We should all have a solid command of the ABCs of baking. Thankfully, Food52's Test Kitchen Manager Erin McDowell -- alongside photographer Sarah Stone, who both blog at The Shutter Oven -- is here, with tips and tricks to help you master the most essential desserts and the simplest breads.
Today: Erin takes the fear out of bread baking -- starting with grilled flatbread.
Many people are terrified of bread baking, and I used to be one of them. I didn’t understand how a handful of ingredients (sometimes just four!) could be manipulated into such a wide array of perfect breads. Did it take an expert hand? Did it require a particular mixer? Did the oven have to be just so?
But here’s the honest truth: You can make bread. You can make bread so good that jaws will drop. They'll “mmmm” and “ahhh" and eat the whole loaf -- and then they'll ask you for the recipe.
Today, I’m kicking off a four-part series on how to bake bread with one of the simplest recipes I know: grilled flatbread. Nearly every culture around the world has one: naan in India, pide in Turkey, dosa in Malaysia, and -- one of my all-time favorites -- frybread, which comes from North and Central America. Despite their basic differences, these breads all perform the same purpose: Next to a main dish, they often serve as a utensil or vessel to get food from plate to mouth.
Summer is the perfect season to try out this all-purpose dough for yourself: It will rise wonderfully in the heat and humidity, and your grill is likely to already be hot. The conditions are almost foolproof. Here’s what else you'll need to know:
More: Got leftovers? Here's how to store them.
Makes 4 medium flatbreads
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Flaky salt, for finishing
Leaves of 1 to 2 stems of rosemary, for finishing
Photos by Sarah Stone
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