Flatbreads

Flatbreads are the original breads, pre-yeast.  They were fired in stone ovens, over fired, under the ground.  They are easy to make, and home-made ones contain far less sh*t than the supermarket ones, even if you use a store bought soya yogurt like I do.

Before you start

You need to cut yourself  11 pieces of baking paper, all of roughly 20x30cm.  I’m serious.  This is so you  can use only a little flour, meaning they will be ‘tacky’ when they hit the pan, and they will be soft and not burnt!

You also need a frying pan, or cast iron pan. Some kind of flat, shallow, hot pan.

Ingredients (makes about 10 flatbreads)

500g self-raising flour (I like to use a mix of white and wholemeal, but I actually think all white flour gives the best results, although I think it is the devils work, and whole grains are the future)

1 x ‘big pot’ Alpro coconut yoghurt although I think the almond one a plain one probably work too, this one has a really nice flavour.

1 tsp salt

2tsp baking powder

2 tsp nigella/kalonji/black onion seeds – which you can get in most supermarkets, but if you can’t try an Asian grocery supermarket or the internet.  It won’t be the end of the world without these, but it is the best thing ever with these.

 Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt and nigella seeds and mix these well.
  2. Add the whole pot of yogurt to the flour mix, and incorporate with a knife.
  3. Once relatively well mixed, roll up your sleeves, flour your hands, and knead the dough in the bowl, until it has come together into a ball.
  4. Flour your work surface and turn the dough out, kneed for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Roll into a cylinder and cut in half with a knife.  Cut each half into 5.
  6. Using a floured rolling pin and ensuring your surface is floured (keep it as lightly dusted as you can), roll each piece out until they are 5mm thick(ish) and naan shaped.
  7. Resting it on your hand, try to spank some of the flour off, place the bread onto a piece of baking paper, and place another piece of baking paper on top.
  8. Repeat with each piece, until you have a stack of breads ready.
  9. FLIP THE STACK, so you’ve got your first rolled bread on top.
  10. Heat the pan – medium heat, no oil, nothing. DRY.
  11. Give the bread a final spank (what you don’t want is for there to be lots of dry flour hitting the hot pan – that is just going to burn and smell horrible and ruin your bread) and put it in the hot pan.
  12. You should get some nice big bubbles, and the bread should puff up a fair bit.
  13. Once you get a little colour on the first side, flip it over – don’t crush the bubbles out (let it fall naturally), this is what will make it look and taste excellent – those little charred bubbles.
  14. Stack them on a plate.  Serve them with my dal or as part of a mezze with this Baba Ghanoush, or with a curry.

These freeze fine and can then be put in the toaster, microwave or oven, so make a batch and don’t worry about wasting any!

 

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