If there is anything that intimidates me about baking, it's using yeast. Up until now, I still haven't used it for much. I use it in my trusty bread machine. That's easy. Just dump it in and watch the machine do all the work. I have used it, or rather my husband has used it, to make Belgian waffles from scratch. Other than that, I really cannot think of an occasion where I have been brave enough to use yeast to make something. I suppose that is why, when I found this recipe for Indian Flatbreads, I actually felt brave enough to try it. By its very nature, this bread is flat and doesn't require any scary yeast to help it rise or anything. Since bread is one of my very favorite things to eat, I definitely want to work up the nerve to make it completely from scratch....someday. Until that day comes, I would be content to just eat this flatbread. Really. It is delicious.
I originally made this bread with the intention of using it for dipping, and that is what it does best. It's great on its own, but it isn't really meant to be eaten that way. We ate a chicken and chile stew the same night I made the flatbreads, and we discovered that the two were great together. I think it would be really good with a bunch of grilled meats and veggies on it. You could eat it almost like a wrap, or even top it and eat it pizza-style. The possibilities are pretty much endless. The best part? It was so easy to make, even I didn't mess it up! It didn't take that long, either.
I would definitely recommend making this bread as a sort of bread-in-training. It's a good stepping stone to the more complicated, yeast-filled stuff. It made me more confident that I could handle something a little more challenging. Hopefully that will prove true in the near future. Until then, here's the recipe for Indian Flatbreads!
adapted from Food Network Magazine, January/February 2010
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1. Combine the flours and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center, add 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and mix to make a sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft and pliable, about 5 minutes. Brush a bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover and let rest about 30 minutes.
2. Divide the dough into 6 even balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball into an 8-to-9-inch round, then layer between parchment paper.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. One at a time, lightly brush each dough round with oil and place in the pan. Cook until bubbly on top and charred on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip and cook 1 more minute. Remove from the skillet, brush with more oil, and season with salt. To reheat, wrap the flatbreads in a damp paper towel and microwave 45 seconds. Makes 6 flatbreads.