Flat breads are probably the earliest known bread, and a form of them has been made since the very start of civilization.
Originally the flat bread was an unleavened bread – made using only flour, salt and water and with no raising agent in it, however many flat breads are now leavened using either yeast or a sour dough culture.
The flat bread comes in many, many forms from many cultures and countries – some examples of these are pitta bread, paratha, chapati, naan and matza.
The flatbreads can be seasoned in any way to suit the dish that they are served with, they can be used to hold meats, kebabs, poultry, fish or vegetables, or as the base for a pizza or for dipping into vegetarian dips like hummus.
This particular flat bread is based on the breads used in the Middle East, Balkans and the Mediterranean and is most often served with koftas – a minced beef dish that is formed into kebabs on skewers. It is however delicious served with curries or cut into strips and served with dips.
Makes 6 flat bread.
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
250ml natural yoghurt
1½ teaspoon dried yeast
550g strong plain flour (bread flour), plus a little extra for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra for brushing
1. Toast the peppercorns, coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until they turn golden-brown.
2. Put the toasted peppercorns and spices into a pestle and mortar and crush them lightly.
3. Place the crushed spices into a pan with the water and bring to the boil.
4. Place the yoghurt into a large bowl and add the yeast, pour in the water and spices and mix well.
5. Add 200g of the flour to the bowl and mix together well with your hands.
6. Cover the bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for 25 minutes.
7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface.
8. Add the remaining flour, salt, chilli powder, chilli flakes and oil and mix all together.
9. When all ingredients are combined well together place back into its bowl, cover and leave to rise for an hour until the dough has almost doubled in size.
10. When risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface and knead gently for two minutes.
11. Divide the dough into equal pieces and form each piece into a roll.
12. Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball into flat oval shapes – about 12cm long, and brush with a little olive oil.
13. Put a large frying pan or a griddle brushed with olive oil on to heat, when hot cook the flat breads for about 30 seconds on each side until golden brown.
14. Serve while warm.
These flat breads are well worth the time and effort used in making them, they really do liven up meal of hummus or make a simple beef kebab so much more interesting.