Fast flatbread, in the pan and out in 15 minutes
No yeast, no rising, no proofing, but still springy, soft with a crunch, and bread-y – not like a cracker-like flatbread, or the base of thin and crispy pizzas. Yes, I know, hardly an inspired opening line, but honestly, that sums this up – it’s unfussy, without need for extravagant investments or dilly-dallying, highly functional, yet fantastic. The best thing around when it’s too late to make rice, or you want a change from pasta and noodles, or when you’re out of yeast, or when you simply can’t, or don’t want to, wait hours for your dough to rise.
For dipping, for serving with soup, alongside a quick lunch-y salad, or just as a snack, this is so easy. I’ve a few tips, as the first time I made this it was a disaster, in more ways than one. I had expected it to come out perfect, and was crushed the way you get crushed when your parents tell you a a kid that there was a last minute call from the office and they won’t be taking you to Disneyland anymore. But no matter – let’s focus on the dozens of perfect flatbreads I’ve produced since then.
Tibetan flatbread, from Fuji Mama (great pics)
makes one 22cm round flatbread, about 2.5cm (just under 1″) thick
3/4 c wholemeal flour*
3/4 c plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. water, separated
2 Tbsp oil
*If you have no wholemeal but have wheat bran and germ, you can use 1/4c of each plus 1/4c of white instead of wholemeal flour.
Mix flours, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. Make a well in the center, pour in 3/4c water, and mix (preferably with spatula) until you get a very wet dough – almost like a cake batter, adding the last 1/4c water if necessary. Avoid over mixing.
Add oil to a COLD* frypan, and spread it out a little. Scrape the dough into the pan, and spread it out with a spatula or spoon to the edge of the pan. Dribble 2 Tbsp water around the edge of the dough, cover the pan, and turn heat to medium, setting a timer for 10 minutes. Try to use a cooking element that covers the whole base of the frypan. Let cook for 10 minutes, then uncover, and flip, then set the timer for another 5 minutes. It MAY stick when you try to flip it – if this is the case let the pan cool on a cold element for about 30 seconds, then try to dislodge the bread.
Remove the bread from the pan to a chopping board, and cut into wedges to serve (I like to cut it in half, then cut very long, thin wedges). Enjoy!
EDIT: I have since tried preheating the pan on medium heat with oil in it and not adding water – depending on the flour you use, the dough sticks a lot less. The holey-ness is more distributed though.