I began my hunt for a great flatbread recipe online, and didn’t have to try too many before I found a seriously amazing option. This recipe is directly from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, and I wanted to make it and post it here to make sure this recipe gets the attention it deserves. I incorporate it into a lot of my own dishes. This flatbread is light and soft, with the right amount of chewy, and most importantly, flavorful. I’ve tried a few flatbread recipes that got the texture right, but were bland and boring. This flatbread recipe is truly delicious by itself, or wrapped around just about anything you can think of.
Flatbread in grocery stores is criminally expensive. It’s one of those things that I never buy because I know I can make it on my own for a small percentage of grocery store prices. The best part? This flatbread recipe is way better than anything you buy in the store, and you can eat it at its absolute freshest, right out of the skillet. If there’s something better than warm, fresh bread, with a slight crunch on the outside edges, then I just haven’t found it yet. I suppose that goes for all bread, but flatbread doesn’t need to be sliced or buttered…just eaten!
This flatbread is beyond easy to make. It’s one of those recipes that involves more waiting for the dough to rise than actual cooking, but don’t worry – you only have to wait about an hour total. That’s plenty of time to get the rest of dinner ready, so you can throw these in a pan and have them fresh and hot to go with whatever else you’re serving. They do need to be cooked individually, but each flatbread only takes about two minutes in the pan – if you have a large griddle you can absolutely do more at a time. I generally roll one out, get it in the skillet, and then roll the next one while the first is cooking.
The key to this recipe is the bread flour. You may be tempted to whip out some all-purpose flour because you don’t want to shell out the dough for a bag of bread flour that you’ll only use for this recipe, but bread flour will yield softer, chewier flatbread. After you experience the flatbread from this recipe, you’ll be so happy to have the extra bread flour around to make these again! The original on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe notes that you can use 2 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour plus 1/4 cup wheat gluten, definitely a good solution if you have wheat gluten on hand instead of bread flour.
I have a single request if you decide to try out this recipe: please please eat at least a bite straight out of the skillet (don’t burn yourself). I cannot accurately describe exactly how gratifying and wonderful this is, when the flatbread is warm and fluffy, and smells delicious. I’m afraid it’s not something re-heating the flatbread can quite capture. It does freeze well if you want to make a lot at a time, and it’s completely delicious re-heated, just not exactly like when it’s fresh. But then again, how many things are better re-heated?
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe - Slight adaptations on cooking method from Homemade With An Upgrade.
- 2 tsp rapid rise yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup milk, heated until just warm, about 100 degrees
- 2/3 cup water, heated until just warm, about 100 degrees
- 3 cups bread flour
Stir together yeast, sugar, salt, oil, milk, water, and 1 cup bread flour.
2. Stir in another 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour, until a shaggy dough forms. At this point, turn the dough out onto a clean surface.
3. Use the remaining 1/2 cup of flour to lightly flour the surface. Knead the dough, adding flour from the the surface you're kneading on, until it's elastic and smooth - usually I end up adding about 1/4 cup of flour through this process.
4. Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean dishcloth and set somewhere warm to rise until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. When dough has risen, separate it into 6-8 even balls and set on a tray to rest for 10-15 minutes.
6. After the dough has rested, heat a skillet or griddle until hot. You want to keep it on a medium heat level once it gets hot.
7. Roll out one of the dough balls on a floured surface to a circle roughly 1/8 inch thick, and transfer to the skillet. Let cook for around 2 minutes on one side, until golden, and spots of color develop. Flip with a pair of tongs and let cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side. Transfer to a plate/your mouth. While the flatbread is cooking, roll out another to go into the skillet - continue this process until dough is all gone.
Note: I like to turn my oven onto its lowest heat when I separate the flatbread dough into balls. Then, when I'm ready to start cooking, I turn off the heat on the oven, and place the plate for the finished flatbread inside, adding each to the plate as they come out of the skillet. This keeps them warm and fresh until I'm ready to serve!