Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Soaked Flatbreads

This is such a versatile recipe. We love Flatbreads in our family and would eat an entire double batch if I wasn't so firm about saving some for the next day. They are actually quite easy too. Here goes...

Soaked Flatbreads

Note: you will want to start this recipe either in the morning or the night before to allow time for the yogurt to fully predigest the wheat and neutralize the phytates. We call this "soaking"... read more about it here.

First thing in the morning, mix the following ingredients in your electric mixer:
  • 3 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of warm water mixed with 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4. cup of extra virgin olive oil
Knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. I use my mixer for this and let it knead for about four minutes.

Cover the dough lightly with wax paper or plastic wrap, and leave it for 10 or more hours at room temperature. (Soaking is a process and if you can only let the dough sit for seven hours, that is definitely better than no soaking at all.)

When ready to make the flatbreads, divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. (I double the batch and make 24.) Either roll the dough to a six inch circle or use a tortilla press. Here you see I use a tortilla press, but these are definitely not as thin as tortillas. To make thin tortillas, I would have to roll the ball out to ten inches, which can be done with a rolling pin.

As you can see in this picture, after pressing (or rolling) the dough flat, I throw the breads onto a very hot, ungreased griddle. I use a large griddle to cook six at a time... and yes, it is coated with teflon (!), but in an ideal world where I had lots of time at my disposal, I would cook these one by one in an ungreased cast iron skillet heated to high.

These breads only cook for a minute or two on each side. You'll notice that they start to get brown circles on them (like tortillas) when one side is done. If you let them get too brown, they will be on the crunchy side instead of all-soft.

Let them cool on a rack. Serve them fresh!

So what do we do with flatbreads? We love them filled with Gyro Meat (homemade without preservatives), Tzatziki Sauce and tomatoes. Or we love them filled with hummus and other chopped veggies. They are also great dipped in soups. Last night I served them with a salad made with Grilled Meat, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Garlic, Parsley and a Feta Cheese Dressing.

Tonight, I think I'll melt some cheese onto them and put some chili beans inside.



lady m said...


what a terrific recipe! Tell me, if you don't have yogurt...can I soak with water?

Thank you for sharing!

lady m

kristilea said...

This looks absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to try them. How hot do you have the griddle?

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Lady M,

If you don't have yogurt, you can use a tablespoon of lemon juice with water. You'll need something acidic, if not yogurt. But, in my opinion, yogurt works the best with flavor and function.

And Kristilea, I set my griddle on 450, but when I use a skillet, I can ony put it on "high".

Hope this helps! Amy Ellen

The Brownings said...

Hi Amy Ellen, I was going to try your flatbread rec. but had a question! Do you use soft or hard wheat? I have both and normally when a recipe calls for flour I just do half of each! Let me know! See you on Sunday, Hope you've had a great week!

In HIS Hands,
Joy Browning

kelli said...

Hi, Amy...I just made these...yum!!! The outer part of my ball got quite dry and crusty, and I had to throw it away. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks for a easy, good recipe!

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Kelli,

Did you cover the ball as it set out? I leave mine in the mixer bowl and loosly lay some plastic wrap over the top.

Hi Joy,

I grind 1/2 hard white wheat and 1/2 hard red wheat together. I use this combo for almost all of my recipes... minus birthday cakes when I use all hard white wheat.

Hope this helps! Amy Ellen

Anonymous said...

This looks like a good one to try for "pita" bread. I haven't found a recipe dh likes yet, so I'll give one a go. Thanks!

WiJoyMom said...

White Wheat can be hard (breads) or soft (pastry)

I use soft for cakes and cookies. Once I used hard wheat for peanut butter cookies and I didn't like them...they didn't go to waste as my family ate them. Since then I insist on cookies being from pastry/soft wheat.

I'm about to fry up my 1st batch from your recipe. I liked how the dough felt last night when I was finishing it up to leave set overnight, we're having them for lunch. Using w/taco meat & the fixings...for tacos/burritos/mexican pizza.

WiJoyMom said...

Lady M,

From what I know about soaking grains, you would want to add something to the water, to help start the benefit/purpose of soaking.

Sue Gregg, by way of the web, is who I 1st learned about soaking grains.

With the amount of yogurt in the recipe, I'm not sure how you would adjust if you don't have yogurt.

Possibly buttermilk, but then you'd want to decrease some of your regular milk

I know when soaking brown warm water overnight or for 7 years, you can use 1 of the following: 1 T yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, why, lemon juice or vinegar per 1 cup water. Then add salt before cooking

Joy Roxborough said...

Hi, I made these and the flavour was great, but the pastry was too sticky and very difficult to handle. i ended up having to add more (unsoaked, dry) flour to keep the dough from sticking to everything. What did i do wrong? I did not actually get a smooth dough before I left it to soak - I simply barely combined the ingredients and left it all to soak. Any advice and i'd be greateful. Thanks