Thursday, July 22, 2010


Stuff these babies and pack a picnic!
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugarZest of one lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
12 medium basil leaves, finely sliced (chiffonade)
3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, and sugar, and set aside for 5 minutes, until it begins to get foamy.

2. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, and flour, and knead with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and beginning to become elastic.

3. Add the olive oil and continue kneading until the oil is incorporated and the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic.

4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes, the dough will have risen, but it won't be doubled. Take it out of the bowl, knead it briefly, and divide it into 12 roughly equal portions. They don't have to be exactly the same unless you're a perfectionist. I actually like the option of having some larger and some smaller.

6. Roll each portion into a ball as you would for buns, then flatten each one slightly. Cover them with a clean kitchen cloth so they don't dry out as you're working with them one at a time.

7. Assuming you're using a cast iron pan, heat the pan over medium-high heat while you start rolling the flatbreads. You don't need any oil: these are cooked in a dry pan.

8. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the first flatbread to a 6-inch circle. Brush off any excess flour and put the first flatbread in your frying pan. (A little flour clinging to the flatbread is fine, but flour that falls off in the pan may burn so you want to remove as much as possible.)

9. Start rolling the next flatbread while you're keeping an eye on the first. It will start forming bubbles and might puff up completely. It will take a minute or so to cook on the first side, depending on how hot your pan is. When the the bottom is lightly browned in spots but the bread is still completely soft and pliable, it's done on the first side.

10. Turn the bread over and cook on the second side for about 30 seconds or so. Again, you're looking for a few brown spots. If the bread is puffy, press it down with a spatula so the whole surface is contacting the pan. Press gently to deflate it, and watch out for escaping steam.

11. If you get a good rhythm going, you can have the next flatbread rolled when the first one is finished. If you have a large griddle, or if you're cooking them outdoors on your grill, you can cook two or three at a time. And here's another time saver: if you're cooking these on your grill, close the lid and they'll cook on both sides. No need for turning, unless you want more browning (or grill marks) on that second side.

12. Have a clean kitchen towel ready for your flatbreads. Put them on the towel and fold the sides over to cover them as they're done, and stack them up as you have more. They're best served right away, while they're still warm from cooking. If you want to reheat them later, just heat them briefly in your dry cast iron pan. A few seconds is all they'll need.

1 comment:

  1. This looks yummo. We tried tortillas the other day and they were too thin this might work better. Thanks.