Photo by Kate Welsh

Bake without breaking a sweat

Kate Welsh
July 20, 2018

It is entirely too hot to turn on my oven. I can count on one hand the number of times I've roasted something since May. I could barely bring myself to bake a pie for the Fourth of July. There hasn't even been a frozen pizza.

Still, I love cooking and baking, and I was getting a bit bored by all of my meals that were more or less chopped salads and things on toast. I wanted a project! I wanted to make bread. There are a few breads that you can make on the stove, like skillet breads or biscuit breads, but I decided to go for a flatbread. Flatbread is great because it's easily customizable, fairly low-labor, and a cinch to freeze if you don't eat it all in one go. And also: There is no reason to turn on the oven. 

I found Budget Bytes' amazing naan recipe to be the perfect jumping off point for my own flatbread recipe. 

Here's how I make it: In a medium-large measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup water with 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir to combine. Add one packet (or about two teaspoons) dry active yeast, stir to dissolve, and leave alone for a few minutes, or until frothy on top. While that's doing it's thing, combine 1 cup of flour (I've done both whole wheat and white here, and both are good) with 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium-large bowl.

When the yeast mixture is frothy, whisk in one large egg, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. (If you only have regular, that's totally fine here, too.) Make sure everything is evenly combined and there aren't any yogurt bits. 

Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl and stir to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour in 1/2 cup increments, stirring between each addition. Near the end, it's going to get hard to stir, but persevere! 

Once that's done, lightly dust counter or table space with flour, and dump out your dough for kneading. Knead for a few minutes, adding about one cup or so of flour as you go. The goal is to get your dough non-sticky, but don't add so much that the dough get tough. Less is more here.

Once your done, do a quick wipe-out of the medium-large bowl you used, and grease it with a little bit of olive oil. Place your round of dough in the bowl, cover it with a clean dish towel, and let it rise until it has doubled in size, or for about an hour. 

Photo by Kate Welsh

When an hour has passed, pull out your dough, flatten it into a disc, and cut it into eight pieces. (I like to cut it like a pie.) Take each wedge, roll it into a ball, and set aside. Take out your favorite large skillet, and heat it on the stove over medium heat. While it heats, grab a plate to put the cooked flat bread on. Then, roll out your first ball of dough until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick, or a little bigger than a bread plate in diameter. Transfer it to the hot pan. While that's cooking, roll out your next ball of dough. When large bubbles begin appearing on the top of the dough round and then underside has golden brown spots, flip it, and let cook till the other side mirrors the top, a minute or less. Transfer to the plate, cover with the clean towel, and start your next flatbread in the skillet. Repeat until you've cooked all your dough. 

Now, depending on how you're going to eat your flatbread, you can top it with whatever you'd like. Last night, I brushed on some olive oil and dusted it with za'atar to eat with hummus and a cucumber-tomato salad. I've drizzed it with butter and hot sauce to eat with scrambled eggs. A slather of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey would be delicious, as would jam. You can complete your savory yogurt breakfast with a few toasted triangles of this flatbread. It is the perfect canvas for whatever your heart desires. 

And you don't have to break a sweat in the process. 



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