Sunday, May 22, 2016

10 Minute No Yeast Basic Flat Bread Recipe

Flat Bread Photo Courtesy of: Ndungukamau

There is a reason that flat breads are part of almost every culture around the world. They are quick and easy to make, require very few ingredients, are delicious and can be cooked anywhere from a bakery oven to a flat rock over a wood fire (I’ve done this on more than one occasion).

Maybe their biggest advantage though, is the simple fact that, on most occasions, even if you mess up, a little or don’t have exactly the right ingredients on hand, you can still produce delicious bread that everyone will enjoy.

I use this same basic recipe with different types of flours and meals to create a variety of distinctive breads and when feeling a little sporty or really wanting to dress up a meal, I add grated cheeses, nuts, seeds and various herbs and spices to the dough. It is very versatile as a base dough and one of my goto recipes.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Varies buy method, but quick
Serves: At my house 1, normally 4

What you will need

2 cups             Plain Flour or Meal of your choice
¾-1 Tbsp.         Baking Powder
2 Tbsp.             Oil or Lard- I don’t use shortening because I try to avoid processed foods.
1/4-1/2 tsp      Salt- Sea salt or crushed natural rock salt is my personal preference.
2 cups              Warm Water- You will not need it all but!

Helpful Hint:

Work the dough with one hand so that the other stays clean for handling ingredients, utensils, scratching your nose, etc.

Mixing the dough

1.      Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl
2.      Push dry ingredients to the sides of bowl, creating a crater in the center.
3.      If using lard or shortening, add it to the dry ingredients and work until it is evenly distributed. You are looking for a fine crumble texture.
4.      If using oil, add to the dry ingredients.
5.      Carefully add Warm Water a few Tbsp. at a time working the dough away from the sides and towards the center of the bowl. When you have a firm, dry, but cohesive ball of dough stop adding water.
6.      You’re done. You can roll out your breads and cook them now, but I recommend letting it rest for at least 30 minutes.

Cooking the Bread

1.      Separate dough into appropriate size balls for the serving sizes you want to cook. I use golf-ball sized to make larger breads for wraps and marbel sized for small 2-4 inch breads to go with dips, chili, stews, etc.
2.      Roll or pat your dough out into ¼ inch flats. Thinner flats will give you a crispier texture if that is your taste. Caution: do not re-roll  this dough or breads will come out very tough.
3.      Cook on a griddle, in a skillet, wherever, over a low to medium heat and covering with a lid until  lightly browned on bottom then flip, re-cover and finish cooking.
4.      Try not to eat faster than they cook.

Measuring What?

I must warn you that I am one of those people who rarely measures anything out to an exact amount. I cook by feel, smell and taste. I have learned that even with as simple an ingredient as plain flour, no two batches are exactly the same and that even the humidity level and temperature can affect how bread can come out, so throw away the measuring spoons and get ready to get your hands dirty. You can only learn by trying.

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