, then pour the yeast/water into the milk/water in the large mixing bowl. Stir.
Gently stir 2 cups of flour into the water/milk/yeast mixture until smooth.
Add salt and the rest of the flour (4 cups) to the mixture. Add the flour in small amounts, blending after each addition, Keep stirring until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Tip the bowl over a lightly floured board to let the dough fall onto the floured surface. Knead until smooth, sprinkling flour on the sticky spots as needed, for about 5 minutes.
Spray the inside of a large glass or ceramic bowl with cooking spray. Set the dough ball in the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise for 8 hours or overnight in a cool place. Note: this dough can become VERY fluffy if conditions are ideal. You may need to poke it down gently with your fingers occasionally to keep it from escaping the bowl!
After 8 hours, pull back the plastic wrap, punch the dough down and replace the plastic wrap. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Preparing the Flatbreads
Tilt the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Using a pizza cutter or damp knife, cut the dough ball in half. Shape each half into a thick rope, patting the ends into the rope so that the entire length is the same thickness.
Using the pizza cutter or knife, cut each rope in half. Cut those halves in half, then again cut each piece in half. You should have 8 pieces from each rope, for a total of 16 pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball. Let the balls rest for 20 minutes. Cookie sheets make good resting places.
Cooking the Bread
Heat your cast iron griddle to medium heat. Coat surface with olive oil cooking spray, or regular olive oil.
Flatten one dough ball with your hand, pressing it into a flat oval shape. Lay it on the hot, greased griddle. Spray a little olive oil on the top surface of the bread. Flip after 2 minutes of cooking and continue to cook the bread another 2 minutes or until browned in spots and fully set. Repeat this step with the rest of the dough balls. If your griddle is large enough, you may cook two breads at a time. Remove each bread to a layer of paper towels or a wire rack to prevent sogginess as they cool.
Try to flatten the dough rounds as flat as possible. They’re going to puff up in the pan, but at least you can say you tried.
This particular flatbread recipe is lots of fun to make. Especially if you like bubbles. Lots of bubbles. And soft, fragrant rising dough that’s fun to stick your fingers into.
To cook the bread, a cast iron griddle works the best. I know I’m not using one in these pictures, but this larger round pan lets me cook two breads at a time. It’s a strange, ancient pan that’s as close to cast iron as a pan can be without being cast iron. It’s one of a kind, inherited from my mother in law many years ago.
Wiping off the spatula after flipping them helps keep the bread looking toasty brown instead of ashy, too. They also freeze well, which is a good thing since this recipe makes 16 flatbreads!