Flatbread

This Seedy Flatbread Is the Quickest Bread You Can Make Tonight

And it couldn't be easier.

July  1, 2019
Photo by Julia Gartland

Just as there is a time for a multi-layered cake and a time for a pantry wonder, there is a time for slowly fermented, naturally leavened sourdough and a time for mix-it-together easy flatbread that’s soft, airy, absorbent, and ready at the same time dinner is on the table. (To everything—turn, turn, turn—there is a season—turn, turn, turn.)

For me, that time is 8 p.m. on any given weeknight, when the goal is to eat before 9 and I’m looking for something carby and warm to sop up the last of the chana masala or braised chickpeas or green curry (mostly so that I don’t end up simply licking the bowl).

This flatbread is exactly that something: The super simple dough—tweaked from this one from Joshua McFadden—is a mixture of flour, buttermilk, baking powder, and baking soda. Since there’s no yeast involved, there’s no rise time to wait out. Just give the mixture 30 minutes to hydrate and relax (conveniently, that’s just the amount of time it’ll take you to throw the rest of your dinner together!) and you’ll be able to divide it up and roll it into slabs and sear them off in a cast-iron skillet until browned and bubbled. Start to finish, it’s not so much longer than the time it would take to boil a pot of rice.

The bread is light and rippable but far from plain—it’s got tang and tenderness from the buttermilk and char from the hot oil in the pan. You don’t have to add seeds (my favorite are nigella, sesame, and coriander) or sliced scallions, but both make the bread even more flavorful and addictive.

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Top Comment:
“Rolled out really thin, and got them nice and browned in my cast iron skillet. Taking the leftovers to an opera tailgate party with some dips and pates tonight. I used cumin, coriander, mustard (brown and yellow), sunflower, and sesame seeds (white and black). Super fun! Will experiment with different seeds in the future. ”
— Karen H.
Comment

I like to treat the flatbread like roti, naan, or pita: I’ll dip in hummus, top it with grilled eggplant and burst cherry tomatoes, or smear with salted ricotta and sprinkle with torn basil. It might not be as airy or complex as a 48-hour sourdough, but I’ll save that for the weekend: This flatbread is easy to make, even easier to eat, and better than any packaged flatbread I can get at the grocery store. For a Wednesday night, that’s more than good enough.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Sarah Jampel

Written by: Sarah Jampel

A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.

4 Comments

Karen H. July 5, 2019
I made this almost immediately after reading the email in which it was featured. Served it at a dinner party - everyone loved it. I used 2/3 c. Greek yogurt and 1/3 c. milk. Rolled out really thin, and got them nice and browned in my cast iron skillet. Taking the leftovers to an opera tailgate party with some dips and pates tonight. I used cumin, coriander, mustard (brown and yellow), sunflower, and sesame seeds (white and black). Super fun! Will experiment with different seeds in the future.
 
Maureen July 4, 2019
This recipe is crave worthy but I have Celiac Disease. Can you suggest a gluten free flour substitute that would work here?
 
RobynB July 1, 2019
Substitute for buttermilk - would yogurt work? Or milk soured with lemon juice?
 
Emma L. July 1, 2019
Mmmm! I can't wait to try this. Maybe on the grill!