Monday, November 17, 2014

Homemade Flatbread – If You Have Flour, You Have Bread

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, possibly in our last post, today is National Homemade Bread Day. So, I decided to do a flatbread video, demonstrating what was probably the world’s first wheat-based bread.

It never ceases to amaze me how a little flour and water can be transformed into such delicious, gorgeous bread, and in just a matter of minutes at that. Inspired by the thought of these earliest flatbreads, I went with about half wheat flour and half all-purpose, as well as a little spoon of corn meal for some extra texture. 

I’ll be giving no ingredient amounts below. Flatbread’s not like that. Combine water, flour and a pinch or two of salt; and mix together as shown until you have a soft, sticky dough. That’s it. The other key is to use a very hot cast iron pan or griddle. You can wipe the surface with a tiny bit of vegetable oil, but basically a dry pan works the best.

If you’re not in a hurry, wrap your dough and let it sit on the counter top for an hour or two. This will give the flour time to hydrate, which will provide a little nicer texture. Having said that, I didn’t wait at all, and mine came out fine.

So, if you’re interested in making flatbread like they did when people thought the earth was flat, then I hope you  get this easy and delicious technique a try soon. Enjoy!

19 comments:

Debasmita Basu said...

In India most people still make bread this way. But many prefer to add a little oil and use entirely wheat flour. After lightly toasting the bread in a cast iron pan, they usually roast it in open flame.

DiaRoy said...

Chef John...congrats...u just made roti...the first truly authentic indian dish on foodwishes :)...may this be the beginning of several more delicious forays into indian cuisine!!

Ctrl Alt Eat said...

Dear Chef John,
You just made a Chapatti. If you smear a little butter or ghee on the rolled out dough, then fold it back on itself and roll it out again, you will have made a Paratha....enjoy:)

meigancam01 said...

I am really interested in what you wrote here. This looks absolutely perfect. All these tinny details gives me a lot of knowledge.

PhillyBear said...

this is just great, chef. Thanks for sharing.

bafouilleux said...

I don't care about how to call them. I just made some a few hours ago and they were delicious! Thank you chef John!

Jeannie An said...

I just had a general question.

Why is it so hard to find regular Olive oil in stores? Whenever I try to look for regular all I find are a variety of Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Is there a brand that you're partial to and use regularly? Perhaps I should order it online?

Anyway, I love your blog and I cook one of your recipes at least once a week!

Thanks :D

Chef John said...

I don't really have a regular brand for regular olive oil. Usually just go with the stores brand, and I never had much of a problem finding it. Not sure where you're located, but all the big supermarkets in San Francisco carry it. Good luck!

David Elmore said...

I threw some minced garlic and rosemary in mine. OUTSTANDING!!!

Unknown said...

Chef John, a big THANK YOU! I made this for my daughters while they are waiting for the pizza dough to rise and they loved this in any filling they choose. (Left-over roast chicken). It is so simple and quick to prepare. And yes, my eldest commented it looks like Roti Canoi(?) which we tasted while in Penang Malaysia. I didnt recognize as I thought it was made with rice flour being an Indian dish. I dont like the dish with curry as sauce but she does.

Unknown said...

Don't panic!
Make Bannok.

Laura W Kline said...

Here's what we did: we used this bread to wrap around the carnitas which we also made, both for the first time. Wow. My teen son found this site and we are enjoying a lot of the recipes here. Thank you!

Gian D said...

We don't have a cast-iron skillet, can we use a heavy-bottom stainless steel pan?

Chef John said...

Should work!

Christopher Jennings said...

All right, we decided that we wanted to make Beef Goulash and the little gems and wrap them like a taco with some sour cream. After thinking about what to call them, it occurred to me that maybe Hungary is considered one of the -Stans, so we decided to call them "Stanwiches"

Cathy Lohr said...

Made these tonight to go with my curry. My husband liked them so much he wants them every night. Super easy and I didn't need to find or make my own ghee. Thanks!!

TheCatsMeow said...

can i use bread flour?

Foodie DNA said...

Did you add salt to the dry ingredients?It looked like you did but it wasn't mentioned.

Chef John said...

watch again, salt mention before water added. enjoy!