Flatbread with Yeast

Flatbread, Pitta Bread and Naan are regional variations of flatbread that are suitable for many diets including Dairy Free, Diabetic and Vegan.


The breads are simple and quick to make. In warm weather the dough will usually double in size in about 1 hour. However, in colder weather keep the proving time to a minimum by adding twice the quantity of yeast and wrapping the covered bowl of dough in a towel.

This is not a recipe where measurements are exact. The quantity of water needed is approximately half the measure of flour, it being dependant on the type of flour, the air temperature and the humidity. I therefore use cup measures in this recipe.

Similar to other yeast breads, the dough can be refrigerated and cooked a day or two later, returning it to room temperature before shaping and cooking. An advantage to this recipe over many yeast breads is that it requires little kneading. Furthermore, unlikeyeast-free flatbreads, these can be stored to eat the next day.

Change the flavour and texture of your flatbread by selecting a variety of flours. My preference for a soft, light texture is to use both bread flour and all-purpose (cake) flour. It can be further softened with the addition ofyoghurt (reducing the quantity of water). For a more granular texture or a different taste use a combination of bread flour (wheat) with corn, millet, barley or rye flours.

Shaping and rolling the flatbreads may require a little practice to achieve the desired shape and size. For round flatbreads start with a small ball of dough and flatten it between your hands to create a thick circle. Roll across the dough in one stroke and turn the dough 90 degrees before rolling again. Continue rolling and turning the dough until you have the size you want. A thickness of 1-2 cm (1/2 inch) will give a soft bread that will split in half if you want to fill it.

Cook the breads in a hot oven, a tandoori oven or in a frying pan, on a griddle or over a braai (barbecue). Breads from the oven will be paler in colour, while cooking on a hot surface will give browned areas and a lightly toasted flavour.

Diets for which Flatbread with Yeast is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Vegan.

Ingredients

Preparation: 5 + 10 mins | Cook: 6 mins (when cooked in one batch)| Serves: 6-8 medium

1 cup (140 gm) all-purpose flour*
1 + 1/2 cup bread flour
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
3/4 – 1 cup warm water


Add Flavours
rosemary, coriander, caraway or garlic (not Fodmap)

Method

COMBINE the flour, yeast and baking powder and mix.
ADD the salt, oil and 3/4 cup warm water. (Do not add the salt with the yeast because it may reduce its raising quality.)
MIX to form a dough, adding water if required for a soft but not sticky blend.
SPRINKLE a little flour onto the work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth, approximately 2 minutes. (Continue adding flour to the surface to prevent the dough sticking.)
RETURN the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean, dampened cloth or clingfilm.
REST the dough for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size.
KNEAD the dough so it gently deflates. (The dough can now be cooked or keep it in the refrigerator for later use. It stores for up to a week.)*
DIVIDE the dough into 6-8 pieces. (The size and number of pieces you cut depends on the size of flatbread you want.)
SHAPE each piece into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand.
SPRINKLE a little flour on the work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out each piece creating a circle 15-20cm (5-6 inches) wide with a thickness of 1 cm/1/2 inch . (These flatbreads can be split like a pitta.)
REST the rolled dough for 10 minutes.
COOK


Bake in the Oven:
HEAT the oven to 230 C/450 F/Gas 7.
HEAT the baking tray or baking stone in the oven.
ASSEMBLE the shaped dough on the hot tray.
BAKE for about 3 minutes. They will be puffed up.**
FLIP and bake on the other side.
REMOVE from the oven and wrap the breads in a clean cloth. (Sprinkle the cooked breads with rosemary, if desired)
EAT immediately, freeze, or store in an airtight container. (Stored breads are best eaten after warming in an oven, toaster or microwave.)


Bake on the Stovetop:
HEAT the frying pan or cast iron pan to a medium-hot temperature.
LAY a shaped bread on the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. When it starts to bubble** and the underside is light golden, turn and cook on the other side.
COOK for a further 1-2 minutes.
REMOVE from the heat and wrap in a clean cloth.
SPRINKLE the cooked breads with rosemary if desired
EAT immediately, freeze or store in an airtight container. (Stored breads are best eaten after warming in an oven, toaster or microwave.)

Serve

– Cut the bread and serve with a dip
– Split the bread and fill with, e.g.: falafel; avocado and crisp lettuce and spring onion; sprouted seeds and baked tomatoes.
– Serve as an accompaniment to a curry.

Notes

* Store the raised dough in the refrigerator for up to a week. Break off pieces of dough as needed, allowing it to warm to room temperature before cooking.
** If the breads do not puff it is probably because the oven or frying pan were not hot enough.

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